Sunday, January 5, 2014


Unfortunately, the little guy landed himself in CHOP again on Friday. On Wednesday evening, I started to notice that his respiratory rate was quicker than usual. I kept a close eye on him that night and by Thursday morning I had put a call out to our cardiologist. The doctor thought Alec had maybe developed a minor cold or upper respiratory infection and he encouraged us to pay a visit to our local pediatrician if things seemed worse on Friday morning. Welp.. Friday morning we went in to see our pediatrician and she quickly encouraged us to head up to CHOP. I had a feeling in my gut that morning that this would be the case so I made sure to pack some bags prior to our visit. When we got to the ED, they shot a chest x-ray and assessed Alec from head to toe. His x-ray showed that he had a right sided pleural effusionor excess fluid that accumulates between the fluid-filled spaces that surround the lungs. Excessive amounts of fluid can impair breathing by limiting the expansion of the lungs during ventilation... and this is exactly what was happening with Alec. The cardiology team seems to think that is most likely something called chylothorax. Chylothorax is a type of pleural effusion that can sometimes develop after cardiothoracic surgery when there is leakage from the thoracic duct or one of the main lymphatic vessels that drain to it. Fortunately, the cardiologist believes that it was slow to accumulate and that increasing the frequency of his diuretic doses should do the trick to resolve this issue easily. We were very thankful that this wasn't something more serious and that there is (hopefully) an easy fix. We are also very thankful that they didn't admit us to the hospital. (Sleeping in a plastic chair is no fun.. and nor is a sleep-deprived four month old). Because of my medical background, the cardiologist was comfortable sending us home. Kiel and I have good instincts and together we have kept a very watchful eye over the weekend. Overall, Alec has improved (thank goodness!) and we follow-up with our cardiac team on Tuesday afternoon. Please send some good vibes our way! I am very hopeful that 2014 is going to be a better, less stressful year for our little family.