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+ 0 - 0 | § The next stage...

So, the surgery is on Monday.  They have put Alex on the schedule for 7:30 AM on Monday morning.  The surgeons said that the ends of Alex's esophagus are still 1 vertebral space (1-1.5 cm roughly) apart, but that they are optimistic about their chances of being able to attach them.  If they can't, then they will stretch the ends together manually, using stitches that they would place on Monday during the surgery.  After the surgery is finished (about 3-4 hours, they think), he'll have a chest tube (to drain fluid from the attachment site), and at least one IV.  He may also be on a ventilator for a short time.  The doc said that they could start feeding him through his g-tube as soon as Tuesday, depending on how things go.  Then, after a week, they would perform a test to see if the attachment had any leaks.  If not, then we would attempt to start feeding Alex by mouth.  If there is a leak, then they would most likely allow it to grow shut, therefore setting the feedings back for a while.

All in all, this is what Alex has been in the hospital for, so we are both excited and apprehensive.  If all goes well, we could start talking about taking Alex home, though it would still be until the end of the month, most likely.  Wish him luck!!

+ 0 - 0 | § Yeah! I think...

I talked to Alex's nurse a bit ago.  He had his gap-o-gram this morning.  The surgeons told the nurse that the ends of his esophagus aren't as close as they would like them to be, but that he is still on the schedule for surgery next week.  The problem is that they are now saying that the surgery may or may not be on Monday (which is the day they've been telling us) and Dan is going to be out of town from Wednesday to Friday.  I'm hoping that I can get a more firm schedule, and some additional details regarding this morning's test when I get to Hershey today. 

In any case, at least Alex is going to be able to have the surgery, which is really good news.  I will post more details later as (or if) I get them.

+ 0 - 0 | § We're waiting

Alex should be in having the gap-o-gram right now. We'll find out pretty soon what the results are, and we're keeping our fingers crossed.

On an unrelated topic, I have decided to keep my proverbial cards close to my chest regarding my job search. There are a couple of reasons why I'm going to do this, which I won't get into right now, but I will tell you that I have multiple site interviews coming up in the next two months. Once everything is squared away I'll be sure to update everyone as to the results. If anyone really just has to know what the details are right now, I might send out a form email to you if you email me,

dan at thenortonzoo dot com

There might be a delay in the response though, as life is very busy right now.

+ 0 - 0 | § What a good night!

Alex was such a happy little boy tonight.  He's been kind of cranky lately, probably because of the pneumonia and all of the other stuff he has to go through.  He finished his antibiotics yesterday, and the doctors decided that he no longer needs the diuretics that he's been on since his heart surgery.  Now he's only on a vitamin supplement, an iron supplement, and sodium.  They also increased his feeding rate to 19 mL/hr. 

When I got to the hospital, he was sleeping soundly.  The nurse told me that he could get a bath tonight, so when he woke up, I gave him a bath.  He's usually pretty upset when we do anything like dressing, changing, or bathing him, but today, he didn't cry at all.  Then, he spent the next 20 minutes sitting with me in a rocking chair, looking at everyone passing by.  He went from needing 80% oxygen when I got there, to 30% when I left.  That's lower than he's been in a couple of weeks!  It was really exciting to see him doing so well.  I'm sure that it won't last forever, but it really brightens my day when it does happen.

+ 0 - 0 | § Sergeant Pepper

OK...here we go again.  Alex's docs have scheduled his next gap-o-gram for Thursday, after which they'll decide whether or not to do his surgery.  If they do decide to do the surgery, it will be on Monday, November 8th.  Send Alex your thoughts and prayers, and let's all hope that the ends of his esophagus have grown together!

The Halloween pictures are cute, aren't they?  Alex was apparently the only baby whose parents decided to parade him around.  He was so content though...we thought that he'd be upset at us for dressing him up, but he wasn't fussy at all.  I think he likes the attention!