Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24, 2009

Well, Birmingham didn't cancel us again, so Charlie finally got to catch up with his surgeon, David Barron.
It was nice to see Mr Barron again, and strange to think that Charlie was only five months old the last time he saw him. (Even stranger was sitting in the little room pictured above, remembering that the last time I sat in there, Charlie hadn't been born yet, and we were discussing plans for his first surgery!)
Mr Barron was very happy with how Charlie's doing - his size, his sats, his heart function, etc.
Although obviously there are no guarantees, he was confident that everything should be pretty straightforward with regard to Charlie's surgery, and said that we should bank on him being in hospital for about a fortnight, all being well.
Charlie will end up having three general anaesthetics in the space of a few days, because he will probably have another cardiac catheter the day he's admitted, just to check things are still as they were last time. He will then have his Fontan surgery the next day, at which time all the wiring will be put in for his pacemaker.
Then, three or four days later, the actual pacemaker will be fitted, under the muscle in Charlie's tummy, so he'll have another small scar there too.
Charlie's oxygen saturations are currently at about 80-82%, but post-Fontan it is hoped that his sats will be at least 92%, which is amazing.
So... the key question, is when?
Mr Barron told us that Charlie is fast approaching the top of the waiting list, so his operation will be within the next month or so.
We will receive a letter in the next week or so with a date for surgery, which will probably be three or four weeks after the date of the letter. So it's looking like it will be the end of February, or possibly the beginning of March.
Admittedly, it was a pretty big 'gulp' moment when we realised the Fontan would be within the next month or so, but in another way, it's quite nice to think that, all being well, it should all be done and dusted by Easter.
Mr Barron said that Charlie should be well enough to return to school six weeks post-op, which is much sooner than we'd anticipated - although obviously this will depend on how Charlie is feeling - the six week figure is purely when his sternum will be properly healed.
Charlie was pleased to see Mr Barron, and to have his questions answered. He's being very philosophical about his upcoming surgery - although he is understandably a bit wary about how much it might hurt, he's looking forward to be able to run faster and for longer without getting so puffed out. (And he's looking forward to choosing his long-promised guinea pig/s once he's home and settled again!)
That's about it for now - I'm in mad organisational mode already, cleaning the house frantically, making lists all over the place and trying to organise haircuts, dentist and doctor appointments. We've got a really busy few weeks ahead, even without all the pre-op planning - Pete's away pretty well all week again, still playing catch-up after the snow, we're away next weekend and Charlie's social life is hectic too. We're hoping to get away for half-term, so hopefully the operation date will be after that.
Still, better to be busy than sitting pondering, I suppose. I'll keep you posted when we hear from the hospital.

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