Archive for January, 2013

Walk the Line

Ari back home

I wasn’t the worst player on my high school golf team, but I was nowhere near the best. 50/50 I’d club a drive up the middle for 230 yards, or I’d shank it dead right into the woods.

Either way, Coach Hennessey would say, “Some days chicken, some days feathers.” It worked in any case. See the beauty of it?

Yesterday was chickenfeathers.

The echo looked OK. Showed some improvement, and, for shiz, this is what we’re looking for. Better than bad is good, right? We couldn’t tell the status of his left atrial pressure via echo (feathers!). His pulmonary hypertension reading was lower than before (chicken!), but still not great (feathers!). This takes a while to get better typically anyway if, indeed, it’s going to get better, so headed in the right direction.

In any case, we’re home. Chicken!

Since the cath, Ari hasn’t thrown up, and this is the biggest clinical sign that his mitral valve needed to be dilated to improve his cardiac function to a temporarily workable level. It’s wide open for the time being. Chicken fricassee! Everyone is glad he’s doing well, but we all hoped it would be a even little better. Let’s just hope it’s enough to gain some weight and kick the can down the road.

For now, it’s back to doing what we do. So let’s all join in and sing in time…

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine.

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It’s Pajama Time!

And the verdict is…It’s Pajama Time! Besides that, no news on how his heart is doing. The procedure is trying and he’s taken a few days to settle out, but he’s in a better mood now. Obviously.

Plan is echo in the next few days to see what’s up. Until then, we won’t know. This, of course, drives us bananas.

We need some solid improvements by echo to be in an OK place. His right side pressure needs to be lower. And we need to get a sense that his left atrial pressure is lower, which you usually can’t measure except in the cath lab, but they put a new hole in Ari’s heart that can give us a bit of a sense of how that’s doing, but not much.

You can think of both of these pressure readings like a car and RPMs. There’s a green zone where we all drive every day, a yellow zone you shouldn’t drive in for long, and a red zone that you can, indeed, drive in, but after a while you’ll blow the engine.

Ari was driving in the red zone before the cath. He looked fine on the outside, but ultimately it’s unsustainable. The engine can only take it so long.

Unlike a car, however, we don’t know what, exactly, his green zone territory is. All we know is it’s not where he was a few days ago. Not exactly bleak, but we need some real movement.

More info as we get it.

Meantime, when the world goes bananas, get in your pajamas.

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Feeding the Wolf

Family Photo


Conversations with 5 senior attending cardiologists and we’re still trying to figure this out.

People have this nifty capacity for interpreting the same situation differently. For example, I left Ari in CICU just before 1 a.m. Woke up at 6 and called to see how he was doing. Much better, his nurse said. Had a quiet night, and his numbers look good.

“Though,” she says, “he was up to his old tricks. Was rolling around in bed and one of his IVs fell out. He’s no worse for the wear. Oh well.”


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