A Rollercoaster Week: Day 1 - ASD Closure

Sunday, November 4, 2007

We arrived at the hospital at 6:00am (?!?!)...

and, after waiting for an hour...

a nurse brought us back to a surgery prep room and got Caro ready for surgery...

We picked her up, went with the doctor and nurses into the OR, and kissed her goodbye...

The procedure lasted 3 1/2 hours (they told us it would take about 2 hrs.), and, just as we were about to tear into the OR to get answers, the OR nurse came out to tell us that the doctor closed her ASD (hole in her heart) using the catheter procedure! No open-heart surgery needed! The doctor said it took him awhile to close the hole, and he was worried the device wouldn't hold. But, after checking and re-checking, the doctor determined the device would indeed hold.

They decided to have Caro recover in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). We went up to see her around 11:30 am. She was off the ventilator that they had had her on for the procedure, was breathing hard and her heart rate was high. The cardiologist and anesthesiologist were concerned but decided that she would recover. We always knew she would take awhile to recover, so we weren't worried.

The PICU attending doctor however came in and seemed concerned- too concerned given she had never seen Caro before and had only been observing her for about an hour. She asked Bryce if we had ever been talked to about putting a trach on Caroline. The answer was no, no specialist has ever mentioned that to us. Before we came in for the procedure, she only needed a small amount of oxygen given through a cannula. I tried to push aside the doctor's question, but it kept annoying me that she brought that up. We asked other doctors on the unit about her question, and they said not to worry about it.

Unfortunately, as the day went on, she kept breathing harder and harder. We thought she might have to go back on a ventilator, which, while serious, was not that big of a deal to us - we knew her recovery would be difficult.

Then, the PICU doctor then came on and started telling us all of the reasons why Caroline should have a trach. And we were like what?!? Are you seriously talking to us about a hole in my daughter's throat right now?!? Basically the lady had no tact/bedside mannner - no one, let alone a doctor who had never seen Caro before that day, should've brought that up the night of the procedure - something that I made clear to her a few hours later (in front of another nurse, Bryce, and my was late:)).

After that discussion, Caroline actually started to breath easier. We got less and less worried. However, the nurse then took her temperature, and it read 103. I had been holding her, so, with Bryce's help, I put her back in her crib to help cool air circulate around her. As we got her situated, she stopped breathing and turned blue. The nurses and doctor did an emergency intubation (put breathing tube back in). After that, with the help of sedatives, she calmed down a lot and was able to rest.

To be continued...


  1. I am glad that the ASD Closure went...well? Is that the right word? It all seems so crazy to me, yet you and Bryce seem so calm. You truly are amazing and we are praying for you and your sweet little girl.

  2. wow. What a day. I'm glad the ASD closure was able to be done via a cath procedure.

    If you have any trach questions, don't hesitate to get in touch, k?


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