Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Matters of the Heart



So LL has to go to a Pediatric Cardiologist on Friday to have a heart murmur checked out.  Part of me isn't worried, as she probably has the same thing I do.  Every few months, I am going about my normal day, my chest will suddenly hurt when I take a breath.  I slowly breathe through the discomfort and in moments it is over until another few months passes.  I have never had treatment for my irregular heartbeat but it is noticed and monitored when I am under medical care.  Trey also inherited an irregular heartbeat from me, though that was the least of his problems.  So, I am pretty much in good spirits about this development, until the wheels in my head start turning...

All of the ultrasounds of our daughter that were taken by the neonatal specialist whose main specialty was neonatal cardiology.  I am sure he was chosen to take care of us during our pregnancy due to all of the heart complications that Trey had.  He spent LOADS of time searching every nook and cranny looking for any abnormalities, whether Trey had them or not.  He also listened to her heartbeat from different angles.  I bet we have more pictures of her heart than any other body part.  He also looked for other signs of CHARGE such as a clef palate or deformed ear.  We were beyond relieved every time he told us that everything he was seeing in her was healthy.  So you can imagine my surprise when, with all the time he spent looking at her heart, that a murmur could be missed.  Maybe they can't tell about stuff like that in utero?  Maybe the murmur is so minute, that it was impossible to detect, even with the best medical equipment.  Maybe the murmur has developed since the last ultrasound.  These are the thoughts that run through my head, but the last one ESPECIALLY scares me.  

Our daughter hasn't presented with any breathing difficulties or chest pains, yet who knows what's coming.  Trey's CHARGE diagnosis slapped us upside the face and downside the other.  

I remember the panic in the midwife's reaction that I had not yet been seen by the neonatal cardiologist after suspicions of a heart problem arose.   I remember the two hours I had to lay on the ultrasound table in pain (that I would later learn were contractions) while one neonatal cardiologist after another came in to look at Trey's heart only to not be able to see all four chambers of his heart.  I remember the flood of tears as the head NC Specialist telling us the extent of his heart problems, that it was so serious we were going to have to go to a special hospital for further testing, although I am sure I have blocked out the name, it was THAT severe.  I remember scouring the internet with my husband that night looking for ANY information on the heart condition that Trey had, which was also blocked out when CHARGE was diagnosed.  I remember the brave face I put on when I went into work and tried to explain to my co-workers why I had missed the baby shower they were supposed to throw for me the day we were at the NC.  Then I remember the next day...being admitted six weeks from my due date into the hospital.  I remember the specialists checking Trey's heart rate more frequently than my contractions were.  I remember wondering if their visits were THAT frequent, why didn't they just take him out of me via C-Section.  I remember him not breathing when he was born and screaming at everyone in the room to make him breathe.  I remember never seeing him without breathing equipment.  I remember the doctor telling us about CHARGE.  I remember hoping for machines to slowly not be needed anymore as we waited for a bed at the children's hospital.  I remember the day they called us and told us he was being transferred and I remember being told by the Dean of Medicine of the children's hospital telling us "I'm afraid you haven't been told the whole story", yes, I quoted him.

So this brings me to Friday's appointment, I am going solo as John did the two month shots.  For some odd reason, I can't talk to Trey about this one.  I know he is with her, always looking out for her, but he can't change the wheels that are already in motion in her physiology.  I suppose Friday I will ask for his strength, it just hurts so much to reach out to him, when his heart... had so many problems (I won't EVER say his heart was weak).  

So for now I exhale, and hold onto hope that our little girl's murmur is nothing more than what I have and that she WILL grow out of it as the pediatrician says.  Bless her little heart!

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