Saturday, September 19, 2009

Today has flown by! Bethany had BP readings right where they need to be all evening last night,
after the dobutamine drip was started. Then, this morning, the systolic number was only 81.
Both Zac and Bethany were very disappointed by that, because that meant they held the Coreg
yet again. After giving it a more little thought, Zac commented that the past several mornings,
the first reading of the day was down in the 70's, so, having that number up in the 80's was
somewhat encouraging after all.

Dr. Patel is Bethany's physician of record. His hospital nurse, Cindy, who is also the transplant
co-ordinator for Ochsner, described him as a high strung "thoroughbred horse". Excellent at
what he does, but not the most sensitive or pleasant person, bedside manner-wise. Boy, was
she right! Poor Cheryl, Bethany's mom, was afraid she might need to put Dr Patel and me in
separate rooms the first evening...but that is another story. I quickly embraced a submissive
attitude, and just looked down and listened when he was in the room. (I know...ME????? But, I
sure as the dickens did not want to antagonize the man, no matter how inconsiderate of
Bethany's feelings he had been). All we really are concerned with is his expertise in the field of
heart failure; we can provide her with the comfort and compassion she needs.

Cindy went on to describe herself, as a "goat" who is often put in the stall with a high-strung thoroughbred to
help calm them, and smooth the rough edges. She has a sense of humor, and is compassiona
te, as well as being intelligent and knowledgeable. Zac calls her the "the goat" or Cindy Goat.
Dr. Patel is off this weekend, and all of us are thrilled with the
physician who is covering for him. Dr. Mandras is a new MD within the group. She told us she
is passionate about peripartum cardiomyopathy. Her goal is to do whatever it takes to help
Bethany's heart heal; she doesn't even want to discuss transplantation until all other avenues
have been tried. She is the doc who ordered the dobutamine drip, the Parlodel, and the captopril,
which was started today. They are also still trying to get her going on THE heart failure drug,
Coreg. All of us here feel so much better with Dr. Mandras on our team. Bethany really likes
her, and that is a big plus. If she feels more confident about the plan of care, I feel like she will
respond better, don't you? Before Dr. Mandras leaves the room, she makes eye contact with
each person in the room, and asks if we have any concerns, or questions. How refreshing is
that? I have offered many a prayer of thanksgiving for Dr. Mandras. Bethany did have a little
more trouble walking today, due to light-headedness, but she was started on the new meds
within the past 24 hours. Hopefully, she will adapt to the meds, and be steadier and feel more
secure walking. Everyday has ups and downs. I just keeping praying for more ups than downs,
at this point.

Another bright spot today was a visit from 3 of Bethany's fellow teachers, Elaine, Tiffany and
Jackie. They brought cards, food and gifts from Theodore High staff, as well as from Finn's day
care. It was very touching, and I am sure Bethany benefited from talking about normal things,
not her health. Kim had Finn when Finn was fussy or needed a nap/diaper change or
whatever, he was there for them. Cheryl and I seized the moment and went birthday shopping
for Bethany. Thursday, she will be 25 years old. Way too young to have to be dealing with a
damaged heart. We found a few things she might like at Pottery Barn, and we still plan to go
find something for Finn to give his mommy:-)

Kim is planning to go home tomorrow, as he is burning up all his vacation time, which may be
needed down the road. Bethany's Aunt Linda and grandmother are driving over here for the
tomorrow. Cheryl, Finn and I will be the support team. I honestly am not sure Zac would
remember to eat, if we didn't continuously push him. He rarely leaves Bethany's room.
Finn had a much better night last (which means Kim and I had a much better night last night,
too). He is much less congested. I am sure part of his more relaxed evening was due to
Theodore's victory over Blount---and the choice of a great football player as Homecoming King:-
). Alabama won big today, so maybe tonight will be restful, as well. Zac threatened Bethany
that if she got too excited during the Bama game, he would have to turn it off. She is a bigger
Alabama Football fan than Zac is. We all watched the game together this afternoon....the last
game we watched together was the Saturday before Finn's baptism, when things were still

Kim just reminded me that Finn will be up in few hours for a bottle, so I will close for today.
Again, please keep Bethany and Zac in your prayers! God hears each and every murmured
plea on their behalf.

God's blessings!