When we were in for Aaron's last surgery, we heard a new sound in his heart. I had heard it earlier in the week, but I really don't listen to his heart that often, so I wasn't sure how long it really had been there. (It's hard to hear his heart over his lungs and the ventilator. I really have to just focus on it to hear it.) He also has a murmur, because of his VSD, that I've never been able to pick out. But after surgery, the attending on the floor also heard it.
Turns out it's something called a "split S1" The S1 is the "lub" in the "lub-dub" you hear when you listen to a heart. On Aaron, you could hear the first sound clearly, but immediately after, and before the second sound (S2), there was almost a faint echo. It appears that this is no big deal for our hero, but it did earn him a quicker follow-up with his cardiologist, Dr. Menon. The plan had been to return in December, but with this new development, we were asked to see him this last week.
In the above picture, he's having an echo. It uses the same technique and everything as a prenatal ultrasound, but focusses entirely on the heart/lungs. He wasn't real thrilled with holding still and really wanted to help the tech with her wand. His results were very good. The right side of his heart continues to be less thick (unthick?) and his pressures continue to decrease. The thickening was the result of his bout with heart failure a year ago, so the decrease in thickness is a very, very good sign. He also still has his PDA.
The ductus arteriosus is open, or patent, in an unborn child. It allows the baby's blood to bypass the lungs, since it doesn't need to pick up oxygen there before it's born. After the baby is born, it closes so the blood is all routed through the lungs. Some children, usually preemies or other compromised infants, don't close on their own. Sometimes it has looked like Aaron's was closed, but when he's upset, or very active, during an echo, we can tell for certain. And yep, his is still open. It's very tiny, and unless he was having something else done, we wouldn't close it. But if we do end up closing his VSD in the future, we'll have that closed as well. But that's all a long time away.
In his second picture, he's having an EKG done. Yep, that's 13 electrodes on that little body. Somehow, it doesn't seem like as many as last December, but his body is a lot bigger now, too. That also came out with very good results. So it looks like the split S1 is just Aaron being Aaron and keeping us on our toes.