We saw the cardiologist early in the month. They did a follow-up EKG, which was normal, and a follow-up ultrasound, which revealed a new problem. Actually, the tech spotted the problem during the first ultrasound, but they wrote it off as poor imaging due to the fit he was throwing. Here's the short version (forgive me, medical people, if I botch the names). The aortic arch in the neck normally goes to the left, but sometimes goes to the right. This isn't a problem in and of itself. The blood vessel that goes to the right arm usually comes off the right of the arch, but sometimes comes off the left. Again, not a problem in and of itself. When both of these less-common conditions occur, the two blood vessels form a loop and can encircle an organ, constricting it. If this is the case, surgery is required. His lungs don't appear to be trapped; he's never had any problem there. His esophagus, on the other hand, could be in the loop. It's hard to tell with babies because they consume only liquids. However, Mikey has shown signs of reflux without having reflux, and this could be causing that (or that could be circumstantial). Additionally, Mikey has shown some signs of aspiration, but all these symptoms overlap, so we don't know what's causing what, if any of these is the problem. We were scheduled to have a modified barium swallow on 1/28 to check for aspiration, but he was doing better, so we cancelled it. I'm glad we did, since the cardiologist is requiring one for the blood vessel issue, so we'd have had to do another one. This one, on 3/25, will check for everything. If anything shows up where the blood vessels are concerned, he will have an MRI. I guess they can check all of this with a CT Scan but don't because of the radiation. On top of all this, the doctor has changed his opinion from being 90% sure Mikey won't need surgery for the hole in his heart to 60-70% sure. He's still asymptomatic, but it is not getting smaller.
The neck and back issues are still issues, though they are very slowly improving. The craniosacral therapist is making progress, but Mikey isn't responding like babies typically do; he fights the therapy.
Mikey is a happy, healthy boy, though. He laughs and smiles all the time. Today he let out a series of belly laughs in his sleep! He adores his sister, even though she inadvertently tries to kill him daily. Ellie never smiled or laughed so readily (we literally had to throw stuff at her to evoke a laugh). It's an instant ego boost. :o)