Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I have good news and bad news tonight. The good news is that Will continues to do really well, keeping his oxygen high, getting rid of excess fluid and digesting his food. The bad news is that his PDA has returned. We thought this had been dealt with a couple of weeks ago after his last course of indomethacin, but the duct opened up again. I won't explain here what that entails; click here to read about the initial diagnosis. Why did it re-open? Who knows. His doctor tonight said he gave up trying to predict what Will is going to do because he just seems to follow his own course.

To deal with the PDA, they have scheduled him for surgery on Thursday afternoon. The surgery entails making a small incision on the left side of his back just under the arm. They will gently spread a couple of his ribs apart, and then close the duct with a stitch or by placing a small clamp on it. The doctors have explained that Will's heart is about the size of the tip of your pinkie finger, and the duct is a tiny vessel coming off of that. So, it's a delicate procedure, but one they already have done successfully on two other babies here just in the time Will has been in the NICU. They will do the surgery right in his room so he won't go through the trauma of being moved, and the whole thing from the time we leave the room until we can come back to see him will be about three hours. An hour or so of that is actual surgery time. He will be sedated with morphine for pain and a muscle relaxant to keep him still.

Back to the good news: Because Will is doing well, it means he is in a much better place when facing this surgery than he was two or three weeks ago when they first mentioned it. He is bigger, he is doing more breathing on his own and he recovers much more quickly from stimulation at this point. We're scared about this procedure, but he is tough, and needs to get this problem behind him once and for all so he can continue growing.

We have been told that he'll have a very rough couple of days of recovery after the surgery, so we need to work hard to remember his good days and know that this is all on the path to getting back to having them more consistently. Assuming he stays where he is now up until the surgery, that will be easy to do.

So, that rollercoaster keeps roaring along. We just grab on tight and ride it, hoping that someday soon someone will flip the lights back on and let us off of this thing. We appreciate the fact that so many people are willing to hop on and ride it vicariously with us through this site. I'll try to keep this updated as much as possible, but the next few days might be a bit sporadic. My sole focus is going to be on Will.


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