All things told, Namine’s heart catheterization went well. The doctors were able to see what they wanted to see, and we were able to go home by evening. But now we have complications to deal with.
The optimal entry points for the cath are in Namine’s neck and leg. There is a fallback point of entry by her clavicle, but as using that has a higher risk, that will only be used if the first two fail. Fortunately, Namine was a fairly easy stick this time; they were able to get in and see her heart with no problems.
It turns out that yes, Namine does have collaterals, but nothing that required immediate intervention. After the procedure was over and Namine was in recovery, the surgeon showed us some of the video x-rays. I always find it fascinating to watch Namine’s heart in motion.
Namine remained in recovery, having been taken to her own room, for another couple hours. She didn’t have a fever, and as time passed she regained some of her appetite.
The next step, then, is to schedule the follow-up appointment with Namine’s cardiologist. Sufficient data has been collected on her heart and the surrounding arteries and veins; now, we decide on the date of surgery. It is the opinion of the surgeon – and we agree – that Namine is in no dire need of surgery. But if Namine’s cardiologist agrees with us, as he did before the cath, that she is a good candidate for surgery, then we will proceed with scheduling the Fontan for sometime this summer anyway.
Namine is not in immediate need of the Fontan now, but who is to say that she will remain so for another whole year? We would prefer to be in control of when to operate, as we are now, rather than be at the mercy of her body’s unpredictable need. We would also rather her take this year off and start school next year, when she will be at a significantly lower risk of missing school due to surgery.
This morning, however, Namine developed an extremely high fever – 102.7 – so Jessica took Namine into the ER. We had been warned of a post-op fever; something in the 99-100 range was to be expected, but something lasting longer than a couple days or something extremely high, like she has had today, needed to be investigated immediately.
After visits from multiple doctors and nurses (including the head of Special Needs), an IV, and several blood tests, they’ve determined that Namine’s fever is just a side-effect of the anesthesia she got yesterday. They’ve admitted her, though, because she’s still not drinking or eating enough to send her home. Since being brought up, they’ve had a couple x-rays of her chest done. We’re waiting for her food to be brought up now.