This is a blog for my daughter Scarlett. She was born with a complex congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia. She is my little hero.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Goodbye Pulse-Ox and Oxygen Tank(s)!

Today while I was out APRIA stopped by my house (while my babysitter was home) and picked up the godforsaken pulse-oximeter machine as well as the huge oxygen tank and the portable oxygen tank (and some "spares" that were in the closet).

I wish I could have been there to take a picture, because it is a happy day in Scarlett's life!  She's been off of oxygen for weeks and I haven't used the pulse-ox in just as long, but they've been sitting around my house staring at me and reminding me of everything my poor little baby had to go through.

I remember one of my heartmom friends said that she wish they didn't cost so much so we can BURN the pulse-ox machine when we're done using them... like it should be a rite of passage for all heart babies. I couldn't agree more. I am so happy not to have to "plug her in" at night and call APRIA to order the foot probes and to play guessing games when the O2 levels go up and down from minute to minute or from second to second. What torture that was (for both of us!).

So, I am happy to say that Scarlett is OFFICIALLY oxygen free (meaning, it's not even in the house anymore) Woo Hoo! She is doing fantastic post-surgery.

Playing with her toys, crying at the top of her lungs, giggling when tickled, whining when  necessary (well, is it ever really necessary to whine?), crawling all over the house, pulling herself up on her knees, eating solid foods (including finger foods), and believe me, she has mommy and daddy wrapped around her little finger (and she knows it). 

We've even been able to take her out in public for the first time in 9 months! She went to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes, she went to church for grandpa's funeral, she's going to a park tomorrow for her cousin's birthday makes me want to cry to think that she's *finally* getting to live life like a normal baby. I never thought this day would come. I couldn't be happier for her.

She still has some major separation anxiety issues, and for the most part only wants to be held by mommy and daddy (meaning my sister, his sister, the babysitter, my mom, etc.. won't do at all when Todd or I am around... she only wants ~us~ to hold her), but that is such a small price to pay for a *healthy* and happy baby. It's hard to tell how much of it is us spoiling her, and how much of it is post-traumatic-stress-disorder related to her hospital stay in the ICU... either way, we hug her a little more, we kiss her a little more, we cuddle a little more and we definitely hold her a lot more than we probably would have if she was a little more independant (as a 'normal' 9-month-old).

Pulse-Ox is gone. Oxygen Tank(s) is gone. This is a momentous day for our family and it is a happy day for Scarlett. : )


  1. Hi Melodie,

    Hooray for Scarlett! Hooray for no more oxygen tanks and pulse ox! Congratulations on reaching this happy milestone. Love to see her so happy and playing. Can't wait for the day when I don't have to be so concentrated on Alexa's O2 sats as well but knowing surgery looms in the horizon is scary. Scarlett gives me hope of getting to the other side. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Congrats on the lack of equipment. As far as burning the pulse-ox goes, I wouldn't really want to burn it. I don't think that would give me enough satisfaction. From day 1 I have wanted to take a hammer to it. Actually if you picture the alarm clock in the movie Groundhog's Day and all the times he smooshed it to pieces. That's what I'd like to do. Especially back when she was wearing it 24/7 and it would go off ALL NIGHT LONG because her stats were all over the place all of the time. Now we just spot check her when we have a concern jsut to make sure she's ok- so its a relief more than an annoyance. Since we're double insured and don't pay for it out of pocket- Beth thinks we may as well keep it around. But someday- I'd love to smash it to tiny tiny pieces.

  3. Love it, love it, love it! Last item of business. . . advance to regular milk so you can stop pumping!!!

  4. yeah for no more oxygen. I was so happy when Collin was rid of O2. He was on it for 2 months post-op his Glenn Shunt. She is a cutie! and I hear ya on separation anxiety. I dont think Collin will ever get over it. He is almost 17 months and still has it. He has his good and bad days...but I just try and remember that he has been thru a lot and be VERY patient :)