Friday, October 21, 2011

What's His Rhythm?

Eli had a check up today with his cardiologist in Evansville.  This was Dr. Kumbar's first time to see him since surgery.  His oxygen saturation ranged from 87-90% which is probably the highest he's ever been.  A normal person should be over 90% (closer to 100%), but Eli's numbers are very good for his condition.  An EKG showed that his heart is still in the junctional rhythm.  That wasn't what we were hoping to find out but it is what we expected.  For now we won't do anything about it unless he has problems.  Our plan is to follow up with Dr. Kumbar in two months.  The day we see her, one of the cardiologists from our group in Indy will be at her office and we will see both of them.  It works out well that Dr. Steinberg will be there because he's the one who would actually place Eli's pacemaker if/when he gets one.

We've been told by a couple of the cardiologists now that there's not really a reason Eli's heart changed rhythm with this surgery.  The surgery wasn't in the area of the heart that is causing this rhythm so it's kind of a mystery why it has happened.  Because they don't know why it changed, they're not convinced it won't convert (change back) on its own, but as more time passes the chances are decreasing.  If it doesn't convert then our only option is to get a pacemaker.  I don't know anyone who wants their baby to have a pacemaker but we're not too upset about it.  Our view is that with Eli's condition we're going to encounter a lot of problems; we'll save the real worries for the problems that don't have any options.  And of course we'll pray that he converts on his own and that this will never be an issue again.

Good news from the appointment is that we can stop using his Lasix.  So now his medicines are Prilosec (acid inhibitor for the stomach), Aspirin (blood thinner), daily vitamin and antibiotic ointment for the skin around his feeding tube.  He will probably have to go back on Captopril (helps increase his heart function) but for now is staying off of it because his heartrate is low due to the junctional rhythm and Captopril would only decrease it further.

Eli has at least one, maybe two bottom teeth that broke through this week.  None of his top teeth are in yet, but the whole gum line is red and hard so I wouldn't be surprised if his top teeth all come in at once!  He's been sleeping much better lately too (other than a few whiny teething nights).  When we first got home from the hospital he had a lot of trouble going to sleep.  I would have to sit by his bed for a long time (sometimes several hours) until he was in a deep sleep because if he woke up and was alone he would scream terribly.  He didn't want to be held or rocked but we just had to rub his head & back and talk softly to him & he would settle down.  At times it was like he was having nightmares.  I really think babies can suffer from a post-traumatic stress disorder.  All that has been better for a couple of weeks.

Thanks again for all the prayers.  If I could be so bold as to be specific in our prayer requests -- for Eli's heart to convert on its own, for continued strength for all four of us, for my brother-in-law's mother who is in the hospital in serious but stable condition, and for Bryan to have a GREAT birthday (10/22)!!!!  Thanks again for all the love & support!

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