I think there’s consensus on the fact that Rudy is a superhero, but I’m not sure everyone grasps the full extent of his superpowers. Lately, I’ve been studying one carefully as it boggles the mind…he seems impervious to unbelieveable dips in his oxygen sats.
For those of you who aren’t heart parents or pulse oximetry geeks, normal oxygen saturation levels in humans are 92-100%. If you dip below 90% you get put on continuous oxygen. When normal humans get below 80%, function can become drastically impaired. Not much farther below that and they start to turn blue.
As an HLHS parent, you’re told that your child will have sats in the 70s and 80s prior to the Glenn. Rudy needs continuous oxygen to stay at that level, but the docs have told us that there’s no need to get neurotic if tanks run out, the power goes out and the concentrator doesn’t run (like it did last week), or we need to give him his bath. It’s not devastating for him to drop below that level for a period of time. We check sats regularly just to keep an eye on things and this is where Rudy’s superpower becomes evident. This week, I brought him in from the car and decided to check his sats while the concentrator warmed up. Here’s what I observed:
Good heart rate of 125. O2 sats of 35!!! Pink as can be. Smiling and laughing away. How does DeSat Boy do it? (Yes, it’s reading right). I’m expecting calls shortly from NASA and an Everest expedition or two as I’m sure they’ll be curious as to why they all need supplemental oxygen to function (pansies) while Rudy keeps right on giggling.
Fly on, DeSAT Boy!