Monday, October 26, 2009
When Barrett was 2 and a half weeks old, we took him to the pediatrician because he was vomiting. After the doctor checked him out with a stethoscope and looked in his ears, he called in another pediatrician to also look at Barrett. The doctors told us that his heart rate was too fast to count and that we needed to go to the emergency room immediately. In fact, because the pediatrician's office is near the hospital, they told us we should drive him there ourselves and not wait for an ambulance.
When we got to the ER, the doctors and nurses were waiting on us and we took him straight back. His heart rate was 279 -- the result of a condition called SVT. At one time, we counted twelve doctors and nurses trying to get an IV in Barrett to give him medicine to break the SVT and make his heart rate go down. They even shaved a little patch of his hair to try an IV in his head. After the medicine was finally in his system, his heart rate went down and they took him up to the pediatriac ICU for further treatment while we waited.
After a while, the pediatriac cardiologist brought us from the family waiting room to a private conference room. He explained to us that Barrett was in SVT for a while and this caused cardiomyopathy, making his heart enlarge and eventually tire out and become unable to beat. Barrett's condition was deemed critical and we were told to prepare for the worst, including the very real possibility that he would not survive. Without doubt, this was the worst day of our lives.
Too many cords and monitors for such a tiny baby.