Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some good news!

Scarlett had her appointment at Yale Hospital Wednesday to reevaluate her Ventricular Septal Defect, better referred to as a VSD, but best known as a "hole in the heart." (To read more about them, click here.)
Scarlett was diagnosed with a heart murmur at birth. When she was four months old I brought her to Yale Children's Hospital Cardiology Center for testing. The process was grueling. She had to have an EKG done, but even worse was the ultrasound. At four months old I had trouble pinning her down on the table so the technician could get an accurate view. It took 45 minutes and she screamed and thrashed the whole time despite the best efforts of all the dancing, and funny-face making nurses. She was tired and hungry and cranky by the end, and so was I. After 5 hours, they determined she had this congenital heart defect. It was obviously rough news for everyone. Open heart surgery was discussed; fears were instilled; and I only had to wait an entire year before she could be reevaluated. I still remember walking back to the car with my tiny baby girl and calling Joe on my cell phone to tell him the bad news. I could cry just thinking about it. "What does that mean," he said. "What's wrong with my baby?"
Last Wednesday was the reevaluation. I went into the appointment fully prepared for a 5 hour long visit. I brought juice, fruit loops, her favorite Etch-a-Sketch doodler, and Mickey (her nuh-nights buddy)...and tissues for me - being fully prepared to cry...especially when I was trying to restrain my 16-month old toddler on the ultrasound table. How could she possibly understand why these people were holding her down while squirting cold jelly and rolling scary machinery on her bare little chest?! We saw Dr. Friedman, same as last year. He took one listen to Scarlett's heart (after calling her a little pickle - how cute?!), he looked me in the eyes and said "this will close on its own, I promise you. Go home." That's that. No EKG. No Ultrasound. No scheduling of open heart surgery. We went home 30 minutes after we got there - and we still had over two hours left on the parking meter.
We have one more reevaluation same time next year. The possibility of surgery has not been ruled out, but it is looking far less likely. (They like for these holes to be closed up by age two - either closed by themselves, or with the help of surgery.) After all is said and done, I feel very (very very) fortunate that Scarlett is as healthy as she is - heart defect and all. It is definitely a reality check when you walk into a children's hospital and see families that must endure this kind of fear everyday. I can't imagine.


Pokolodi said...

How can I possible type this so it reads as loudly as I mean for it to be heard?


Nope. Still not loud enough.

I am SO FAR BEYOND happy and relieved for all three of you.

Kate said...

man, PHEW. i didn't know about her heart hole issue, but if it makes you feel any better, molly was born with the same thing and it did indeed close up on its own. i so know what you guys went/are going through (mostly...they informed us of it when she was born but a few days later it had already started to close so our wait wasn't as long/excrutiating). i'm so, so, so glad that you got good news and that you didn't have to go through that all again. molly goes for yearly check ups, but nothing that rigorous...just chest x-rays and ultrasounds and other things i don't understand.

anyway, what i'm trying to say in this long-winded comment, is 1.HOOORAYYYYYY!!! 2. it WILL close up, and 3. i'm sorry you guys had to go through all this but i'm glad it came out happy in the end.


Penelope Harriette White said...

Lauren - I check your blog every so often. Wish I had seen this post earlier. Zach (my husband) was also born with the same thing. His grew back together - no problem. I'm so glad that it worked out the same for Scarlett. Hope you are well.