Pumping Away!

Seeing as we’ve gotten a number of inquiries today about how our cardiology appointment went, I’m posting a quick update before I close up things here at the office for the week.  For all of you in Santa Barbara…”Viva la Fiesta!”  May you enjoy the weekend of revelry…or be nerds like us and stay far away in the serenity of your backyard.

As Trish shared, it was ironic to be at Dr. Harake’s office exactly one year later.  I remember sitting there on the first Thursday in August of 2008 still trying to stop my head from spinning in our new reality, watching unknown blotches flash and pulse across the Echocardiogram screen and desperately wanting every last one explained to me.  A year later and I still don’t have the foggiest idea what the blotches mean, but I know enough to sit patiently in the dark for the explanation that will come from a man who has gone from being an expert stranger to a caring guide.

Rudy has always sat still through the exams, but I discovered this was likely more a product of his delayed development than amenable behavior.  Yesterday he discovered the crinkly paper covering the table and was engrossed by the way it ripped and rustled all through the exam.  The first positive indicator was his weight, now up to 16lbs, 12oz, so the positive trend here continues–the bigger he is going into the Glenn, the better.

His sats read in at 82% which is also very positive.  We haven’t tracked things too closely, but at the time we came home from UCLA it seemed he was more often in the low 70s.  We’re going to watch this more closely as it could be a sign that his lung function is improving.  Aside from this, it’s also a sign that there is not an urgent need for the Glenn.  One of the things the docs will be looking for is for the sats to drop to about 65% and stay there regardless of how much oxygen he’s on, which means that he’s outgrowing the Sano shunt they put in during the Norwood. His heart will then need the Glenn so that it’s configured for better flow.  Understand?  I knew you would.  Someday I’ll post some good diagrams of all these operations so we can all become HLHS geeks together.

Lastly, the doctors always check the right valve to make sure it isn’t leaking.  There was some incidental leakage early on with Rudy, but it looked very good yesterday.  On previous echos, Drs. Satou and Harake both mentioned that the pumping on the right ventricle didn’t look as “snappy” (sorry for more jargon) as they would hope, but yesterday’s looked much stronger.  As Dr. Harake thought this was likely in response to meds, he adjusted things a bit further to see if this trend will continue.  Keep pumping, Rudy!

In sum, it was a very positive visit that has us grateful for Rudy’s stable progress.  We’re always aware that things can change quickly on this journey, but for now we’re glad that our next visit to UCLA doesn’t seem imminent.  So we’ll keep enjoying the summer!

From the looks of the picture Trish just e-mailed me, it seems that there’s more fun being had at home than at the office (hard to believe considering the nutcases I get to work with).  While one of the simple joys of my life is a Friday where I can go casual, Max does not seem to ascribe to this.  Trish wondered why the kids were being so quiet and then discovered them in our closet with the door shut.  Here’s what they do for a good time:


Am I angry that he tried on my clothes without asking?  No.

Am I angry that he looks better in them than I do?  You betcha!

Time to go home and unleash some Daddy discipline.

10 thoughts on “Pumping Away!

  1. I still read Ruby’s Beat as a novel…usually sad that I have read all there is. You make me laugh and praise God for you and your talent for humor, medical savvy and home grown optimism that spreads like jam every time I read your entry….it sticks to me and then I spread it around too. Thanks for making my day today. xxooR

  2. Dashing young man….sporting a very cool haircut too, I must add.

    Good news about Rudy’s appointment!!!

  3. Uh oh, are the girls banging down the door yet? Glad everything went so well! A big sigh of relief as you left the doctor’s office I bet! Enjoy the summer days!

  4. More prayers–some are prayers of thanksgiving for the progress Rudy and your family has made and some are prayers for your future and whatever it may hold for all of you. May God guide you through each day.

  5. Our HLHS little guys(really supermen) amaze us; how well they do through tests and check-ups. Enjoy every day, Nick’s Grandma

  6. The first time I met Max he came to the door in what I think was his dad’s blue blazer. Methinks he is going to be quite the dapper young man once his legs get longer!

    Great news on Rudy! Love your updates! Hope Trish is feeling better today. We all understand her ups and downs, as we go through this journey with you all!

  7. SO glad all continues to go well with Rudy. As much as I love to visit with any of the Goleta Geylings when you are here with Rudy at UCLA, I am glad you don’t have to be down here anytime soon! Max is quite the dapper young businessman… ! Much love to all of you. Lisa, Paul, George and Nick Borkovich

  8. Fantastic appointment! Couldn’t be much better than that!

    12 years later, I still don’t know what the splotches mean but I am an HLHS geek …want to see our diagrams? 🙂

  9. What a great report! I’m with Kathy, 14 years in I still don’t know how to interpret the splotches…although I have to say they’re less “splotchy” every year as the technology improves. Since my kiddo no longer tries to tear up the paper on the table, now I just wait outside and get the report when we meet with the doctor :-).

  10. It’s wonderful to hear things are stable. I’m so happy for you guys. I love that the kids are playing dress up… and yes Max looks so grown up! xoxo glad to hear all is well. Go Rudy Go!!

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