Saturday, October 2, 2010


Wednesday this week (I feel like a huge slacker- we’ve just been enjoying our hospital-free time!) Piper had her follow-up with the Heart Institute to get her stitches removed and to give her another check.

Kind of ironic that heart problems were the one thing we thought we had gotten out of, and we find ourselves in Cardiology…

Anyway, we started out downstairs and did a repeat chest x-ray since the one she had the morning she was discharged showed that her alveoli weren’t fully inflated (which was the suspected culprit of her needing the O2 when she slept). 

We got upstairs to the Heart Institute for her appointment.  The first nurse we met with was super nice.  They took her measurements (the height growth spurt continues!  Up to 26.5”) and checked her out on the pulse ox (up to 98%!  Her high when we discharged was more like 94%, again because she wasn’t breathing as deeply as she should be).  She took us to a room and we waited for another nurse.  The second lady had the excitement level of my wooden fence outside.  Is that mean?

Of course, the visit started with Piper showing off how little the surgery has affected her ability to do complicated yoga stances.  The nurse, who wasn’t overly impressed (lol), took out her three stitches, which has to feel better.  On the top and bottom of the incision, they had little stitches, under which they put a little metal clamp to keep it from sinking in to the skin.  Totally makes sense, but had to feel even better to get removed.  She did pretty good with them, but the top one bugged her and bled some.  I’m glad to have it over!

Her xray looked perfect, which makes me think that her O2 levels should be better all around. 

I talked to the nurse a little bit about what I can and can’t do with Piper.  I told her about my dilemma in the learning to walk thing; she said that they really hate to limit post-operative activities when it means hindering developmental milestones.  In other words, she wouldn’t say that it’d probably be okay, but if we did happen to catch her under her armpits, it wouldn’t be life-altering.  I still haven’t quite gotten the nerves up to try it much; still gives me the willies… 

Then she said that we were free-and-clear from Cardiology- whew!  I kind of figured they’d want to see her before they gave her the okay to return to normal in 6 weeks.  NOT that I’m complaining about one less doctor’s appointment.

Piper’s really starting to heal now.  The glue they used on her was itching her- badly- and now that it’s pretty much completely gone, she seems to be happier, too.  I still need to schedule the sleep study, which is on my to-do list for this week.  I can’t believe that our follow-up with the ENT is week after next.  Can’t say I’m quite ready for that

OH- and a question for all the heart Moms out there- Piper’s sternum really sticks out now.  She’s nice and pointy.  You can kind of see it in this picture- just hoping that your kids did it, too- should sink back down, right???



  1. I think it will. From what I understand from Bennett's surgery is that it was all the wires they used to pull things back together and I think eventually dissolve??? I'm pretty sure his stuck out and now it looks somewhat normal but it may have a slight bump. It will look so much better in just a couple of months! Glad this has not set her back and she's ready to keep on as usual!

  2. LC had the sticky-out sternum. I couldn't even bring myself to TOUCH it for the longest time. She looked like a little humpback walking backwards. Now, it's resolved quite a bit. Jace never really had the issue. Must just depend on the twerp. But oh, it made my stomach hurt to look at it...

    She's looking GREAT! Way to go, Mom!

  3. My pedi said it could take up to a year for the sternum to flatten back out. I can't remember why he said it does that. Max's isn't too bad and it's been just over a year. But I've seen kiddos that still have a big bump, so I guess it depends on the kiddo.
    And P.S. One of Max's wires broke sometime in the last 6 months. But it was no biggie - you can't feel it. It just showed on his latest xray. So don't freak out if that happens down the road.

  4. Aubrey never had the stick out sternum so that is new for me to learn about some heart surgeries. She actually has metal "bands or strings" that they used to pull it back together that are permanent. It still catches my eyes when I see a chest xray and there are all these metal circles in there:)

    So glad that she is healing fast.

  5. Glad she got her stiches out and yeah for another growth spurt. =)

  6. Claire has a bit of a bump near the bottom of her incision. It sticks out more when she twists or turns. I'd thought it was cartlidge/scar tissue, but maybe I'm wrong...I've been massaging it some to see if that helps, but I don't know if it does or not.

  7. My son's sternum "stuck out" for quite awhile following his open heart surgery in March 2009. His cardiologist told me that it was normal & could take a year for it to resolve. Today, it looks completely normal. Other than his faint scar, you would never even know that he had surgery! :)