The good news about Namine’s heart cath is that the results are quite positive. The things her doctors feared do not exist, or are minor enough to not be cause for alarm – but more on that in a bit. The bad news – if it can be called that – is that she has been admitted, and will be kept overnight for observation.
I say that being kept overnight may not be a bad thing because it was our call – mine and Jessica’s. Both the doctor who performed the cath and the cardiologist believed her fit to go home, as soon as she was weaned off of the sedation and was comfortable eating once again. But she was a little (perhaps more a lot than a little) too puffy for our liking, so we opted to have her admitted. I’m a firm believer in erring on the side of caution.
There were several things to watch out for during the cath, aside from the typical stuff (I am loathe to ever think of a heart cath as “typical”) like blood pressure inside the heart and arteries; things particular to a Glen patient. A major indication of needing the Fontan sooner rather than later would be the narrowing of arteries and veins, but Namine’s cath has none. I also learned a new word: angiogenesis.
Angiogenesis is the idea that the body will grow entirely new blood vessels from existing blood vessels. The body does this in response to a blockage, for example; it will grow new vessels and reconnect to the intended organ downstream. These new vessels are called collateral vessels. (To be perfectly honest, this blew my mind. It still does.)
In Glen patients, collateral vessels can occur in a couple places. If this were to occur in the superior vena cava, it would mean a (possibly dangerous) drop in the blood’s oxygen saturation. Fortunately, Namine does not have venal collaterals. Collaterals can also occur on the pulmonary artery, and the impact of saturation can depend on the density of the newly formed vessels. Namine does have PA collaterals, but they are fortunately too fine (think fine hair compared to coarse hair) to make much of an impact on her sats.
Namine is still sedated now, but the nurse is (even as I type this) turning down the medication, so she should start to wake up on her own in about a half hour to 45 minutes.