After his initial release from the hospital one month after birth, we had to bring Eric back down to the hospital for a checkup. One month after his release, his cardiologist was very alarmed that the pressure in the right side of his heart had doubled. This was a very dangerous pressure. A Cath Lab was immediately scheduled, as they were going to hospitalize him immediately, to go into his heart (a wire that is threaded through his body from the groin area into the heart) to see if/what the obstruction is, calculate pressures, take pictures, etc. The goal of the Cath Lab was to reduce the pressure inside the heart. If it didn’t work, it would mean immediate heart surgery… again.
Due to insurance problems, we weren’t able to hospitalize Eric because he’d be waiting for the Cath Lab — the first appointment was almost a week later. Having gotten clearance to go home, we left and waited for the lab the following week on November 22, 2013.
I, the mother, had to go down with him ALONE because my husband had to work. I left the night before, did not sleep and proceeded to take him at 6:00 a.m. I don’t remember much because I was so exhausted, but I do remember waiting with Eric in my arms by the bed that would be his for surgery. It was at intake.
The sweet nurses, doctors and anesthesiologists allowed me to gown up and walk him to the Cath Lab myself. They are such friendly people. They bend over backwards to make me feel safe and confident that they know what they’re doing. I really adore his anesthesiologist. I don’t know his name, but I need to find out. As I walked into the Cath lab, I remember stopping momentarily as I took in the room. Large equipment everywhere… feeling overwhelmed that all this would be used on the tiny child in my arms. There was also a room that reminded me of a sound booth you would see at plays. I was told to lay Eric in the center of all of it.
And, of course, he started crying… which broke my heart.
But then the anesthesiologist put the mask over his tiny face and I watched as his body became limp, and the crying ceased. Tears poured from my eyes at this point. But, in the midst of my despair, the anesthesiologist, like he always has, stopped what he was doing, leaned over and looked into my eyes, and with all seriousness said, “We will take very good care of him.”
With a nod of my head, he handed me Eric’s clothes, and I was escorted from the surgical area.
I waited for over an hour before they were done and before I could talk to the doctor. Everything had gone well, but most likely, he’d need a Glenn (the next surgery) soon.
From there I was escorted to post op, where Eric lay sleeping. Having not eaten in 24 hours nor slept in 24 hours, the nurses insisted I sleep and set me up on a pull out chair beside his bed. They also gave me some crackers. I told them the funny story, at least it was to me, about the time I was at his bedside in the CVICU and nearly passed out from my blood sugar plummeting (not having eaten in forever.) It was funny to me at the time that I, not the patients, was needing medical attention.