October 27, 2011

Day 16

Well....nothing exciting today. Samuel has been in 1st degree heart block since yesterday afternoon. This is what it is called when his heart rate drops to those low numbers, but he is still fine otherwise. It's different from the complete (stage 3) heart block he was in for the first week post op. It's better...but still not our ticket out of the hospital. He's managed to tolerate this slow rhythm for a variety of reasons. In fact, some children are born with this kind of block and it only gets monitored periodically. However, since this was not the initial situation for Samuel and came about as a result of the surgery, it indicates some kind of injury was done to his electrical system during the operation. This many days post-op, it's not likely to be a swelling issue anymore.

During rounds this morning, the doctors started talking about a pacemaker again. The cardiologist and the attending doctor were leaning towards putting it in now. They wanted to discuss it with the other cardiologist and the surgeons, so they said they'd come back this afternoon. Shortly before Travis and I switched off, the attending came in to talk about it. He said the surgeons would like to wait and see a little longer. They were encouraged by the 24 hour periods we'd had with a sinus rhythm and felt it couldn't hurt to see if Samuel was in that small percentage of kids who regained total function in the 14+ day range post-op. The other doctors were still in favor of going ahead and giving him a pacemaker, even if it ends up being just a backup for him.

This decision is such a hard one to make for them. I can follow along with the logic behind them both. However, emotionally, it is so draining to feel like we are caught in this tug-of-war between them. I 100% don't want this pacemaker surgery. But. I also would like to bring my baby home, soon and safely.

Maybe what's more draining is dealing with my own internal tug-o-war over this decision I ultimately won't have much influence on. I want them to do what is best for Samuel. We may be putting in a pacemaker at the beginning of next week. We may not. We may be stuck in the ICU for weeks. We may not.

We are hoping for some more clarity tomorrow. Pray for patience and wisdom as we all struggle with making this decision.

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