Sunday, July 13, 2008

LOOMIS here we come!!!

Hey everyone, we are headed to Loomis, well, technically Granite Bay, California tomorrow which is my home town!!! I can't believe it is finally here, my little brother Mike is coming home from his mission!!! He went to Mexico City, Mexico and was a great missionary, and we are so proud of him and everything he has done to help the Lord's work move forth throughout the earth! And my oldest brother Tom is also getting married next weekend!!! We are so excited for him and wish him the very best. My whole family is coming home for the events, which includes 7 kids and spouses and kids, it is going to be CRAZY! Watch out Loomis, the Bates clan is back!! I am getting more and more excited as the minutes pass. And this will be Burke's first time in the great ol state of California! He is going to LOVE it.
Anyways, we will be gone for two whole weeks so I am saying see ya to Boise friends and hello to all my Northern Cali friends. And please contact me if anyone from home will be in the area, because I am sooo anxious to see all my friends I have not seen in so long.Here is Mike before his mission with Emma when she was 4 mo. old. I love this picture of both of them.
This is the day Mike went through the Temple for the first time. Here is my dad, Liz, mom, Mike, Mark and me in front of the Oakland Temple just before he left on his mission.
Us kids at Mike's farewell including; my oldest brother Tom, me, Liz, Mark and Mike unfortunately my two older brothers Jim and Dave were not able to make it that day.
Emma (8+ mo.) and Mike at his farewell.
Here is a very recent (last week) picture of Mike in Mexico City at a baptism. Ain't he so cute!!

We can't wait to see our "little" Mikey!! We love you and have missed you!!! He comes home on Friday the 18th with my dad who went to pick him up.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

At The Turnbull's Cabin

Who is her mother? I know, her hair was completely out of control that day. She was sick and I wasn't going to fight her. As a result, we get a darling picture in her wet suit with CRAZY hair! Sorry Emma!

After the long post yesterday I thought I would keep it short and only post pictures! After we got home from Utah with Burke I went to pick Emma up from Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho where she was staying with Ty's sister's family the Labradors at the Turnbull's Cabin. Ty came up the next day with Burke. We had a great time. Thank you to the Labrador family for taking Emma in like she were your own. We really appreciate all the many times you have taken Emma while we were with Burke. We love you and Emma loves her second family!! Here are some pictures of that trip and also when we got home. Okay, some writing, not a lot though right!
Emma below has a cute little wedgie (sp? I don't think I've ever written that word before.) And yes that is a huge snow pile, and what month is it?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Heart Catheter Results

Well, I am finally getting around to posting an update on Burke's heart catheter he had on June 24, 2008. Dr. Cowley is the cardiologist who did the heart cath and he wanted to do an Echocardiogram (an ultrasound) on Burke's heart before they went in to do the heart cath. This took a good 45 min. to an hour. They give the parents of patients a pager in case they need us to come back to talk with us about what the doctors find out from the tests. So, after the hour long stressful wait, we were paged and went immediately back to the lab to discuss his heart with Dr. Cowley.

Dr. Cowley told us that Burke's heart is very unique and very different than most hearts. His anatomy is very difficult and his case is far from "text book". Yes, it is nice to have a unique child, but not in this case. No, I was only hoping that when they were to do this testing that they would go in there and balloon open his artery and see that everything else was good and head straight to surgery and then his heart would be fixed. That would be way too easy. But, you know what, believe it or not, I am grateful that this is challenging. That this is hard, because it is so worth it. Burke is so worth it. What I am learning is so worth it. Heavenly Father is watching over us and is in complete control and I am so grateful.

Dr. Cowley told us what they were going to do while in Burke's heart. They were going to try and open Burke's pulmonary valve. This is the valve that was basically dead when he was born causing the pulmonary artery to be a third of the size it should be. That valve if opened would help with the growth of the pulmonary artery, because the more blood flow, the more growth there'll be. Then if they couldn't open his valve they would balloon open the left branch of his pulmonary artery as it goes to the left lung. These branches are extremely small in size. The pulmonary artery needs to be bigger in size before they would fix the other major things wrong in his heart. So, in a heart cath, what they do is going up through the major arteries and veins in his groin area because it is a direct pathway to the heart. They use a catheter to go into his arteries and chambers of his heart to measure pressure and oxygen levels in his heart.

So, they told us it would probably be a couple of hours before they would be done. It took them forever in this heart cath. The last one was probably only 2 hours or so, but this one, was so long. It was so nerve racking. Anyways, they finally paged us back in there and showed us real live moving video of Burke's heart which was absolutely amazing. It is truly incredible what they can do these days. So, the reason it took so long in the lab was because Dr. Cowley tried for a long time to get through his pulmonary valve to open it up and he just couldn't do it. He said he just could not get through it. My heart sank, I was hoping and banking on that valve being opened. So, he then wanted to balloon his artery. He was almost not going to do the ballooning, because of the risk but then he said he ought to at least try. His artery was almost as small as the catheter they were using to go through his heart, that is how small it was. So, he said the ballooning went as good as it could have possibly gone. We were very excited. We also got to see a video of the ballooning and it was amazing. Picture a long skinny balloon being filled up with helium that is what was going on in his heart but on a much smaller scale.

Overall the doctors felt like the testing was a success. We were happy with the results also. They are hoping that his oxygen levels would go up from this procedure because there would hopefully be more blood flow through his artery. They kept him overnight to make sure he was stable and he was actually admitted to the PICU where he was when he has his first surgery when he was first born. But, because of the uniqueness of Burke's anatomy in his heart and the difficulty of what needs to be done to fix his heart they decided to postpone the surgery until they could conference with both surgeons (Dr. Kouretas and Dr. Hawkins) to figure out a game plan. They also wanted to postpone because they want Burke to be bigger so the surgery would be easier for the surgeons and easier on Burke and the recovery.

The doctors and surgeons were supposed to conference today (July 2) when the Senior Surgeon, Dr. Hawkins, would be able to be in on the discussion. They rarely bring on a second surgeon, usually one surgeon is able to handle the surgery and case just fine, but in Burke's case they are insisting that a second surgeon is brought onto the case to figure out what to do with Burke's heart. It is a little scary and very stressful to know that this won't be an easy surgery and won't be without its obstacles. But we are still hopeful for a successful surgery whenever it will be.

We heard from the Cardiologist, Dr. Jou today regarding Burke, and they actually didn't conference today about his heart. The surgeon they were waiting for to come back on duty, came back to work today, but I guess has had some family issue going on, and they thought it wouldn't be a good time to bring up Burke's case in fear that he might not want to or feel that he could do this surgery. We don't know all the details on what is going on, but we do know they will talk to him throughout this week and by next week we should know what they want to do with Burke' s heart, and when they want to bring him back for surgery. So, that is what I know. Sorry for this being so long, but that is what I get for taking so long to post the results. And if anyone ever has any questions feel free to ask because I know this is totally confusing even to myself sometimes. We are learning a lot about the heart and it is truly an amazing organ. So, here are some pictures of Burke after the catheter while still in the hospital. He did okay in recovery but was very uncomfortable and pretty sore . I felt so bad for the little guy, but he was a trooper.

He will also be on oxygen from now until he needs his next surgery. They told us they could bring us back for surgery in two weeks or wait for two months we don't know. But, his oxygen levels were not high enough when he was discharged from the hospital so they wanted him to be on oxygen. He resisted the oxygen in the hospital so much that we decided to do it right before we were to go home. He fought it a little, but then he got used to it.