Journey to China

This blog documents the Spitlers' progress towards the adoption of Xia Ping He (Noah Spitler) from the PR China. It also documents Noah's medical process in pursuit of a total repair to his CHD (congenital heart defect).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heart Cath Part II

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your prayers today. The heart catheterization went very well. Here are some updated pictures and extra info.

We arrived early to the hospital which turned out to be good - the anesthesiologist called to ask if we could start early. We each got our wrist ID bands (Noah got 3), and Noah's vitals were checked. If you didn't know - the major indicator of Noah's condition is his low SPO2 (saturation of peripheral oxygen); in layman's terms - how much oxygen his blood is carrying. In "most people", our SPO2 runs between 98-100 %. If our level dropped to 89%, for example, we'd pass out. But Noah's normal value is 65-75%, and today it was 71. One goal of this surgery is to get his SPO2 into "the 90s". Those of you who teach Noah in Sunday school or Kindergarten can only imagine how much energy Noah might have if/when he attains an SPO2 in the high 90's?

So, back to the story. Noah changed into his "hospital pajamas" and soon it was time to drink the "sleepy juice" (which he said did not taste good). On his empty stomach, it only took minutes for his speech to start slurring and his balance to falter (he made several attempted nose-dives from Robin's lap). The anesthesiologist then had us put Noah on a gurney, which we wheeled to the heart cath room. Robin and I donned simple scrubs (hats and gowns - which Noah did not like, btw) and followed him in. He took a few deep breaths of a sleeping gas (sorry - I don't know all the technical terms - particularly pharma terms); and off he went to sleep. Just before he nodded off, I asked him (in Chinese) if he loved me and he nodded. Robin simply gave him a kiss. It was pretty cool, actually.

The procedure took about 4 hours. The probe was inserted into his right thigh (as done last October at Egleston/Emory). CT scans were taken in conjunction with a contrast dye (iodine) to identify the small MAPCAs (small collateral arteries randomly connecting his heart and lungs). Blood pressures were also recorded to determine how much blood was flowing through each one. In the end, the cardiologist (Dr. Perry) who performed the procedure seemed happy about the data collected. He said Dr. Hanley (who will perform the surgical procedure Wednesday) would use these pictures and the ones from Atlanta to help determine if a full repair can be done in one day (unifocalization). If the vessels are not strong enough or big enough, then Wednesday might need to be "part 1 of 2" procedures, with a return once the blood vessels grown stronger and bigger. We understand Dr. Hanley will determine that on Wednesday.

We rejoined with Noah in the surgery recovery room. He was awake, but groggy, and didn't want to lie still (as directed). Robin and I slowly fed him water and eventually he ate a popsicle and some chocolate ice cream. He wanted his Nintendo, but in his normally-feverish pace at the buttons, his SPO2 dropped below the "alert level" on the monitor - causing the alarm to go off. On went the oxygen cannula and away went the Nintendo for awhile. After a few hours, an X-ray was requested in order to check for any blood clots. The radiologist needed Robin or me to help, but Robin disappeared around the corner...mmh, perhaps it had to do with the "fashionable" lead apron we were offered? (see picture). So I helped hold Noah while 2 chest x-rays were taken. Robin said that I should tell you what Noah asked the radiologist just before he took the shot: "Do I need to smile for the picture?"

The X-rays showed no problems, and Noah was discharged for the night. We are to be back Wednesday morning around 6:15am for what sounds to be a long day. These procedures (unifocalization) have been known to span 7 to 20 hours, and Noah should get going around 10am. We'll receive updates from the OR every 4 hours, so we'll try to pass those along via the blog.

Thanks again for your prayers. We are reminded that we serve an amazing, unlimited God who knows each of us in a detailed way. He also knows our future before it happens:

Ps 139:15-16
"My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

So, even though we are tempted sometimes to worry (especially after being told all the risks that we'll face this Wednesday), it helps greatly to know our Good God loves Noah has a plan for him. And our God is already in Wednesday and knows what it holds.

Thanks for reading and caring/praying for our boy--

Adam (& Robin)

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Blogger The Good Doctor's Wife said...

Praise God all went well! We are all with you in thought and prayer. Give Noah a hug from us!
Love you guys.

July 12, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Barnabas Choi said...

You, Adam, Robin and Noah, are so special and blessed.

Our mighty God knows you and He will uphold you with His righteous right hand.

Book of Isaiah says "41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. 41:9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

We, Choi Family love you and miss you so much.

July 12, 2011 at 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are praying for sweet Noah! Andrew says special prayers for his friend each night.
-Emily and Andrew

July 12, 2011 at 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This news has been the best part of my great day. Thanks, Adam, for great writing and keeping us informed when we're so far apart, physically. You all have my prayers (especially Noah and his medical team) with every thought of you. Uncle Scott

July 12, 2011 at 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robin and Adam,
I sit here reading your blog with tears streaming down my face. I'm so thankful the Lord allowed our paths to cross in China! I'll never forget Adam carrying Noah around most of the time. What a picture of what God is doing for you right now!! We will be praying for you two and Noah. May God be gracious to you, bless you and make His face shine upon you!
Love and prayers,
Andy and Trisha Wells

July 12, 2011 at 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Carol said...


July 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Adam and Robin,
Just got access to my computer and caught up on your blog. Know we will be praying hard for Noah and you both tomorrow.
Much love,
Jane and the boys

July 12, 2011 at 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robin and Adam and Noah-
I continue to pray for all of you. I know today will be a long and anxious day for you, please know I'm thinking about you and praying every step of the way........Adele

July 13, 2011 at 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Ruth said...

I am so glad and thankful that everything has gone so well. I know that Noah will continue to do well and recover. Please let him know how much I love and miss him. Tell him I am so happy for him and you all as well. I can not wait to see him and give him lots of hugs and kisses. I will continue to say a special prayer for him every night.

July 15, 2011 at 2:54 PM  

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