Sunday, February 6, 2011

Diagnosis at Jordan Valley

Written 1-27-12

The first day after Tanner was born I met the on call pediatrician that had done his first checkup. He was Dr. Terashima and was very nice. He sat and spoke with me about Tanner, myself and Kollin, and also answered any questions I had.

After we had spoken for quite a while Dr. Terashima mentioned that there was one thing he was a little worried about. He mentioned that he could not feel Tanner's femoral pulses (the pulses in his legs). He said this could be an indication of something that could be wrong and that he wanted us to go to the NICU to have his blood pressure taken on both arms and legs to see if the numbers are comparable.

We went and did this and the numbers all came back just fine. I called my dad afterwards to let him know what happened and he explained that they were testing for a "coarctaion of the aorta." He said that it is a big indication that a baby may have a coarctation if you cannot feel their femoral pulses. That the part of the aorta where the coarctation usually is is right where the flow of blood would go to the lower extremities. So therefore, no pulse in the legs if there was a coarctation. Phew! Dodged that one!

Then the next day when we were getting packed up and ready to be discharged and go home with our new healthy baby, Dr. Terashima came back. He said that he was still worried about Tanner's femoral pulses and wanted his blood pressure checked again in the NICU. He said that he had found out that yesterday they had only taken his blood pressure in his arms and not his legs in the NICU. Then they compared the arm numbers from the NICU to the leg numbers from the system the use in the normal nursery. He said he didn't didn't like that and since it was two different systems, he didn't trust it.

So we went back to the NICU to redo the tests. This time there was a discrepancy in the numbers between the arms and the legs. It was a good possibility that Tanner had this coarctation that my dad told me about yesterday.

They kept him in the NICU and started hooking him up to IV's and started doing an echo. During this I started to freak out and both Kollin and I didn't know what was going on or what to do. I called my dad and told him that they are suspecting that Tanner actually does have that coarc- thingy that he told me about and that he is in the NICU and that they are poking him and prodding him and I don't know what's going on AAA!

Him and Gwen came right to the hospital to be there with us and helped translate what was going on to Kollin and me. While the NICU nurses were doing the echo Tanner was being a little fussy and I was too distraught to know what to do (also they wouldn't let me go near him). Somehow my dad was able to get in there and calm Tanner down by laying his hand on his head and speaking softly to him. I remember sitting in a chair a little ways away from the bed Tanner was in watching all of them and just feeling so grateful that my dad was able to be there with him since I couldn't.

Afterwards the NICU doctor pulled us into this room and explained that it was indeed a coarctation and that Tanner had to go to Primary's to have it fixed. At first they were hopeful that they would be able to just fix it by going through his umbilical chord depending on where the coarctation was and how big. (obviously that didn't happen)

So off we went to Primary's in an ambulance and we began the most terrifying few weeks of my life.

After all was said and done, we decided to stay with Dr. Terashima. Although he was just the on call doctor when Tanner was born, he still saved his life. If he wasn't as thorough as he was and came back to have him tested a second time, we all would have been so much worse off!

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