At our last appointment with Dr. TennHearts in The City at his clinic for those of us that live in The Village, he had noticed the hole in her atria that Dr. HeartSurgeon had put in (on purpose) during her heart surgery. He wanted to close the hole through a catheterization procedure because he thought too much blood was short-circuiting the heart through it. He had wanted to just go ahead and schedule the procedure instead of another check-up, but when I told him that we would be in The BIG City to see Dr. Guts, he decided to do one more check-up at his office with the BIG City equipment, which I'm pretty sure is more advanced than most medical equipment where we live.
Miss B had a fever the day before, but we have been waiting almost 4 months to see Dr. Guts and there was no way we were skipping the appointment!
The BIG City is about 3 hours away, so Miss B and left at 6:45AM to make it to Dr. TennHearts appt at 10. Poor Miss B slept the whole way and when we arrived, she obviously didn't feel good. The nurse took her temp (100.9F) and her respiration rate was super fast. But, being the heart doctors, they told me I would have to take her to the ER to get it figured out! Seriously??? We were in a room with 2 doctors and 3 nurses and NONE of them can tell me what is wrong with her? Ridiculous.
Anyway, they went ahead with the heart appointment. Dr. TennHearts walked into the room and said, "We are going to look at her heart today to see if we can fix the hole between her atria through catheterization or if we are going to have to open heart surgery again."
Wait a minute! Open heart surgery AGAIN?? WHAT?!?!?? We had talked about the catheterization before, but OPEN HEART SURGERY?!?
I don't think there are very many phrases in the English language that can strike fear in me like the phrase "open heart surgery" can.
The room started spinning and it was just about all I could do to keep from fainting.
I know that sounds overly dramatic, but for those of you who have had a child go through open heart surgery, I'm sure you can understand. For those of you who haven't....I hope that you never know. It's not something that I would want any child or parent to have to go through.
Miss B and I headed to the echo cardiogram room--where Miss B did a fabulous job. I think it helped that she felt like crap, because she actually fell asleep during it! Because she was so still, the tech got to spend a lot of time getting really good pictures of her heart.
The whole time I was silently praying that we wouldn't have to do open heart surgery, that the hole could be fixed with the catheter procedure.
We walked back to Dr. TennHearts' office for another wait. I paced the room--Miss B had fallen asleep again on my shoulder.
Please don't need heart surgery again. Please. Please. Please.
Dr. TennHearts walked in and I braced myself for the worst.
"Good news. We got a really good look at her heart today. The hole is very small. And I think we should just leave it alone entirely. See you in six months."
If I hadn't been so elated about the good news, I think I would have chewed him out for scaring the crap out of me.
I left the appointment with a still sick baby, but feeling very blessed. If she hadn't been sick and laying so still, they might not have gotten a good look at her heart. If we hadn't come all the way to The BIG City for her appointment, and just relied on the info from the equipment in The City, we would have unnecessarily messed with her heart. And possibly taken her into OPEN HEART SURGERY for NO REASON.
The idea of open heart surgery is horrible on its own...but to do open heart surgery unnecessarily?? (Shudder)...
In a daze, I picked up some Motrin for Miss B at the pharmacy--which helped tremendously.
After that wild ride, our appointment with Dr. Guts was rather uneventful--just a lot of questions about the ins and outs of Miss B. (haha-pun intended.) We scheduled a swallow study for her to make sure she isn't aspirating. We'll see how that goes.
(Anti-climactic, I know. But I would MUCH MUCH rather have her medical episodes be anti-climactic instead of being nail-biters.)
Stay tuned...this week Miss B heads to Dr. Ears.
P.S. Miss B (and T-Man) are still sick. We saw Dr. SouthernKids on Friday, so now they are on various meds that should make them feel good. The jury is still out on that. I think they are doing better, just not totally fabulous yet.