It's time. That's what McKay's little body said very clearly to his cardiologist today. It's time to move forward. It's time to begin to fix what's broken. It's time to get uncomfortable again.
The appointment began with a routine check of McKay's sats. 71-68-69-70-68-68-68. His O2 level bounced around a bit, but stayed solidly in the unacceptable zone. They normally like to check levels with and without artificial oxygen support, but it was clear there would be no need to see him dip any further. He was weighed: 13 pounds 11 ounces. Wow. And measured: 24 1/4 inches. Double-wow. Mac's doc then proceeded to listen very closely to his chest. She listened and listened and listened. Apparently his shunt, which used to sound a very clear "swoosh, swoosh," inside his tiny chest is getting harder to hear. The increased hush motivated an impromptu echo cardiogram today to see if his shunt or pulmonary artery had developed any kinks that would slow flow to the lungs.
They usually sedate infants for echos because it requires a steady ultrasound of their heart which means the tech has to gel and scope the area immediately at the base of their tiny necks. Not fun. Lots of wild crying. McKay started out as you would expect and rejected all attempts at baiting him with a sugared-up binky. But once I picked him up, he fell almost immediately asleep and continued to dream of better days through the entire procedure. They got great pics of his plumbing and were able to rule out kinks as the cause of McKay's lack of oxygen. However it was clear his shunt is narrowing, constricting the small bridge of blood flow to his lungs it was meant to create.
All in all, as the shunt narrows and McKay grows, it becomes increasingly clear a bigger, more permanent fix is in order. McKay's cardiologists and the heart surgeons pow-wowed this afternoon to determine the best way to prepare for McKay's Glenn operation. Once they've made their decisions, the phone calls will begin. So far we've been contacted to schedule an MRI and sedated echo for later this week. We expect a call tomorrow with a definite date for his Glenn which we've been told will be in the next week or two.
And with that, life once again slides back into the surreal. This week will be a concerted effort to crystallize and then finalize Christmas preparations. Put the house into some sort of order. Talk ourselves into the courage it will take to willfully walk McKay into the hospital knowing full well what our visit will mean for him. And I guess that's just it. For McKay this visit means a chance to begin to live. To lose the tubes and gain a little freedom. While he will not be totally well, he will be worlds away from today. And that is something to celebrate. Our miracle continues...