Last weekend, Ellie and I headed to Va to meet baby Charlie and to have a quick visit.  We checked out the condo and got to spend quality time with Julie, Lily, and Greg (Lily is such happy content baby and she was all about giving Ellie kisses which she loved!)

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as well as Mj, Connor, and Dylan (who Ellie hasn’t stopped talking about).

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We had a visit with Charlie and got to have a cuddle.  He is such a cutie with chubby cheeks and loads of soft fuzzy hair.  He was one baby that actually looked like a boy.  So many don’t really look like girls or boys but he did.

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I keep expecting with each visit back to have it feel wierd or different.  It doesn’t, I just seem to fall right back into it.  What a nice weekend surrounded by friends and love.

The Heat is On

After waking this morning to the house thermostat saying it was 54 degrees INSIDE the house, I finally broke down and turned on the heat.  Now the house is nice and toasty even if it isn’t outside.

At least we have a nice fall view from our window:

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Salem

Before we headed to Boston this week we went to Salem, Mass for a fun day.   It was packed and pretty crazy.  Loads of people in witch’s hats and dressed up.

We walked through town, had lunch at a tavern and checked out the light house.  We even went by the House of Seven Gables.  I think I wouldn’t mind going back and exploring when it was back to it’s normal sleepy village self.

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Main Street Craziness

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Giant Pumpkins in the Tavern

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An unexpected butterfly

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Race Ya

Back Home

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We rolled out of the hospital and had barely passed the lights of Fenway when Ellie got sick all over the back of the car (another side effect of the medicine). Fortunately she hadn’t had more than water, a popsicle, and some crackers. She seemed to feeling much better by the time we got home so we let her have a cup of milk. After that came back up all over the couch, we decided it was time for bed. All things considered, though, she was pretty chipper as we tucked her in. She’s a trooper.

Have They Done the Tests Yet?

This is hilarious. No sooner did we publish that last post when she woke up after a long sleep. We gathered around her waiting for another possessed rampage and all we got were scrunched up eyes and the groggy query, “Have they done the tests yet?” Our daughter is back!

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Better yet, Ken had gone to the car to get the purple cup so all is right in her world now. She took a long drink of water and let us know, “Ahhh…that’s nice and cool.” I think she’s ready for an ice lolly and a DVD now.

My Purple Cup!!!

The photo of Sleeping Beauty here belies the hours of sedation-medication-induced fighting that followed Ellie’s return to the recovery ward. She was in good form coming out of sedation – kicking nurses, tearing at every wire attached to her with one hand while fending off Mummy and Daddy with the other hand all the while screaming, “I’m sooooo thirsthy! I want my purple sippy cup!” The offer of a paper cup from one of the nurses was met with a fleet foot and the battle cry, “No! Myyyyy cup!”

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Nurses and anesthetists were flying in and out of the room. I jumped in next to her and Ken eventually straddled her on the bed and pinned her down with her blanket. She’d then ease down and get sleepy only to pop back up writhing one minute later. This went on for hours subsiding a bit with each successive round until she finally gave up and slipped off to sleep.

She’s still sleeping now. Hopefully when she wakes up the effects of the medication will have worn off and we’ll get to go home. Fingers crossed.

All done

Good news. They’re all done and we should be able to go back and see Ellie soon. The short version is that, while the mean pressure gradient between the left atrium and the left ventricle is in the moderate to high range, the pressure in the left atrium is only mild to moderate (15mm Hg for those scoring at home). Consequently, the pressure in the pulmonary artery isn’t problematically high and there’s no pulmonary adema (extra fluid on the lungs).

Because the left-atrial pressure isn’t high and Ellie is asymptomatic (she’s gaining weight, she’s active and not frequently breathless), the doctors didn’t feel like it was worth taking the risk of ballooning her valve and possibly damaging it at this point. This is all good.

We might write up a more technical post as we sit around today. Chances are we’ll be able to go home tonight. Woo hoo!

In the Cath Lab

We checked into the hospital this morning at 8 a.m. Ellie got some stickers and some medicine to help her off to sleep. They just wheeled her back to the cath lab to get started.

It takes about an hour to get things set up – IVs in, etc. It then takes around another hour to do the cath when they’ll run the catheters through arteries in her groin and up into her heart. They’ll take a look around and measure the pressures in both her left ventricle and left atrium. After that, they’ll decide whether or not they want to do anything interventional.

We should have an update in around an hour. We’ll post again then.

The week to come – watch this space.

Tomorrow we are heading to Boston again.

In an attempt to make it a bit more fun, we decided to head up early tomorrow and stop by Salem Mass. After all it is the best time of the year to visit.

We have to be at the hospital bright and early Monday morning for Ellie’s pre – cath appointments. Tuesday we will be back at the hospital at 7 a.m. for the actual cardiac cath. We won’t know until they get in there on Tuesday if they will leave everything the way it is or try to balloon Elie’s mitral valve. Since we won’t have our cell phones on in the heart ward we will be updating everyone via this blog.

We will try to update regularly so everyone knows what is going on.

Let’s all hope and pray for short and sweet.

Pumpkin picking

Over the weekend we had a visit from Ken’s Dad and Stepmom. They got here on Thursday and Ken and his Dad left on Friday to got to NYC for a guys weekend. Judy stayed Friday to have a girls night with Ellie and I and left Sat. to go visit her sons. Everyone made it back Sunday afternoon in time for football and famous New Haven Pizza.

We all went up to the local orchard for our yearly pumpkin picking and to Lenny and Joe’s for yummy seafood on Thursday. It was a really fun visit.

Everyone left this morning and I am back at work today as well. Flying until Wed.
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