Friday, November 11, 2011

Pre-op testing

Our Thursday was spent with making sure everything is ready to go for the surgery next Tuesday.  It was a long day: we arrived at the hospital at 830 in the morning and left at around 330 in the afternoon.

Brea is an excellent patient.  She is very good at sitting still for her ekg and echo which she routinely has every three months or so.   On top of that today, she also had blood taken (there was not one tear) and had a chest xray.  She also had three exams and we talked to a lot of doctors, answering and asking a lot of questions.

There are three particular areas where we would really appreciate prayer:

The first is that everything is ready to go for the surgery on Tuesday provided that no one gets sick between now and then.  We would appreciate your prayers that all of us (especially Brea) would stay in good health to not jeopardize the surgery.

The second is related to there being two possible approaches for the Fontan surgery.  In version one they use a gore-tex tube to attach the inferior vena cava to the pulmonary artery outside of the heart.  In version two they run the inferior vena cava through the atrium and into the pulmonary artery.   In recent times, Dr Q. has been preferring version one.  He would like to use version one on Brea, but because of her dextrocardia, he will not know until he opens her up whether there will be enough room to run the gore-tex tube outside of her heart.  We would appreciate your prayers that despite her dextrocardia there will be enough room to run the gore-tex tube outside of her heart.

The third is due to them imposing a low fat diet on Brea from Sunday.  One of the big challenges in the recovery of these kids in having excess fluids drain from their lungs.  I didn't understand the reasoning behind it, but one of the biggest culprits are fats building up in her lungs.  One way to help drain the fats is to have very little fat moving around her system in the first place.  From Sunday, Brea and by extension the rest of us, are moving to a low-fat diet where she cannot exceed 10g of fat a day.  A few of her favourite foods, like peanut butter and full fat milk/yogurt/cheese are included on the no-eat list.  It will also make it very difficult to eat any meals that we do not prepare ourselves.  We would appreciates prayers that Brea will enjoy her new diet, and that it will not be too difficult finding and preparing the meals. 

On a lighter note: at one point during the day while we were in the heart centre waiting room, Brea walked over and picked up one of the sheets of paper they have out for kids to draw on.  She then proceeded to sit at the table, and use the crayons to colour it in.  Bronwyn and I didn't think much of it, because she likes to colour in.  However, after she finished she walked up to the receptionists desk which had around 50 similar pieces of paper attached to it (coloured in by older kids).  She found an empty spot and tried to stick the piece of paper beside the other ones.  The receptionist came to her aid with some sellotape to officially add her artwork to the collection.

To go along with the previous photo, here is (i) a photo of Fleur at a similar age to the one of Brea, and (ii) a recent photo of Brea in Montreal:

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