Friday, September 17, 2010

Doctor #5: Cardiology

Gosh, we're really chalking up the doctors' visits, aren't we?

I'm shot after today - a very busy morning after too little sleep!

So today was cardiology for our little one. A friend offered to watch our eldest (he had a great time!), so it was just baby and myself (and DH joined us halfway through).

I got a dreadfully late start, but thankfully it didn't matter since I'd arranged to have them fax the intake papers to us so that I could fill them out at home - there is nothing I dislike more at doctors' visits than having to fill out reams of paperwork in a noisy and distracting waiting room while dealing with a cranky baby or rambunctious toddler, all while secretaries are asking for insurance cards and co-pays. So thankfully we skipped all that! I plan to do that with every doctor appointment I have for the rest of my life. (Though some docs, like my primary care provider, have real on-line forms! Love it!)

Thankfully, they were really on-time - there was little to no waiting. We started out with a quick EKG, for which baby was a sweet angel. Then we went for the echocardiogram (an ultrasound), and he let loose for all he was worth - screamed his head off the whole time - why, I'm not sure, as it was painless and on a comfy bed. But he was not having it! Poor baby, and poor ultrasound tech! We were all a big ragged by the time it was over. Baby went right to sleep in his carseat afterward, then DH arrived, and then the doctor came in.

We had a great doctor, who was a pleasure to work with - I love doctors who are clear, concise, and logical. This was a good visit.

We were expecting a clean bill of health - that this visit would be more of a formality than anything. Well, not quite - but nothing horribly serious either.

They found two things with baby's heart:

#1 - A Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) - this is a septum that should have closed at birth (when circulation changes from fetal circulation patterns to newborn circulation patterns) and didn't. It's extremely common - 20-25% of the adult population has it, so it's nothing to worry about and almost never causes problems.

#2 - A Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA) - another circulatory pathway that should have shut down at birth and didn't. Less common, and may possibly cause problems due to reduced circulatory efficiency. We're going back in 9 months to see if it is causing problems (heart enlargement, etc.), or if it has possibly closed (that would be best, though very unlikely since it usually closes within 24 hours post-birth), and we'll confer at that time with the doctor to see if correction is necessary. If it is, it will be done through groin catheterization, so it wouldn't be major-major-major (i.e. open-heart) surgery. Hopefully it won't happen at all!

These health issues with baby are like an onion - every time we investigate, we find more problems! And I can't say that I'm not a bit freaked out by the possibility of heart surgery for baby. However, knowledge is good, and I'm glad to have another doctor visit in the "done" category. Now remains only our visit with our geneticist, as well as next week's state-sponsored therapy evaluation.

I'm shot! Nap time!!!! Have a lovely weekend, all!


  1. I had heart surgery as a baby - 1st one was at 3 m/o and 2nd at 3 y/o [the first was to get me to live long enough to be big enough for the second]. The first one was "just" heart surgery, and the second was *open* heart surgery. Not fun for my mom, I know, but I really don't remember it - only vague memories of being in the hospital the 2nd time. Glad to hear that they've improved techniques in the past few decades so now they can do it through the cath. The scar down my chest doesn't bother me - I'm as used to it as I am the shape of my nose and the color of my hair; but, yeah, if I could have avoided it, it would've been nice.


  2. Oh yes, Kathy! I remember you talking about that a year or so ago. Glad to know someone who's been there, done that! It's definitely more stream-lined nowadays - a good thing! :)

  3. I'm sorry for the news but I'm glad it is minor. Hugs


I love to hear from you! All kind and thoughtful comments will be published; all inconsiderate or hurtful comments will be deleted quietly without comment. Thanks for visiting!