Thursday, September 6, 2012

Seth has a setback

Hey, this is Randy . . .

Well, Seth had his first post-op check-up since leaving the hospital 2 months ago. Unfortunately, the news was not good. It was his second trip to the doctor today, so I'll start with the first.

A few weeks ago, I noticed an irregularity on Seth's lower back. It looked like a tiny hole just below his waist band. I mentioned it to our pediatrician, and it turned out to be a sacral dimple. I'd never heard of this problem, but apparently it's not all that uncommon. It could mean anything from "no problem" to a distant cousin of spina bifida known as a tethered spinal cord in which the spinal cord is attached to the skin on the lower back. This is unrelated to coarctation.
Seth was great for his ultrasound even though he laid on his tummy for 20 minutes.
This morning Seth had an imaging done of the affected area and got the "all clear." His sacral dimple shouldn't affect his future in any way. Apparently people are walking around all over with this thing.

He even fell asleep after she wrapped him in a hospital towel. So comfy.
This afternoon at the coarctation check-up we got the bad news. The first thing they did was take Seth's blood pressure in his arms and legs. This is the easiest way to detect a narrow aorta. There is not supposed to be a difference of more than 10 in the systolic pressure. Seth's difference was around 35. That was a bad sign. The nurse brought the doctor in to double check everything. He noticed the same problem when he did the blood pressures without the machine and also heard a murmur. They continued with the echo to see what the problem was. Of course, the aorta has narrowed again for no known reason. The saddest part was Seth smiling and cooing at all the nurses, totally oblivious to the fact that our hearts were being broken all over again. We were totally unprepared for this news. He seems like a perfectly healthy child.

Seth has decided he likes to suck his thumb. It helped him relax during the echocardiogram.

The tech stepped aside so I could snap this picture of Seth sleeping during the echo.

Isn't he precious? He was amazing through all his tests.

So now, we go back to Primary Children's Hospital. He won't go through open heart surgery, but an angioplasty. This means they'll put a catheter through his arteries starting in his leg and use a balloon in an attempt to widen the aorta. He should only have to stay one night, but he will be completely under anesthesia. The coarctation isn't as severe this time, so Seth does not appear to be in any danger, and they hope this will solve the problem.

Still, we thought we were in the clear. It seems we're not finished yet.

So happy to be home!


  1. I am so sorry, poor little guy. Let us know, anything that you need.

  2. Sweet boy. Praying for you and Seth with the angioplasty. Our Abby has had to be under anesthesia a couple of times, and though I didn't love it, the hope of resolution is definitely strengthened because of it. Hugs!

  3. Love you guys. Let us know whatever you need.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear this. He is such a cutie! I will be praying for you guys. Do you need somewhere for the boys to hang out while you are up at Primary Children's again. We would love to have them!

  5. He is just too cute to have all of this happening! Those pictures make me cry. Love you!

  6. He is so cute! I'm sorry to hear that he has more problems. What a trooper though. Let us know if we can help.

  7. I'm so sorry that this isn't over yet for you guys. He is so sweet and cute!


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