Angioplasty Widens the Femoral Artery

We arrived at Children's ready for Kalvin's angioplasty procedure on his left femoral artery.  It was a little unsettling to see the hospital surrounded by police officers and fire trucks.  And a lobby filled with doctors and nurses who were being evacuated.  Not at all the calming effect we were use to when entering the lobby of our favorite hospital. Read more on the calming effect of Children's.

Kalvin squeezed my hand a little tighter and asked what was going on.  I had no idea.  We asked one of the officers.  Code Red we were told.  Interesting that when we were here last week for our pre-op there was a Code Blue.  In all nine years we've been coming to Children's, we have never experienced a Code of any color.

In the Pre-Op Holding Pod Kalvin entertained us all.

First with his jokes.  He loves the nurses.

Then he became a little more creative with his entertainment.

This is Doggie he is holding.  He has been with Kalvin since he was born.


Funny faces.

Eye play.

Silly ways to pass the time and ease the worry.

Finally, we were moved down to the Interventional Radiology Pre-Surgical area. 
Where a Red Sox balloon was waiting for us.  Kalvin was tickled by this gesture.

They really do think of everything.

Kalvin looking up at his balloon.

Kalvin playing with the lucky bean.  I talked about this lucky bean here.

Kalvin starting to get very nervous.  He would flop down on the stretcher and say, "Just kill me.  I am going to die so let's get it over with!"  It was a long morning. 

We were waiting for the doctor.  We were waiting for the time to come when Kalvin would be wheeled away.  It is always the hardest part of the day.  For everyone.

While Kalvin was in surgery, we ventured down to the cafeteria.  This cart is run by a robot and it moves the patient's meals from the cafĂ©. 
 It was a long wait.  Sheila is the nurse liaison for the operating rooms. 
 She was the nurse liaison when Kalvin had his open heart surgery on May 27, 2005. 
She looks exactly the same.  She has a warm smile and a genuine interest in your child and how you, the parent,  are coping.  She has a direct line to each OR. 
I can remember waiting while Kalvin was having open heart surgery in 2005. 
I reached a point when I just couldn't stand waiting to hear from the OR one more second.
  I jumped up and ran to Sheila's office and pleaded with her to call the OR. 
 It had been too long in between communications and I was just sure
 something had gone terribly wrong.  It was Sheila who comforted me. 
 You don't ever forget that face or that voice. 
 I see her now and we are connected.  Like family. 
 Like a favorite Aunt you may only see every five years, but you share a strong bond with. 

In the recovery area Kalvin's heart rate was giving him some trouble.  You can see it on the monitor beating at 112.  It should be around 86.  It reached as high as 122. 
 Remember, we are monitor watchers. 

He slept in the recovery area for much longer this time. 
The whole team was great at making Kalvin very comfortable this time. 
 I guess when you are a frequent flyer, they know how to treat you. 
They administered anti-nausea medicine in the OR and then again in Recovery. 
They kept him sleeping much longer this time in Recovery
because they knew he had so much trouble lying still last time. 
It was much better than in January.

We spent the night on the cardiac floor.  Kalvin was very excited that the Red Sox had a rain delay which allowed us to catch a lot of the game in his room. A gift from above. 
Sports, again, the great distraction. 

The Interventional Radiologist was able to maneuver the wire through Kalvin's femoral artery and widen it or should I say "open it" as it was basically closed.  He said "off the record" that he would estimate he now has the equivalence of 300 times more blood flow to his lower left leg.  The Good Doctor was not sure how long the artery will remain open this wide.  It could be six months or six years.  Time will tell.  The artery will be monitored by ultra sounds for the near future. More on Kal's leg here.

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