Fast forward to November 2003. Carly had a routine cardiology appointment. She went in for an Echo, EKG and a checkup. We really didn’t expect to hear these words coming out of the doctor, “We found a problem today, and we really need to schedule Carly for a catheterization.” I was completely unprepared for those words. As seems to be the case with me regarding Carly.
After talking with the doctor for quite a while. I finally understood. After anyone has any kind of open-heart surgery, this very thing could happen. Aortic stenosis. The chances are quite slim, but the chance is always there. Per the results of the Echo, they knew something was causing this stenosis, but they just couldn’t tell what. That’s why she needed the cath.
After her heart cath., was done and we had the results, it was time to decide just what to do. Surgery was a must. A membrane had formed causing the aortic stenosis. The membrane had to be removed. This can happen, as I said above, to anyone who has had heart surgery. The surgeon promised we would NOT have a repeat of the first surgery. Of course, I still worried. It didn’t make the surgery any easier on me that’s for sure.
Carly went to surgery on June 21, 2004. She was in surgery for about 4 hours from start to finish. The surgeon came out to talk with us. He told us that he had removed the membrane and all looked really well. We were told we could see her in a couple of hours. After finally getting in to see her. We found that she was already of the vent. Little Miss Carly had extubated herself just as they got her into ICU. Surprisingly, she was doing exceptionally well. So, they let her be.
Less than 24 hours after her surgery, we were out of ICU. On the morning of June 25, we were discharged. I couldn’t believe it. Carly blew my mind. Less than 36 hours after having open-heart surgery, she was walking around and even playing in the playroom. All while still having a chest tube sticking out of her side along with an IV in the top her foot! This kid just blew my mind during that hospital stay.
Six weeks after surgery we headed back to the cardiologist. Carly had an Echo, EKG and of course a check up. She looked great. We didn’t need to come back for six months. The doc said that we were safe to go on a family vacation to the Smokey Mountains. We were on cloud nine. We were excited! Excited for Carly to be healthy and thriving. Excited to be going on a much-needed family vacation. Excited to be planning for Carly to start preschool in the fall. Being a typical, happy, healthy family. I guess would best describe the way we felt.
We had a great time on vacation. We were gone 10 days. Did tons of things. Spent time in the Mountains – which Paul LOVED! Took Carly swimming in the Hotel pool every night. It was great! We even met up with a friend of Brad’s who had moved to TN a few years earlier.
The day we headed home, Carly woke up in the morning with a yucky nose. She had a slight temp and was feeling really crummy. She got some Tylenol in her and perked up a bit. That night on the road, heading home was miserable. Carly didn’t sleep more than 2 hours at a stretch. Needless to say, it was a looooong ride home from TN.
To be continued…