Friday, January 22, 2010


That's what I'm going these days, a little online researching - and this time the words 'heart', 'c-tga' and 'surgery' aren't in my search box!

Now, I finally feel like we can start making some plans for our little getaway. I just love checking things out online and finding places to stay and things to do. I was starting to think we wouldn't find the kind of hotel that I was looking for....and just this afternoon, I happened to find this: The Depot Minneapolis!

Who could resist a pool with a train in the middle of it....or skating rink!

It is a little ways away from the shopping mecca (and Nickelodeon Universe!!) that we'd like to spend some time at, so we might divide our stay at more than one place!

Anyone have any of their own recommendations? I'd love to hear of places to visit, activities for the boys, places to eat. And any other hotel suggestions (would love a pool area that also has a kiddy pool!).

Thanks in advance!!

This kind of research is fun!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What is L-TGA/C-CTGA?

(edited to add further explanation and diagram)

The heart is pretty complex! And although I try and explain Nate's heart in pretty basic terminology, it still can be pretty confusing. Here are a couple of pictures that might help make it more clear!

Corrected Transposition with VSD

Here's a detailed 'C-CTGA' heart:

correct tga

Congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (CCTGA) is a pretty rare heart defect in which the heart’s lower half is reversed. Of all babies born with a heart condition, approx. 0.5% - 1% have CCTGA. It is also called L-TGA. It is different from and much less common than “regular” transposition of the great arteries (TGA or D-TGA).

To understand CCTGA, it helps to first understand how a normal heart works. We're going back to Grade 9 Bio here! A normal heart is divided into two sides. The right side pumps blood from the body into the lungs. The left side pumps the blood from the lungs out to the body. Each side has an atrium and a ventricle.The atrium acts like a “waiting room” for the blood. The ventricle does the hard work of pushing the blood out to the lungs or body. At the entrance and exit from each ventricle is a valve, which acts like a door. These valves allow the ventricle to fill with blood from one side, and then push it out the other. Each ventricle and valve is designed to do its specific job. The right ventricle is designed to give the blood a gentle push to send it to the lungs. It is bigger than the left ventricle and does not have as much muscle. The left ventricle is designed to give the blood a strong push out to the body. It has less space inside because its thick walls take up more space. The valve between the left atrium and ventricle, the mitral valve, is the body’s strongest valve. It is designed to stay shut against the strong push of the blood out to the body.

In CCTGA, the two ventricles are reversed. The two valves "follow' the ventricles, so they are also reversed. The weaker, larger right ventricle grows on your heart’s left side. It now has to do the job of the stronger ventricle and pump the blood to your body. Your stronger, smaller left ventricle grows on your heart’s right side. It pumps blood to the lungs. Because it's the strong one, it's pumping with more pressure than is required to get to the lungs. And the body’s weakest valve—the tricuspid valve,serves as the mitral valve, which in most cases, Nate's included, is very leaky — and has to deal with the high pressure blood being pumped through.

edited to add:

Although the two heart valves and two arteries are transposed or exit from the 'wrong' ventricle, the blood flows to the correct place because the ventricles are also reversed. And that's why it's called corrected....2 wrongs kinda make a right!

Clear as mud? Don worry, there won't be a test!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Catching Up

Apparently I've been somewhat absent from these parts lately! Like a lot of people, life these days is pretty much consuming.

We've had a few appointments for Nate, including some unexpected trips to Urgent Care and the ER, after a mysterious leg injury. He seems to be doing better day by day, which is nice after 4 days of not being able to put any weight down on his left leg.

Still no word on a surgery date for him. Patiently awaiting more information! And since we haven't heard anything at this point, it's looking a bit more promising that we may be able to go on our little mini holiday to Minneapolis in 3 weeks. That makes the Flyer's fans in this house a little excited!

Growing up, our family had a New Year's tradition. Every year, Dad would get out our "Resolution" folder and we'd all sit down together as a family. We'd go over our resolutions from the previous year, sometimes with satisfaction, other times with a laugh, and we'd think about the year to come and each of us would give our goals for the year. They could be anything, from completing a piano exam, going on a particular family holiday, a school or work goal - anything.

So, here's one of my resolutions for this year. How about you? Share one of your resolutions....leave a comment....I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Christmas and New Year's have come and gone....but they were good!! Lots of great time together with family and friends.

Christmas Day was our own little family's special time. After reading the Christmas story, we shared some gifts with the boys. That was followed with our tradition of waffles and sauce for brunch and a nice lazy day.

The 26th wasn't so lazy! A crazy snowstorm made travel a bit treacherous, but I still managed to drive across town to a family gathering, thanks to some friendly guys out on the street with snow blowers and shovels, who got me out of a mess!

Now here's something you'll only see on the prairies.

For some reason, our neighbors thought a cleared front lawn would be a benefit to them.

Just to put it in perspective, those large doors are at a local motorhome they are very high doors. Gotta love the drifts!

Don emailed me this picture that he took when he got to work on the 26th.

Our gingerbread house that was slowly drooping....

And how good life is, when you can fall asleep watching your favorite movie, and hanging on to Filmore and Lightning!

Apparently our boys would rather cuddle with hard metal objects! No blankies or stuffed animals for them!