Our baby bird is 23 months old today! She has about 20 signs that she uses regularly now and seems to be understanding more and more every day. In the last week she decided that she can stand up from a bench-sit without using her hands and even balanced for a couple of seconds with zero assistance! Abby has also recently started using one finger to point at everything! She would be happy to have us read book after book after book to her all day long (her current favorites being Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Baby Beluga, and Sandra Boynton's Doggies; Moo, Baa, La La La; and Snuggle Puppy). She likes to open all of the doors and cabinets in the house, point to the babies in her books, torment the dogs, pop bubbles, and make hilarious faces at herself in the mirror. Everything is a phone, and if you don't "answer" whatever she hands you, she is clearly unimpressed. We are loving this fun age and seeing her vibrant and spirited personality blossom.
Heart symptoms have been holding steady over the last week or so. She's still grunting quite a bit, especially in the afternoons, has continued to vomit daily, and is frequently sweaty, but we are incredibly grateful that these things haven't gotten noticeably worse since her surgery was scheduled. We've been on total germ lockdown for about a week now, and will be until we head to Houston - it would absolutely disastrous if she got sick going into open heart surgery, so we're doing our very best to limit her exposure to unnecessary risks. While we've been confined to the house (no therapies or appointments even), it has been so nice being able to spend this pre-op period at home, instead of inpatient.
Though we've been a little isolated from the world, we were thankfully able to visit with lots of family recently for Jameson's promotion ceremony as well as the 4th of July. Other notable moments from the last few weeks include a lovely Father's Day, and getting to squeeze in our annual family pictures before going on lockdown.
We will be heading to Houston on Tuesday, Aberdeen's pre-op appointment with the surgeon, child-life, and cardiac anesthesia is on Wednesday, and surgery is scheduled for first thing Thursday morning. Apparently there have been a number of emergency surgeries in the last week that have required shifting of the surgical schedule, so there's always a possibility that Abby's surgery could get bumped - but due to her current symptoms, we're hoping that doesn't happen.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and well-wishes. We are very very nervous heading into this surgery. Some of that anxiety stems from the fact that it has been a long time since Abby has had a major surgery, or even a sedated procedure at this point. Additional anxiety is coming from the memory of how tenuous things were after Aberdeen's first heart surgery. Ultimately, we don't know what Abby's recovery period will look like this this time around. Some things are much improved with her health, but her hypertrophy is much worse, which can complicate recovery greatly. We hope that because she is bigger and stronger now, she will do better, but still anticipate that she will do things in typical (or atypical), exciting Aberdeen fashion. We are concerned about having a major surgery away from the comfort we found at CCHMC with the doctors, nurses, social workers, and facility we came to know and trust so well - as well as the concern about having a surgery that is over three hours away from our home, if her recovery is lengthy. We're trying to trust that this is what Aberdeen needs to continue to grow and thrive, and just enjoy these next couple of days, but we are admittedly on edge. We appreciate any prayers and good thoughts you may be able to spare. Additionally, we have a couple of Aberdeen's buddies on our hearts as they celebrate challenging anniversaries this month and face their own surgeries, if you could spare a thought for the families of Ben, Ellie, and Tillery, I know they would be most appreciative.
I can't believe that only one month from today, we will be celebrating Aberdeen's second birthday. My heart is so full of love for her and I am so incredibly proud of the spunky little fighter that we've been blessed with.
For those interested, I have included below the Cleveland Clinic's description of the surgery Aberdeen will be having performed: a septal myectomy. While this article is geared toward adults, as opposed to pediatric patients, most of this information seems to be consistent with what we have been told thus far.