SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Gabe made it through round one of his ordeal yesterday. We started with an ultrasound exam that was to last about 45 minutes. The technician greeted us, set things up, and after assessing Gabe for a brief 2 minutes announced, "I'll start the tests but I'm probably going to have to bail."

After 15 minutes he admitted, "He sits much better than I thought he would."

Ten minutes later, "You must have the gift" (of keeping him still--but no, Gabe has the gift).

Another ten minutes passed, "He's really high functioning, isn't he." I don't know, but he sits pretty well.

After the ultrasound we met with the surgeon who explained the procedure in detail with drawings and showed me the actual device that would be used.

Big news to me--Gabe has more than one hole in his heart. Besides the ASD (atrium septal defect) between the two upper chambers (measuring 11-12 mm in diameter) he has a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus) which mixes blood from the aorta and pulmonary artery (oxygenated with unoxygenated). There will be two repairs done today. The doctor was amazed that with all of that blood mixing he doesn't have any respiratory problems or problems of any kind with his circulation. He estimated that only about 1/3 of the oxygenated blood is making it through his system.

AND--there's a 20% chance that there is a third hole--a second ASD. It is unclear from the ultrasound pictures and they won't know until they begin the procedure today with a transesophogeal ultrasound (doing an ultrasound internally from his esophogus). If the third hole is present the surgeon said he would "bail"--that word again--and we'd have to schedule open heart surgery at a later date.

We are praying that the third hole is just what they call "residual ultrasound" something and they will be able to complete the repairs today.

The good news for Gabe. I was able to keep him up until 11:30 last night and he had a pretty substantial snack at 11. He can't eat and doesn't have the surgery until 11:30 am today! Also, at Denny's last night I drew a circle on his coloring sheet and he copied it!!! It was the first time he didn't just scribble or eat the crayons. I also drew straight lines--both vertical and horizontal--and he copied them. Then, to top it off, when he was in the tub this morning (at 6 because he couldn't sleep--should help him rest this afternoon) he poured water from one cup to another with each of his hands!! We've been working on scooping and pouring for many months and he's shown no interest. He just splashes and flings. He was SO proud of himself.

I'm off to eat and then keep Gabe while Dana has her breakfast. I'll let you know what we learn this afternoon.


Amy Lu said...

Praying for you and yours today....

Dana said...

I'm glad you explained all of the acronyms (I'm sure I spelled that WAY wrong but I'm pretty sure that's what all those initials are called...) because otherwise, people like me would be lost. GO GABE!!! :D