Heart Surgery Update

Charlotte on Thanksgiving Day

I spoke today with Charlotte’s cardiologist, Dr. Luciana Young. After conferring with Dr. Pophal, the interventionist who performed angioplasty two weeks ago, and with Dr. Backker, one of Charlotte’s CV surgeons, she came to the following conclusions:

The angioplasty balloon procedure was able to alleviate the RPA (right pulmonary artery) restriction a bit. However, because the conduit is small (just the right fit for the 5.25 lb. baby who received it on 5/16/2005), the opening of the RPA will probably not last very long.

Charlotte, however, is exhibiting no heart symptoms. A very good thing.

So…Dr. Young prefers to schedule the surgery for sooner rather than later. We’re looking at a mid-March date, to have her recovery week coincide with my Spring break.* I’ll have a date from Dr. Young as soon at CV surgery has processed the paperwork.

We are, needless to say, frightened, anxious and not surprised by this news. It’s very easy to forget that Charlotte is a heart patient. Certainly her heart has caused us no concern since she was released from her first hospital stay. And her feeding issues necessarily focus us elsewhere. While we knew this day would come, it feels a bit like being thrown into a cold swimming pool in mid-January in Chicago. Not good. Not good at all.

*Spring break you say? Yes, if you haven’t heard, I’ve accepted an adjunct teaching position at UIC for the spring. Given the turn of Charlotte events, the timing isn’t great, but c’est la vie.

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