Monday, June 20, 2011


Magnus had his 18-month pediatrician's check-up today (although yesterday was his 19 month birthday). Although the scale said he had lost a couple of ounces from earlier this month in the hospital (I think the hospital scale is just a little heavier), he is still on the growth charts for both height and weight!

We asked the nurse to measure his oxygen sats while we were there, and they were 89-90% with oxygen on, and 84-85% with it off. I think both those numbers were probably artificially high (sat monitors have dubious reliability in general), we were very happy with those numbers. I never updated the blog about this, but shortly after Magnus got out of the hospital, I finally got to talk to his cardiologist about the possibility of coming off oxygen. She wanted him to stay on it for a few weeks after the cath to adjust to his new circulation after having all those collaterals coiled off, but she hinted that if his sats looked good at his next cardiology appointment, which is on July 11th, it was a possibility. Keep your fingers crossed...

One unfortunate aspect of today's appointment was that it was all too clear that Magnus had learned from his last hospitalization that those people in scrubs are NOT his friends. He sobbed while the nurse measured and weighed him and I had to put the sat probe on him because he wouldn't let the nurse do it. He was actually pretty good with the doctor, though, until she tried to use the dreaded stethoscope on him. Probably because she wasn't wearing scrubs. It didn't help that he had to get a shot today, but it was only one. All in all, it was not a bad visit.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


We are home.

Magnus slept reasonably well (by hospital standards) last night, but when he wasn't asleep, he clearly did not feel good. This morning, he was very fussy, insisted on being held all the time, and tried to swat away the nurses whenever they came close to take his temperature or listen to his heart! So, needless to say, we were relieved to be discharged, and since getting home, Magnus has definitely perked up, although he's not back to his normal self yet, and probably won't be for a few days.

Our regular cardiologist stopped by this morning to talk to us; she had only briefly read an e-mail from the cath doctor, and when I asked her about discontinuing oxygen, she said that since what we're doing is working, it didn't make sense to her to stop. Needless to say, I was not too happy to hear this. However, she agreed to talk to the cath doctor and make a final decision after reviewing everything more fully. So, fingers crossed that he talks some sense into her, or at least that we get some sort of reprieve from 24-hour-a-day oxygen, like maybe only at night. So, for now, we are back on oxygen (they had actually taken him off it in the hospital, and then he had to go back on it to go home, which is the opposite of how it usually works!)

Iggy is watching Magnus, and next on my agenda is to squeeze in a shower and a nap, and then I have to teach a class tonight; it's the first class of the summer semester, so I should try to be at least somewhat coherent and not scare off all my students!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Did I mention?

...that Magnus's weight puts him in the tenth percentile for his age?

This is the first time since he was born that he's been on the growth charts!

In recovery

Magnus is technically in "recovery," although the pediatric recovery room closes at 5 so he is physically in the pediatric cardiac ICU instead. That's fine with us because it's nice and quiet in here and we got to visit with some of our old nurses who saw us through his first two surgeries.

Magnus is groggy and pretty unhappy, but looks good.

Not much else to add, but one thing I thought was funny: the head cath doctor thought that Magnus was 2! I'm pretty sure this is officially the first time he has been mistaken for older than he really is.

Moving in the right direction

Just got to talk to the doc and get confirmed details.

Basically, although there was not a dramatic improvement in his pressures, everything is moving in the right direction. Magnus has not grown any new collaterals, and they clamped off 6 today. Most excitingly, there is talk of taking him off oxygen and he gets to stop taking Plavix! And it looks like we'll be going home tomorrow a.m.

Gotta run and see him!

They're done

Iggy just called up and they're finished in the cath lab. We're going to meet up with the head cath Dr. in about 15 minutes to discuss how things went and where we go from here. I may not be able to update for a while, though, because hopefully after that we'll get to go to recovery and see Magnus.

Pretty good news

Just called the cath lab, they said Magnus is doing well, that his pressures are lower than last time (!!!!!) and they are still coiling off collateral veins. I don't know how significant the improvement is, but thank god it's not bad news. They are coiling off a lot of collateral veins and said they'd be in there at least another hour.

Lots of happy tears after getting off the phone, and my heart no longer feels like it's going to pound right out of my chest. But we still have to talk to the docs and figure out where we go from here.

Still no news

Still haven't heard anything from the cath lab. I'm trying not to read into that one way or another. If they finished up really fast, though, that would probably be bad and mean that his pressures were too high for them to be able to do anything. Taking a long time could also be bad, though. Like I said, I'm trying not to read too much into it (and not being very successful).

Iggy and I are hanging out at the library. If you ever need to wait for someone having surgery or something at UCSF, the library is the best place to do it, especially now that they have wireless access here (they used to have it only for students & employees). The library has beautiful views, comfy chairs, it's nice and quiet, and it's right across the street. Yay library.

Just dropped off

We finally brought Magnus up to the cath lab around 1:30, and are now eating lunch.

This morning actually went pretty smoothly, except when they tried and failed (but only once) to put in an IV and when they put him under with gas for the cath. Magnus was otherwise in good spirits and charmed everyone. We were also impressed that he now weighs 10.3 kilos (about 22.5 lbs). At the end of March he had just barely cracked 20 lbs, so that is very good gain.

I am having some trouble with hospital internet access so updates may be sporadic.

We don't expect to hear anything from the cath lab for a while; they said that we should call them if we don't hear anything by 4:30. Will let you know more as I am able!