Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cardio Update

Hey friends! So, do y'all want to hear about Ethan's cardiology appointment?

"What cardiology appointment?", you may ask. Tell me about it. Six months between appointments and this mama put no more thought to it than waking up to pee in the morning!

(Actually, I did get a little nervous Sunday night when it seemed that Ethan was developing croup, but all is well! Thanks for the prayers you lifted up over on our Facebook page.)

As we were getting ready this morning, I actually thought about how different this appointment already was from some of our earlier ones. I specifically remember Jeramie and I waking up hours before those first few appointments, preparing stuff and ourselves, and arriving mega-early to the office. This morning, I'm pouring coffee at 8:45 for a 9:15 appointment 20 minutes away, and Jeramie's finger-combing Ethan's hair on the way out of the parking deck.

Times are a-changin'.

The appointment went so well, and we couldn't have asked for a better behaved patient! Like, for real.  Over the past few visits, Ethan has become less and less upset, but tests had always been met with some resistance.  Today?

"Just laid back - gettin' my EKG on."
I was chatting with our beloved echo technician while Ethan got all set-up and before I knew it, the test was almost over! No need for Mama's hand, or mine and Jeramie's song-and-dance routine.  Just a perfectly still little boy.

That same brave boy walked himself into the echo room, climbed up on the bed, and let the technician get EVERY angle she needed.  This has not happened since Ethan was about a year old, and to say I was proud (and shocked) is an understatement.

The results from those tests were just as great.  Ethan's pacemaker is doing it's thang, his heart is squeezing beautifully, and the gradient pressure has only increased slightly.  The pacemaker has about 2 years of battery life left so, if all continues to go as it is right now, we're looking at a surgery around that time to replace the pacemaker battery and the conduit.

How does the saying go - two birds with one stone?

As usual, Dr. I was pleased with Ethan's outward appearance and development, and he was very happy with the inner workings of his beautifully broken heart.  (Still no thrill - whoop whoop!) He'll see Ethan back in six months, and I assume we'll continue in that pattern until "go time".

The only downer of the appointment - there's always something, isn't there? - was the extensive conversation we had about what activities Ethan should and shouldn't participate in.  Admittedly, Jeramie and I have been a little lax about the whole pacemaker thing and we were nicely reminded to put a little more thought into that titanium box in Ethan's belly.

We've always known full contact sports are out of the question, but I was fully expecting to enroll Ethan in gymnastics this spring.  Evidently, though, for a child who is 100% pacemaker dependent, any activity that puts extra pressure on those leads is a no-go.  I'm thinking three weeks of jumping in a foam pit is going to be just fine, but Ethan won't be flipping over the uneven bars anytime soon.

As someone who is not athletic - at all - the lack of sports isn't as unsettling for me as the fact that, as much as I try to fight against it, Ethan is different from other kids his age.  Yes, he can run and jump and play with the best of them, but much more caution needs to be put towards protecting his pacemaker than what we're doing now.  Admitting that doesn't feel good, but one of those leads breaking and something awful happening will feel even worse.

And, besides ... Mandy and I have already decided that our boys will pay their way through college with golf scholarships! Or swimming.  Michael Phelps, anyone?

To reward Ethan for his stellar behavior, we stopped by our local fire station on the way home.  We've been talking about going ever since a truck showed up on our street over the summer, and we finally made it happen toady! Ethan was in.awe.  If he could have gotten his hands on everything at the same time, he would have.  The firemen who gave us the "tour" were super nice and invited us back anytime we want to come.  Who of my Raleigh friends are thinking "play date!" right now? A big thanks goes out to Station 20 for filling Ethan's special heart with indescribable joy!

God is so, so good.  Y'all have a great week!


Anonymous said...

Such AWESOME news on the doctor's visit and report! GO ETHAN GO!!!

Tiffany, Michael and Fisher

Jenn said...

EKG. What what?!?

I love how cool and calm he looks about the whole thing. I love a good report!

I think all the CHD moms need to get together and figure out a way to make mall walking like, the coolest sport ever. Our kids would totally dominate!

Neysa said...

Praise the Lord for a great appointment!!!

Praying about the sports. I know how much us mommies worry about our babies being able to fit in as much as possible. <3

Jenny said...

Great appointment- Ethan is such a rockstar. Do you think he could give his heart friend Aly a call and let her know that echos are no biggie? We haven't had a successful unsedated echo since Aly was 4 weeks old. She is having NONE of that. ;)

Anonymous said...

What a great write up and what great news from Dr. I!!!

Love always,
Grandma A.

Janet said...

Sometimes it is easy to be about our own agenda and forget that God has the plan all down, perfectly. I am sure that Ethan is no exception and as we have seen already he excels in being a little boy who enthusiastically explores his world. God is good all the time, regardless of circustance. Oh how thankful I am for that fact! Continue to keep your eyes fixed on him and give him praise for all he has done. Love love love the good report... and the pictures of Ethan enjoying the firestation! : ) Love Auntie Jan

Tara said...

Great news!! YAY for six more months before another check-up =)

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