Monday, January 11, 2010

Cardiology Clinic tomorrow afternoon

Wren has clinic tomorrow afternoon. As always its a worry. I would hope that his obvious wellbeing and health are an assurance that all is going well with his heart. However, even at his well child checkup I could not dream it was all fixed. His pediatrician let Wren listen to his heart and described it to him as "like someone sawing, ghee ghaw." Wren said he heard it.

An ER Resident once called a colleague to listen, saying it was "like a washing machine."

That's not normal. Right?

Anyway, I am hopeful and its in the afternoon so there is no point in getting all freaked out yet. For our new friends, cardiology clinic is for routine follow-up of Wren's heart defect. Almost all kids with CHDs have cardiology checkups at various intervals. If you have annual checkups you are considered pretty stable. Post-operatively they can be monthly but we have gone from month one, month two, 4 month and now 6 monthly.

At cardiology clinic they do a general well-child check (weight, height, nurse asking questions), an echocardiogram (a long ultrasound of the heart in a dark room while Wren watches TV high on the wall). After that they do blood pressures (all four arms) and sometimes an EKG showing the electrical impulses of his heart.

Finally, there is a nasty wait while the echo technician confers with the cardiologist to ensure that they have the right views and agree on what they are seeing. After that the 'team' comes in to tell you what they have learned. The team includes our cardiologist, the medical student(s) he is training, his nurse and generally another junior nurse. The rooms are not large so its pretty crowded.

We have a talk with the cardiologist and I try and scribble notes and make sense of things in a way that allows me to ask questions and assess whether this is something I should panic over. The big question is always "if and when Wren will need surgery again" probably for his aortic valve.

Wish us luck.

I will post an update tomorrow night while Mum (worrying with us) is on the plane to South Africa for my little brother's 40th birthday! Bon voyage.

Josh will be come to clinic with me but will be late to be here to fetch Frost from the school bus.


nautilus said...

I will be thinking of you and hope that it is the best possible news. I fly out at 3.30pm.... lots of love MUM

ChristophersHeart said...

Good luck today Shannon! Hoping for only good news for you. I am always super nervous before Chris has his appointments too, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, I think. I'll look for an update, hoping there are no significant changes and no surgery on the horizon.

Anna said...

Good luck, Shannon and Wren. I'm thinking of you.