Sunday, September 20, 2009

Summary of it all

Abby has been home from the hospital for two days now. She is happy to be home where she can be with her sister, play with her toys, sleep in her own bed, and watch Baby Einstein and Heathcliff.

To answer why Abby was on a heart monitor and had to stay in the hospital...

After going to UIC and Hope Children's Hospital, Abby was still suffering from an ulcerated hemangioma. Our pediatrician called Children's Memorial and set us up with another dermatologist. This dermatologist prescribed two topicals, one to be applied in the morning (an antibiotic ointment) and one to be applied in the evening (a medicine to help heal the ulceration). He also wanted Abby to start an oral medication that has been known to shrink down hemangiomas. The medication needed to be prescribed by a cardiologist since it is normally used as a heart medication. By coincidence a doctor found that this particular medication used for cardiac purposes, also does wonders for hemangiomas. It's used in people with high blood pressure, after heart attacks, etc. In order for her to start this medication she needed an EKG and to wear a holter (heart monitor) for 24 hours prior to starting the medication for baseline purposes. After doing these two things, she was admitted into the hospital where doctors and nurses observed her for 4 doses. She wore a heart monitor during her stay and had blood pressure readings taken. An ECHO was also performed to see how her heart was functioning. The cardiologist thought she was well enough to go home and continue the medication at home. Her hospital stay was about 24 hours. We were given a stethoscope to listen to her heart before and after the medicine is given. She receives three doses a day.

Also during her hospital stay, I had the staff speak with pain management. Everyday Abby gets her bandaging changed twice so the topicals can be applied. Every time she screams and seems to really not want me to touch that area. She was on Tylenol with codeine and she was bumped up to Hydrocodone by the pain management team. Even on this medicine, she seems to still hate her bandaging being changed but seems to recover quicker afterward. This hemangioma has caused her stress, anxiety, and pain.

Tomorrow Abby sees the dermatologist again. He may laser the ulceration. Afterward, we go back to Children's Memorial for another holter for her to wear for 24 hours at home. The cardiologist wants to see how Abby's heart is doing and if all is well, increase the dosage on the heart medication.

The goal is for the hemangioma to start shrinking down and for Abby to be bandage free. Thank you for praying for her.

This is a link to a publication about the heart medicine Abby is taking for the hemangioma.