Yesterday’s appointment with Dr. Harake was full of smiles as Rudy’s echo, once again, looked solid and his O2 sats registered at 85%! (Rudy always has high sats in the cardiologist’s office…they must pump extra O2 through the office air vent system or something) Yesterday’s appointment also marked our last scheduled doctor appointment before Christmas which means Rudy’s singing “I’ll be home for Christmas…” and I’m looking forward to a respite from medical offices for a couple of weeks. I did, however, look ahead to my January calendar and realized the week of the 5th has an appointment each day of that week including a trip to UCLA to see the pulmonologist! Oh well, that’s next year…we’ll hit 2010 running! Ha 🙂 You know what they say…”New year, new out-of-pocket maximum!”
After talking with the team at UCLA, Dr. Harake feels our next step is to schedule a heart cath for Rudy in mid-January which will give everyone involved detailed information on which to base their decisions regarding the Glenn. Rolf and I feel great about this plan and although the heart catheterization is an invasive procedure, we value deeply the information gained from it and appreciate the team taking measures to be as informed as possible before opening our little man up again.
We’re still having to suction Rudy pretty regularly…I’m wondering now if it’s not due to some bug as no other symptoms have surfaced but rather maybe because of changes in our weather (thicker marine layer, cooler temps at night) and also maybe because he is simply more active these days…awake for longer stretches of time and quite the vigorous kicker! Rudy received his 2nd H1N1 vaccination dose this week so I believe he is well protected from the flu now…the only vaccination he hasn’t been able to get yet is the one for RSV. His docs here in town hoped to start the 5 dose vaccination back in October but because of a hiccup in the authorization process, he still hasn’t gotten it! This was of concern to Dr. Harake and Dr. Abbott at this week’s appointments so superstar nurse Melody got on all the parties involved and it will hopefully be available the middle of next week. (Oops, I guess we do have a quick dr. visit next week afterall). It will be a relief to have that vaccination started as Dr. Harake has seen RSV undo in other patients the kind of progress Rudy has made…a foe Rudy just doesn’t have the reserve to fight at this point. So, we continue to pray diligently for a covering of protection for Rudy…may he be our spiritual “boy in the plastic bubble” until we get past the winter season.
Speaking of superstars, Nurse Elaine from Dr. Pornchai’s (UCLA pulmonologist) office has worked MANY hours on Rudy’s behalf trying to get a prescription for trach supplies filled by our friends at APRIA. Rolf and I have purposed to not use Rudysbeat as a laundry list of complaints and rants and thankfully, there has been very little about which to complain in our journey but the lack of follow through and chronic mistakes made by APRIA has gotten to the point where we’re asking oursleves “Are we on candid camera?”. If I were famous, I honestly would expect Ashton to pop out of the next APRIA delivery truck screaming “you’ve been punk’d man!! The prescription was actually originally written back in April by Rudy’s ENT doc, followed up by another prescription in July from his pediatrician and then in October by Dr. Pornchai!!! And, seriously, we’re not talking about random, obscure items here. Well, EUREKA!! This week we received a delivery from APRIA that included the HME trach filter we’ve been waiting for since April. I emailed nurse Elaine right away to tell her the good news and ask for specifics on how and when to use the filter, etc. “How long does the filter last?”, I wrote. “Filter?”, she responded, “Isn’t it ‘filterS’. You should use one filter a day…they should have sent you 30 – a month’s supply!”. OH MAN…another call to our helpful friends at (cr)APRIA!!!
As a result, Rudy has a unique Christmas list for Santa this year…with Apria’s current success rate at actually getting something right where Rudy is concerned, I have more faith in there really being a Santa Claus who keeps a well-stocked supply of medical equipment and supplies next to the warehouses of toys.
RUDY’s CHRISTMAS WISHLIST
1. A big, red ball 8fr red robinson catheters
2. A cuddly teddy bear sheets of pink poly-mem Quadrafoam
3. bb gun 10cc saline bullets
Ho, Ho, Ho!