In PICU, after some sleep

Ok, I've finally had some sleep, so I can probably be a bit more coherent.

Sierra, when she was two, under went a procedure called angioplasty - you hear about it a lot for older folks with hardening of the arteries. Basically they needed to widen the area near her pulmonary valve and to do so they insert a ballon inside the catheter, inflate it, basically stretching that area.

There's a good article with a great diagram here on all the anatomy around her kind of heart: http://med.umich.edu/Mott/congenital/services/patient_con_pul.html

About an hour and a half into her procedure, they called us into the viewing room of the cath lab. On the screen was her heart, the dark thread of the catheter on the screen. They'd squirt dye and you could suddenly see the moving heart, Sierra's mighty heart, clearly on the screen. The pulmonary artery, The one marked as 1 on the image in the above article, kinked in severely, like a tight corset around a rotund woman.

This is what they think is causing one side of her heart to over develop, the muscle to build up because it's having to work too hard.

A bulky heart muscle, particularly bulky on one side, is a terrible thing, it's what used to kill tetralogy patients. The muscle gets too big and eventually fails.

We left the room stunned, because if angioplasty fails, then we were in for valve replacements, and that means a lifetime of replacements.

But so far the news is good. It looks like it worked, just as it did when she was two, after our first miracle.

I'm here with her, grateful, grateful.

It will be so nice to get back to normal - or at least as close as we get to it.