"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
--Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cardiology Update and More!

Connie had an appt. at 11 am today with Dr. Bromberg. I was a little anxious over the weekend about what I might hear, but didn't think too much about it. As soon as I turned the stroller around so that Connie was facing Colleen, the nurse, my fears were relieved. She and the other nurse were falling over themselves commenting on how good he looked and how good his color was (his color has never really been an issue though, like most heart kids) and how big he was, etc., etc. They even remarked at his crazy hair. His weight today was 20 lbs. 11.6 oz. Down a bit. Funny, they all think he looks so much bigger and yet his weight hasn't gone up the last month. Dr. Bromberg even said that this is the first time he's seen him look "like a normal baby" and not "so skinny". His length is 31.5 inches, which is taller than before. I think just last week at his well baby visit he was 30 inches.

Then they asked me a bunch of questions about his endurance, sweating, breathing, etc. Colleen listened to his chest and took his blood pressure which was "perfect". Then they checked his pacemaker with four little electrodes on his chest which he tried to pull off constantly. He started out a little quiet and shy and quickly turned into a normal, curious 9 month old. He wanted to investigate everyone and everything in the office. When Dr. Bromberg came in and was standing next to him while he looked over the pacemaker stuff, Connie wanted his watch and ID badge. Dr. Bromberg said he couldn't see why anyone would call him developmentally delayed other than the fact that he's not crawling yet. He was so pleased with everything. He took him off the Spironolactone (potassium sparing diuretic) and decreased his lasix (other diuretic) in half. He said that at the next visit, he may come off the lasix altogether! Even though his bp is perfect, he is increasing his Enalapril (bp decreaser) from 1 ML, 2X/day to 1.5 ML 2X/day. This is in hopes that it will help the heart to pump a little stronger so that the leak is decreased and less blood regurgitates back down. We don't have to go back for three more months!

In related news, we got to talking about his GI issues and I asked him about the possibility that Connie's problems stem from a vagus nerve injury during surgery. He nodded like he had thought of that too. He said what makes him think that that isn't the case is that usually patients will also have a paralyzed diaphragm and/or paralyzed vocal cord. I asked what possible treatments there were if that were the case and he said that nothing could really be done, that it usually spontaneously heals on it's own. He said he was pessimistic about that for Connie because it would have likely healed by now. His personal, "layperson" opinion is that a fundoplicaton and g-tube are in order here. I guess we shall see. Today I'm just reveling in the glory and the light of this wonderful blessing we've been given in having such a good appointment. Praise God!

However (dramatic pause), there is never a dull moment around here and never a positive note that isn't drowned out by a negative one. Early Sunday morning, Mary Kathleen fell out of bed and complained that she hurt her shoulder. Her behavior was not right and she didn't "get over it" quickly at all. I called the doctor's exchange and they recommended we follow up with our ped. today. We did and he suspected a broken collarbone. He said it is easy to fracture and fairly common in kids. He sent us downstairs to an orthopaedic doctor where she had her first (hopefully last) x-ray. She did very good and was so brave for all of it. She surprises everyone that she isn't afraid of procedures or shots or whatever. The x-ray showed that her collarbone is indeed broken. The doctor said that children this age heal very quickly (2-3 weeks). The remedy for this type of injury is limited to wearing a sling. So, her right arm is in a cute little dinosaur sling. She doesn't like it one bit and has reminded me of that fact several times in the past couple of hours. She is to wear the sling until she appears to be using it a lot more and her activity level is to be dictated by her. The only limit is that she is to stay off the monkey bars and avoid climbing. She has no interest in that right now anyway with the pain she's experiencing so that shouldn't be a problem. She is allowed to have motrin every six hours if necessary. She looks like such a big girl with her sling. I think I was that age when I had my first broken bone. I only hope she doesn't have as many as I had! We go back for a follow-up x-ray in three weeks.

So, $100 in copays, three office visits at two different hospitals and six hours later, we are home and staying put. Just when I complain about not getting out of the house because of being homebound with Connie for the winter cold and flu season, I get to spend all day driving around with them! Woo hoo!


Kim Froehlich said...

Erin, that is great news about Connie!! All of those little "baby steps" towards healing seem to be paying off! Hopefully his next "baby steps" will be in the GI department!!

I hope Mary Kathleen is feeling better! Like you said, never a dull moment!

If I don't write before hand, have a wonderful Holiday and as always, I will keep Connie in my prayers!

Love Kim Froehlich

Danielle said...

We too had a broken collar bone in June. It wasn't so bad and about 2 weeks he did great. Button down shirts come in handy.

Merry Christmas.

Danielle Darrough

Shari said...


I am so excited for the news from Dr. Bromberg. Yay for Connie!

I will pray for quick healing for Mary Kathleen. Poor little sweetie!

Take care!


Anonymous said...

Good morning E--
Never a dull moment is right! I sit in awe of everything you're keeping together...and chuckle that MK's got her first broken bone, like mother like daughter:) She's such a trooper, you'll have to post a pic of her with her sling.

Love the new Christmas pictures, I can't believe how big all of the kids are getting. The girls are just too cute and Connie's getting to be such a big boy. It's amazing how quickly time flies.

What great news from the doc yesterday, that's awesome. May that be a part of your Christmas miracle! It's soo good to hear that he's doing soo well, it's such a Blessing from God.

Well, I should run, just wanted to say have a great day! Thanks for the update from the doctor, good news all around.

Love, Caryn

miareese said...

Hi Greg, Erin and family, so happy to hear good news about Connie's appt. I hope Mary Kathleen's injury heals quickly. Thank you for sharing pictures of the kids. Connie is looking much bigger to me also. He looks a year old!! God Bless you all and have a very Merry Christmas too, love The Melnuks xxxxoooo