MONDAY, MAY 25, 2009 8:32 AM, CDT

Answers to questions for Lorraine!
How are you? How is Olin?
We are all doing much better. Moods in general are improving as the baby does. He’s still clearly in some pain when being repositioned, and he’s needing more than just tylenol to keep him comfortable, but he is significantly better since the chest tubes were removed. The right one went all the way from the lower border of his ribs to his clavicle. That would make me uncomfortable, too!

Did the the surgeon give you a report of what he did when he was performing the surgery? After the surgery, he told us there were ‘no surprises’. To me, that meant that he did exactly what he planned to and described to us earlier in the
week, which is close up the three holes he found.
Was the hole as big as they predicted or bigger?

Thanks to a very detailed echocardiogram (some pictures from which are apparently going to end up in a textbook), they already knew exactly how big the holes were.
Did they have to graft skin or did they just sew it up?

The VSD was closed with a gore-tex patch. The PFO was closed with a suture, and the PDA was closed with a tiny metal clip.
How long does it take to recover from this kind of surgery? Like how long will he
be in pain?

It will be six weeks for his sternum to heal before we can pick him up under the arms. Other than that, he will be able to return to his ‘normal’ activities as soon as he’s able. Dr. Schears was telling us yesterday that when older kids who can report how they feel have the surgery, they say the chest tubes hurt the worse. Once those are out, the pain is minimal.
Is his Liver any better? How are his lungs?

His liver ought to return to normal as the fluid balance in his body shifts to ‘normal’. His lungs were pretty messy for a few days, but have gotten steadily better as he’s been able to cough, cry and move better. He will continue to be on the Lasix for a month or two, probably, until the heart heals and the patch starts scabbing over.

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