Becky’s heart surgery was one week ago today.
To celebrate the day, she took a big step forward.
Dr. N began rounds with a directive to me and Mom. She told us to write the following down verbatim: “Becky’s x-ray looks fantastic.” It was a pleasure to comply. Later in the morning, she checked our notebooks to make sure we had written these exact words. This was the first piece of good news.
The biggest development is that Becky’s chest tube and pacing wires were removed midday. It is always positive when something is removed from her body. She spent most of the afternoon sleeping as the sedative used during the procedure was slow to wear off.
Now we begin the slow process of dialing back Becky’s respiratory support. Since it took such a long time to restore Becky’s collapsed lung, Dr. N doesn’t want to be too aggressive. Becky receives a variety of medications and therapies to help reduce pressure in her lungs and support her repaired but healing heart. It will take time to get Becky to a sustainable home regimen. For example, it may take five days to wean her off just one of the medications. Slow and steady will win this race.
Dr. V, the lead surgeon on Becky’s case, stopped by for a quick chat. He is pleased with her recent echo which is improved compared to the prior study. He was most concerned about the mitral valve but this appears to be working well. She still has regurgitation from the tricuspid valve but he expects this to improve as her pulmonary pressures decrease.
Becky continues chest physical therapy which she enjoys. This breaks up secretions and helps her cough. Today I had a chance to hold her and help with this therapy.
As we arrived home to the Ronald McDonald House tonight, we visited with our new friend Maggie. Her daughter Charlotte has been in the hospital since November 30. Hopefully, Charlotte will be extubated tomorrow. When Maggie told me, my heart swelled with joy at her good news. It’s amazing how you begin to root for someone else’s child, wanting the absolute best for another family.
And it was moving that Maggie was concerned for our little Becky and delighted at her progress. There is something truly special about these cardiac babies. Despite their malformed hearts, they keep love circulating in the world.
All told, it was a wonderful day. A blessed day.
The sky seemed to agree.