Thursday, August 7, 2008

for those of you who, like me, are desperate to understand medical terms that you really don't need to know...

we went to see paeds doc (dr b) today. we had a lovely visit with her. anyway, i got her all caught up on the last couple weeks in Asherland. you know the gist, congestive heart failure, trips to emerg, immunology clinic, upcoming visits to cardio in london and toronto. well...

i found out what the "muscle wad" is. so, here you go:

think of a body builder. as they lift their weights and do whatever it is bodybuilders do (wow, i so don't know anything about bodybuilding. shocking, i know. lol anyhoo...), their muscles get bigger. the more you use a muscle, the bigger it gets. makes sense, right? ok, now, asher's right ventricle. it's pumping away, lubdub lubdub lubdub (well, probably more of a lub lub lub lub, he's kinda missing the dub. and no one gets that joke except maybe a couple of doctors who are reading this, but trust me, lubdub is the technical doctor-ese term for the heartbeat). so, the ventricle's pumping, doing whatever it is a left ventricle does. oh, but wait! it's a right ventricle, so it's not built for the workload of the left. that means it's working harder than it's designed to.

so, it's working hard, and as it does, the muscle gets bigger. when you're looking at it from the outside, it still looks the same. it's the same size, because really, there's no room for it to expand out. (do you see where i'm going with this yet?) it can't grow out. it can only grow in.

so, as the muscle gets bigger and the wall gets thicker, there is less space inside the ventricle. less space to be filled with blood. this means that, while ventricular function may look good from the outside, and the blood pressure may remain the same (because the force of the pump doesn't change), there is not as much blood going out with each pump.

yeah, kind of a problem. but what i'd really like to know is: WHAT CAN THEY DO ABOUT THIS?!?!?!?!?!?????????????????????????? yikes! short of not using the muscle, how do you make it smaller? and i mean other than dr caldarone's stent/scar tissue solution of digging it out and scraping it away. i don't like that option. a little too nauseating. i'd like something a little less, um, yucky/risky/invasive/horrifying, thank-you very much. oh, and i'd rather transplantation is not an option yet, either. as it is, i'm thinking transplanty thoughts when i think about the Fontan (but that's just me freaking out. you don't need to think that; it's just that i think about all this a little too much, in case you couldn't tell already). someone, tell me there's a med we can give asher that will shrink his heart muscle, if that's what he needs.

ok, breathing, breathing, in with the good air, out with the bad air, in with the good air, out with the bad air i don't think it's working i'm getting dizzy does anyone else hear that rushing sound or am i about to pass out? yikes, i'm hyperventilating. that can't be good.

so, while i go calm down and try to stop thinking such freaxious thoughts, you have a great day. and don't worry about me, i'll be fine. serenity now, serenity now......

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