Tuesday, February 5, 2013

More arrythmia

Well, we are once again back in the Cardiac ICU...this time for real.  A lot has happened over the last few days.

Yesterday, the team decided to do another echo (or ultrasound of the heart) to check Joshua's heart function.  He has been really symptomatic...meaning he has had some really heavy breathing, working really hard to breath (called "retracted breathing"), REALLY sweaty (like...really...sweaty pig boy!  I have given him a sponge bath every day and he still smells!), and pretty pale and clammy.  These symptoms made them think that he was having decreased heart function or maybe more obstructions in his veins or arteries.  Hence...the echo.

They decided to do the echo in the ICU...not because there was much concern but because the radiology department was full and they would have to wait much longer to get a time slot.  The ICU knows Joshua, so it was a great option.  The echo went great...Joshua had to be sedated for a while, but only with two small doses of Adavan (Joshua's drug of choice).  The results of the echo actually turned out much better than they thought they would be, which we were very happy about (although, it still makes us wonder why he was so symptomatic for so long...still working on that mystery).

So, we were feeling good by yesterday evening.  It looked like it would be another quiet night when Joshua decided to have another arrhythmia.  This was actually the same arrhythmia he had the very first time.  His heart rate jumped to 220 beats per minute (it had been sitting in the 150s before) and his EKG was abnormal.  After a hour of stumbling around to get it fixed (BIG difference between the floor and ICU...), they got him hooked up the the 12-point EKG and got the dreaded "adenaseen" medication (I have NO idea how to spell that).  Right before they gave it, however, his EKG started looking more normal, but his heart rate stayed in the 220s. 

We finally got a bed in the icu where they started to give him a medication called a beta blocker. This med actually blocks some of the electrolytes that help the heart beat. By doing this, it slows the heart down and hopefully decreases the chance of the arrhythmia from happening again. This was done through his IV and within another hour, he was looking much better with a heart rate of 130.

Now, the plan is to decrease the IV beta blocker and start him on a new oral version. Also, we will have to address the other symptoms at some point. Hopefully, we will be out of the ICU soon.

In the mean time, here are some pictures of what we have been up to.

Our little man sleeping.  I love this one!!

This was during his sedated echo-when we gave him his medication (Adavan), he  moved into this position and no matter what any of us did, he stayed in this position.  Since this was a good position for the tech, we let him be. He just looks awkward...

Photo shoot! Top left-half smile, top right: "the stink eye," Bottom left: Cranky pants, Bottom right: content

Joshua looking at his toys!  

We love having visitors!  Here we are with Aunt Rebecca and her good friend, Taryn.  


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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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