Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stinkin Arrhythmia

We can't kick this Arrhythmia. The rhythm specialist was called in again tonight, she upped his drugs and tried to pace him out of it a couple times. She succeeded 3 times, but he kept going right back into it. They have been talking about a new drug- Amiodarone, it is the more powerful out of all the anti-arrhythmic drugs. The reason they don't use it first is because it has a couple bad side effects and they don't want people to be on it that long.  Since they couldn't pace him out of the flutter while he was on the sotalol and digoxin, they started him on the Amiodarone. They waited for about an hour to let it get into his system and then tried pacing him again. That didn't work at all, he is just stuck in this irregular rhythm. They did manage to slow his heart rate down a bit, but now it is very irregular and all over the place.  She is going to let it get into his system through out the night and then try to pace him again in the morning. If that doesn't work, they are going to try to cardiovert him, basically shock him to reset his heart, similar to a defibrillator...which is pretty terrifying to think about. They said it takes 7-10 days before you see the full benefit of the new drug, so if they can't get him out of this rhythm we will be here for another couple weeks.
Our little guy is back on the CPAP machine, I call it the rhino machine... I strongly dislike it, but it does make it easier for him to breathe. We are both emotionally drained, this is a ride of ups and downs and unexpected turns. I am exhausted and can't even comprehend how I feel about the whole thing. It is fairly frustrating, and not easy to accept. We are really hoping tomorrow will bring better news. They may be able to pace him out of it in the morning, and the new meds might be able to keep it at bay. We have good doctors and nurses, we just need to have faith that they will be able to pull him out of it tomorrow.

Little Trickster

ugh... little trickster.. He's back into artrial flutter.. right when I posted the last post he flipped into it.. We gave him a higher dose of Sotalol  just now. They may have to zap him out of it again. His heart rate is a perfect 173, it is precise and steady and he is having no problems what so ever.  He is in an irregular rhthym again, so they will have to break it.. what a little trickster. We are not too worried about it as this will be the third time they get him out of it. The Sotalol may kick him out of it, but they are getting prepared to zap him again. Time to have a morphine ride again, which kind of sucks since he was just getting active.
They are upping his dose of Sotalol again and then giving him a second anti-arrhythmic medication. He definitely likes to keep everyone on their toes.  This is getting frustrating, there doesn't seem to be any cause. It just seems to start randomly. The rhythm specialist will be here in an hour to pace him out of it.

Face Mask off

Michael was up and alert again this afternoon. He was looking around and responding to our voices. It's so nice to see those little eyes again. We haven't seen him alert and looking around since Sunday. His heart rate has been 130-140 for the last couple hours, it is still dropping to the 80's every once in a while, but it has been few and far between.  We were able to hold his hands and talk to him and sing to him. He looks really goofy with his rhino mask on, but we were happy to see him so alive again. He gets upset when the nurses are changing his diaper or check him, so that is a good sign.  His lungs are starting to look better and his blood gasses are improving as well. He is starting to do that little koo again, he is just a bit horse still. Overall he is looking really good.
They just took off his face mask and put him on heated high flow oxygen, his numbers are still looking really good. What a day.. now we just have to wait and see how he does for the next couple days. We will most likely be in the CICU the rest of the weekend. It looks like he is finally making some good progress again. I really think us being here and telling him he can do it helps. I don't know if there is any science behind it, but I really think having people cheering for you makes a difference. We have been at his side telling him he can do it most of the day. We are so proud of him, he is such a little fighter. Almost all the nurses know him now too, so we are all cheering for him. He has been being a little stinker, and causing lots of worry, but everyone that meets him loves him. I can't wait until he's awake again.  This is a roller coaster ride, I am happy to have the opportunity to relax and refill my adrenaline for a bit.  Thank you for all the prayers and support. We are not doing this alone.

Day 16

Day 16 in the hospital. After seeing him doing so well last week, everyday gets harder to see him hooked up to all this equipment. His heart rate is somewhat stable, but it continues to drop into the 70's and 80's every once in a while. After walking into the room today and seeing no change from yesterday it is hard to think about leaving him tonight. I called his nurse a couple times last night and they assured me he was fine.  Even if his vitals are looking ok, and he is not turning purple, he is still hooked up to all this stuff, I can't accept fine. I want him to be doing great, and getting all this crap off of him.  He is off all of the pain meds now, but still has multiple cardiac meds pumping steadily. I reserved us a sleep room for the night. I can't think of leaving him again, it's getting too hard to walk into this every morning. At least if I am here with him, I can feel like we are going through it together. I don't know if he will remember any of it but I do not want him to think he was doing any of this alone. I don't want him waking up in the middle of the night scared and alone.  Zoey will manage without us for another night or two, she has lots of cousins and aunts and uncles to play with. We both miss her so much, but we feel like we need to be here with Michael. I think every morning Bryt and I come in expecting him to look better and have a little less accessories. I don't know if us being here has any benefit, but I like to believe it does. I love this little guy so much. I wish I could put all this crap on me and let him go play with his big sister.
Going home every night does have plenty of advantages, but I think we can help him heal a little quicker if we are here holding his hand every step of the way. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers, we will bust out of this place eventually.
After talking to the nurse I feel a bit more comforted, most of the pumps in here are turned off. The Pacing machine is in here just in case, and his oxygen continues to stay at 100 even when his heart rate is so low. I think this face mask he is wearing is the hardest thing to look at. It is hard to stay positive when you see your little baby like this, but we have to try. Something that always helps me be positive is to think of all the things I am grateful for.
I am thankful we live so close, and thankful we have such amazing families. I am grateful for our doctors and nurses, their confidence is helping us be comfortable and confident. I am thankful for our wonderful daughter and how forgiving and loving she continues to be. I am thankful I have a relationship with the lord and have something to lean on when nothing else seems to comfort me.
The blessings and experiences we have received through this experience have been wonderful. Bryt and I are becoming closer than ever and our families have been nothing but amazing. The people behind us continue to shower us with love and support. I am learning a lot about cardiac kids and able to follow most of the medical conversations.  Our surgeon is one of the best in the world and has been doing this for years. There are so many things to be grateful for in this life. It is easy to forget how many good things there are when you have to go through something so hard. Trying to remember all of them is something that can help me stay positive.