Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cardiologist

Today Christian and I went on an adventure to Cy-Fair to see the very nice cardiologist. I believe the little guy was a little sad when he realized we were not going to the park after all which is what we normally do after I feed him his 10ish meal. However, he was able to entertain himself with all of the goodies in the bowling bag I use for such occasions. He figured out real fast that I store lots of treats in the bag, and even on Monday at the pediatrician started helping himself to it's contents.

We arrived at the appointment about 25 min early, spoke to reception and took a seat. I gave him some cards to play with and started to fill out the form. It wasn't 10 minutes into it and we were already being called to the back. I was shocked by the efficiency.

The first woman who helped us had me change Christian into a gown, weighed him (26ish pounds), took his height (33ish inches), and did his blood pressure from all four limbs. On Monday CJ hadn't responded too well to the blood pressure monitor, reached at it with his other hand and fussed a bit, but today he didn't even touch the cuff. I have always loved the blood pressure cuff myself so I didn't understand his aversion. Next she did an EKG. For this test she placed 13 VERY sticky "stickers" on his torso and attached a wire to each one. Almost as soon as she got the last wire clipped on the test printed and she was done. I couldn't believe how fast it was.

Next the cardiologist came and spoke to me. He asked what I already knew and commented on the fact that since he was an adoption I probably knew a whole lot. (This means he actually read Christian's file. How amazing!) So I told him what I knew and then he told me more details complete with a diagram that was very geometric and made a whole bunch on sense to me.

So the gist of what is wrong: there is a hole (or maybe two small holes) in the septum (tissue) that separates the left and right ventricles (lower portions) of CJ's heart.  Because there is always a difference in pressure between the left and right side of the heart, and liquid will flow to the area of least resistance, some of his clean blood passes through this hole. The clean blood is then sent to the lungs. This means the lungs are having to accommodate more blood than they really should. It also means the heart is having to do some extra work. Finally, the hole(s) is very close to one of his valves. This may create a problem as the flow through the hole may start to pull the valve as well.

The doctor then said he would like to try and get some pictures of the heart, ultrasound, if we thought Christian would behave. We both agreed CJ seemed most willing to cooperate. During this whole time Christian has been eating a granola bar, and when the doctor leaves us he finishes so I take out a banana. When the banana is done we play with some bubbles. This is when he makes his only sounds of the whole 2.25 hour visit - a few shrieks of glee at the bubbles Omma creates.He gets bored with the bubbles, and goes back to the bag for more food. I direct him to the pretzel goldfish.


It wasn't too much longer and the next technician came to get us for the Echocardiogram (ultrasound). For this test he had to lay on a table, three more stickers with wires were placed on his torso, and by the end LOTS of gel all over his chest and tummy. He laid there for over 15 minutes, I was timing it with the VCR the tech had playing Elmo, and didn't make a peek. In fact the technician said she had NEVER had a two year-old be so still and that included her own two-year old. My son gets the "Best Echo Patient" ever award!!!!

At this point I got to dress the boy and after reading just one book the cardiologist was back to tell us his final prognosis. It is his opinion, I am happy to say, that at this time there is no reason for surgery. He included sound medical reasons such as he is thriving and the hole(s) very well still could heal on it own, but also adoption reason such as since it isn't paramount to correct the hole(s) at this time having CJ go through surgery would not help with his transition and attachment. Did I tell you I liked this doctor yet!?!?!? It is the doctors opinion that Christian should be allowed to experience the holidays and we will go back in 6 months for a follow up.

I am so excited by our whole experience - even the drive 20 plus miles was well worth it. The environment was so much more pleasant and all of the workers were so much calmer and kinder. There wasn't craziness in the elevator to deal with and I didn't have to pay for parking. I know I paid for gas, but trust me it was less. I wasn't able to make the next appointment, it's too far in advance, but if I have anything to do with I will be driving back north come 6 months from now.

8 comments:

  1. Great news, Rachel! I'm so glad that everything went well and that Christian isn't in need of any major hospital time right now. Lots of prayers for Christian's heart to heal on its own. Sending both of you and Chris some hugs through the interwebs :-)

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  2. Sharon (blkbltmom)October 21, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    So excited for you guys!!!! LOVE the picture at the top of Christian with the soccer ball by the way. I am so glad you got good news from the doctor - and a 20 mile drive isn't that bad - at least not where I live!!! LOL. But then again I take Mitch 3 states over for some of his appointments.

    Having a great doctor is worth everything! Also, I couldn't imagine Alex sitting still for 15 minutes for anything - kudos on a great son!

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  3. Congratulations to both of you! We've driven out to that clinic for GI visits; I agree that they are so much faster than in the main campus. Thank goodness for responsive docs that listen and read the files! We'll keep thinking about you and send prayers your way! Any interest in getting our two little fellas together? Little CJ is older than my guy, but it might be fun...

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  4. That is amazing news. I'm really glad that you are comfortable with this doctor and that he understands transition and attachment.

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  5. Kate - We're feeling the love way down here :)

    Sharon - But how long does it take you to get to another state, that is the question of the moment? And as you know I just got super lucky on a son that sits still. I am doing everything in my power to encourage that he continues.

    Lucie - That sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe we could meet at a park I go back to work next week so we could plan a weekend.

    Breen - We got so lucky. Apparently his brother and close friend have both adopted internationally.

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  6. Wonderful news, Rachel! What a sweet little boy, so cooperative. Praise God!

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  7. Great news! So happy for Christian and mommy!

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  8. Hey Rach, My friend Kelly has the same problem w/ her daughter Alexis. We thought she grew out of it but it presented later on...which is now. She is 7 and now has to undergo a valve transplant. She will be at Texas Children's. I know maybe you don't like the surroundings and paying for parking, but....specialising in pediatric cardiology...well make sure you do your research before committing. You want to be somewhere that puts Children FIRST. They are harder to take care of as patients than adults. I LOVE reading the blog! Keep it up. Don't worry about Christian running to you when you come home....I love to run and hug Friggy too! Aunt Carmen (just talked to Frig and your boy...I think he was trying to sing to me!)

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