Ultrasound image of Apollo at 9 weeks 5 days.
Take a look at that…my sweet Apollo, nine weeks post-conception. Do you know, that by this time in gestation, Apollo’s heart had already take a wrong turn? It boggles my mind to even think about it. His double aortic arch was already in the making here as the arteries that should have regressed and disappeared never did. Prenatally it wasn’t a problem…he didn’t need his trachea to breathe or his esophagus to swallow. But after he was born and as he grew, his heart slowly began to strangle him…
Our conversation with the cardiothoracic surgeon down at Children’s on Friday was very productive. He was thorough, concise and utterly unrushed. In fact, he told us he had “all the time in the world” to discuss it with us. We spent well over an hour going over Apollo’s current and pre-surgery anatomy and physiology.
I won’t go into the all the details here, they’re way too complicated anyway. Even the doctors aren’t 100% sure what is going on inside his chest. They know he had a double aortic arch, they know that the first surgery should have resolved his swallowing issues, and they know he no longer has a functioning left subclavian artery. They know it did function pre-surgery. They know he has a diverticulum still pushing on things.
They think he may have scar tissue (from the first surgery) now compressing his esophagus and trachea. The doctor yesterday said if he were to go in and re-operate he would be meticulous and remove every bit of scar tissue he could. He said he wouldn’t leave anything that might possibly cause issues in the future.
March 7, 2012
It’s a leap of faith to put such amount of trust in a doctor. To hand you child over to another person you have just met and trust their abilities with you child’s very life…and I can tell you it’s even harder the second time around.
We were told the first time the surgery wouldn’t “fix” him but it would “remove the problem”. Except it didn’t. And now we face heart surgery again, this time trying to make an informed decision about where to have it done and who will be helping.
How do we choose? How do we decided? Who’s the best person for the job? As the surgeon said Friday, there is no logical way to make the decision. And no truly “right” answer. I will say, Seattle Children’s Hospital has been wonderful in supporting us as we make our decision. We feel no pressure to have it done here and know we have the doctors/hospitals full support for Apollo’s follow-up care if we decide to go out-of-state.
Do we stay here? Go to Texas, or Boston or Philadelphia or Cincinnati?
We just don’t know.