Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's always a scary day.

(Little Man - the day he was born, in the NICU)

Today my little man had to go to the cardiologist. As I wrote in my very first post, little man was born with a congenital heart defect. Unlike some parents, we actually found out about it when I was 36 weeks along in my pregnancy. It was very beneficial because the doctors could prepare for the care little man would need once he was born. He spent the first 5 days of his life in the NICU in the hospital where he was born and the next 16 days in various areas in the hospital where he had his open heart surgery. It was such a scary time for me and my hubby. While I was optimistic, I often wondered what our life would be like in the future with little man. Flash forward 14 months to basically his one year, post-op cardiology appointment. One of the first questions the cardiologist always ask is "If you didn't know little man had open-heart surgery, would you know there was anything wrong with him?" We always answer no to that question, and today was no different. Little man is your average 14-month old little boy. He plays, he crawls, he chatters quite a bit, he eats...and eats....and eats. You would never know there was anything wrong with him. Even so, I worry whenever I have to go to an appointment. It always starts out with the doctor examining him, checking his heart to see how it sounds, and checking the pulses in his legs. That's a funny thing about little man. O.K., maybe not funny, but definitely interesting. When they fixed his heart, they had to use the arteries in his arms to fix it. Now the interesting thing about that is he no longer has very good pulses and they wouldn't be able to obtain a good blood pressure using his arms. Whenever we go see someone new, we have to tell them to obtain proper readings by using his legs. This will be a vital piece of information we need to tell little man when he is old enough. Therefore when someone new goes to check these things, he will be able to tell them how to do it properly. O.K., I've kind of ventured off the topic. Anyway....everything with the doctor's initial exam was excellent. Another thing he checks in the appointment is to give little man an EKG to see if there have been any changes since the last one....and again, he is doing excellent. The nurse was a little worried as little man is getting a little older, and he has a tendency to move around....ALOT. He actually was very good and sat in my lap, very still, until the EKG was done. It is actually a very quick we lucked out!! The last thing that needs to be done is the echocardiogram. Now if anyone has ever had one of these, they take a little bit of time. Now making a 14 month old lay down for any extended amount of time (other than bed time) is very difficult. Little man only took a short morning nap, so we were hopeful he would be extra tired and fall asleep during the test. No such luck. He did good for probably the first 15 minutes. We would distract him with different things....a Blue's Clues video, the overhead mobile, and especially daddy's cell phone, which he loves. After 15 minutes he wanted none of it. The nurse decided to give him a break and wait for the doctor to come in and finish the test. It gave us about 10 minutes between my hubby and me to get little man to sleep. When he finally fell asleep, we were able to set him down on the exam table. Just then the doctor came in and finished up. After all the tests, the doctor was very pleased with what he saw. The main concern with little man is if one of his valves becomes blocked. Fortunately right now it looks just as it did when he had it repaired. The doctor always qualifies it with "that could change in a year, ten years, when he's in high school, or it may never change." So I am remaining optimistic at this point that little man is a healthy little boy....and I'm still going to continue to enjoy every waking minute with him!!! He has been my little miracle baby since the first day I found out I was pregnant....and he lives up to that every day. Well, this post has gotten much longer than I intended, but I guess I just needed someplace to talk about all of this.