Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Day After

As always, there is good news and bad news.  Bad news first because there is less of it and it's basically over now.

Last night Sam did the impossible: he threw up...twice.  It's not entirely accurate to say that it's impossible; improbable is more accurate.  You see, as a result of his Nissen fundiplication, he should not be able to throw up.  That means that there was a lot of pressure in his tummy forcing out formula.  Basically, we think that Sam has limited gastrointestinal motility as a result of the anesthesia used in his procedure.  In real words, that means he can't poop just yet.  His gut needs to "reawaken."  So...we had some moments of drama before realizing that we can't feed him quite as aggressively as we normally do.  For a while, I thought that might keep us in hospital an extra day or two, but that leads me to the good news...

Evidently, this is a pretty common side effect of anesthesia, not to mention relatively short lived.  Now, trying to pin down a precise answer from doctors is like trying to herd cats, but we managed to wrangle out a rough time frame.  These symptoms should subside in the next 1-3 days, and, until then, we need only to be more conservative regarding the speed with which we feed him.  As long as we do that, we (read: Sam!) should be fine.  So, in short, they let us go...as of half an hour ago, we're home!  Hooray!

More importantly, the cath doctor was relatively optimistic about the results of the procedure.  Sam had both an x-ray and an echo today to check the results of the balloon plasties, and the docs liked what they saw.  Of course they cannot make any promises, but they are optimistic about the implications of Sam's cath.  They feel that the SVC narrowing has been significantly redressed, to the point where, had he not been a great candidate before, he now is likely to be a good candidate for his Fontan procedure (which he is slated to get when he weighs on the order of 30 lbs).  They also liked what they saw with his descending aortic arch narrowing; as a result of the plasty he now has less pressure differential in the different veins and arteries and stronger, more pulsatile pulses in the areas past the arch.  These are good things.  And while there are no guarantees that these interventions will be permanently efficacious, their effects are promising.  Perhaps we've simply bought another year before he needs another cath, but as Kristin and I were reminded of the difficulty of day-to-day living in the hospital, that year is likely to be wonderfully spent at home with a happy, chunky little boy.

So...as always thank you for caring to follow along; any strength we possess is largely due to the strength of the support we have around us.  Thank you also to the amazing doctors at Children's.  Here are a couple more pictures for you as I go back into turtle mode: I hope you all have as much to be thankful for this week as we do!

Grandpa sharing a Thanksgiving turkey with Sam!

Home & happily sitting in Daddy's chair


  1. What a sweet little man Sam is! We are keeping Sam in our prayers. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your precious Sam.

    The Daniels Family

  2. So glad you were able to go home even with the difficulties, which prayfully are short-lived. Blessings abound, with much to be thankful for. NKL

  3. Hooray!! Home!! And success!! That's wonderful. As we enjoyed the experience of The Lion King onstage last night, all of us kept thinking of "Sam the Lion" - and his real-life incredible bravery, good spirits, and general glow that stretches out to brighten the lives of so many of us. Not bad for someone only 8 months old. A standing ovation from the Drowns! :)

  4. Hooray for Sam to be home with his loving family on his first Thanksgiving. We hang on every word you both write about Sam. He's beautiful. Love, Penny & Jay

  5. I was so happy to hear it went well. I thought of all of you on Thanksgiving, and you all made it to our table when we went around to share what we feel thankful for this last year. So glad you all are in my life!

  6. Hi Kristin and Jason Leclaire! =) My name's Camila and I'm from Brazil... I was searching about the HLHS and I found your story, it's a beautiful story... I dont speak english very well... buy i'm praying for your baby! Good Luck!

  7. What a cutie! I'm so happy to hear that the recent surgery went well and that you're all back home enjoying your time with the little man.

    Erin Grantham

  8. Mrs. Leclaire,
    I cant help but feel so happy reading these blogs!! It's been a few months since the last time I checked up on you and your husbands blog, and I'm soo glad to see that everything is going well! I miss you so much and am wishing you the best wishes!!
    Peyton Munn

  9. Tammi T. (mom to an HLHS boy)January 6, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    It has been a while since I checked on Sam. The last few times I checked, the post was when he had a visit with a "friend" of similar age; however long ago that was. I know it has been several months.

    My oldest son (age 9) has continued to pray for Sam (or as he sometimes still calls him - "Baby Wolfie") on a regular basis. I've prayed for him, too, but usually in a more general way. I'll need to add him back to my daily prayer list.

    It sounds like he did well with his cath and I'm glad they were able to fix most of what was concerning them. Will continue to pray that Sam can avoid any major heart surgeries for a while. When will you know if he is a canadite for the Fontan? If he isn't, will the next option be a heart transplant?

    Sam sure looks healthy and happy. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and may 2012 be filled with lots of wonderful times together.