Today, or rather last night, began the countdown to Friday. This countdown is marked by sleepless nights, constant anxiety, and lots of prayers. Why do you ask is Friday so important?
Because, Friday, June 24th at 1:00 pm is AJ’s next cardiology appointment.
Background: At AJ’s four-month appointment her pediatrician was listening to her heart when he noticed a heart murmur. Not uncommon he says, but wanted us to take her to the hospital to have an echocardiogram. That was horrible. Took over an hour and AJ refused to be still. I think they finally just gave up and decided what pictures they had would be good enough.
Well, they probably were good enough, because they let the doctor know that she appeared to have what is call an Atrial Septal Defect. This link is great for explaining just what an ASD is and the common treatments. In that article they talk about how some smaller ASDs will close on their own, without the need for medical intervention. This is where the prayers come in, because AJ’s Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. A, told us in no uncertain terms he was confident that hers would not close on its own and that she would need to have a heart cath (also explained in the article, pg 3) to fix hers. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to stop hoping for a miracle. At least he seems confident that it won’t require open heart surgery, silver lining!
Amazingly, the first time we found ourselves sitting in his examination room he took one look at her and asked us why she was there. I looked dumbfounded at him and told him that our pediatrician, Dr. Issy, had sent us. He smiled, and confirmed that he had talked to him but upon looking at her wasn’t convinced that anything was wrong with her. He went on to explain that the poor quality of the echo may have led the technician to believe that she had an ASD when in fact it could just be a shadow. Apparently, this has happen before to him.
But, since we were in his office, he went ahead and wrapped her up to do an echo himself. He turned her into a little burrito and in less than 15 minutes had crystal clear photos of her heart.
Unfortunately, he did find her ASD.
He showed it to us, in real-time. I will never forget that first look into my baby girl’s heart, watching it pump away with what looked like a flap of skin floating in the breeze between the atrial chambers. Dr. A explained that was supposed to be a wall. He classified her ASD as medium and stable.
So far, thankfully, it hasn’t gotten any worse. That however, does not keep me from worrying every time an appointment comes along. The kicker to this Friday’s appointment is that Bran will not be able to go along. I know I’ll be okay, I even know almost 85% sure what the doctor will say. But that doesn’t make me dread it any less.
So here goes a week running on anxiety and caffeine….