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.
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/358/24/2649

3 comments:

Derek and Elisabeth said...

We are praying for you guys! If you need ANYTHING, let us know. Or even a twin mommy playdate, I can come over without Ella so you can get some social time with another mommy :)

-beth

Laura Thompson said...

Swartz family - you are in our prayers! Greg, Laura and small group!

Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifer and Andy, Rachel too
Thank you for the update on dear Abby. I can only imagine how difficult this is for you to go through. Just remember when Abby is well again...she won't remember any of this. You on the other hand will remember until the day you die! You undoubtedly feel every pain she feels. You both are excellent parents and are doing so great under this difficult time. But keep in mind, she will get better and will heal quickly and be playing again with little Rachel. Not to mention the dog! All of your extended family are keeping you all in our prayers..you are never far from our hearts. love to all, cousins Bev and Dave