ADVENTURES IN CARDIOLOGY

We took the babies for a follow-up cardiology visit on Tuesday. I was hoping we would find that their PFOs had closed and we would have closure on all things preemie related. No such luck. First of all, Maria WAS NOT HAPPY about the appointment. Shocking, I know. Each baby was to have an EKG and echocardiogram. Maria started screaming when we stripped her to be weighed and measured. It only got worse as the nurse started to put all the stickers on her for the EKG. I was supposed to hold a screaming and flailing 1 year old and prevent no less than 1000 electrodes from being pulled off. Maria was trying to turn around and bury herself in my chest, and when I wouldn’t let her, she looked betrayed. Her shrieking could be heard blocks away, I’m sure, and soon reinforcements were brought in and offered just enough distraction to get the EKG completed. Once that torture was completed, they took her blood pressure, which was that of an adult due to her protest. I intervened with raisins and she calmed enough to bring the blood pressure down to an appropriate level. Meanwhile, Grant is chilled out. He thinks the EKG is pretty cool. His hands are fast and he wants to grab EVERYTHING, but he was cool, calm and collected. What’s the big deal, Maria?

Second phase of the appointment was the echocardiogram. The technician came to get us and was wary…she had heard the shrieking and was fearful. Maria was okay until I laid her down to start the scan. I tried putting her on my lap, but it was too late. She knew we were up to no good. I tried tracing her face with my finger, which will generally calm her down. No dice. I tried giving her a bottle. Nope. We were not going to outsmart her with the bottle like the last time she had an echocardiogram. The technician proceeded to put cotton in her own ears to protect from any lasting hearing damage. Maria was not amused. I suggested that if she gave me a few minutes that I could calm her down by nursing her, as nursing always works. Not this time.
Time to back up and punt.

The cardiologist came in and decided to go ahead and talk with us and to do her exam. Maria allowed this, but was still not happy. Dr. Wright decided that we would try to get Grant’s echo complete and Maria would get a pass for the day. “We call this being a one year old,” was Dr. Wright’s summation of the situation. Since Maria’s VSD had previously closed and there are no other heart issues, she was comfortable with allowing Maria a two-year reprieve.

Grant was up for his echo and he played along beautifully. He had his pacifier and all kinds of cool buttons to look at. He tried to help with the scan, but I was able to prevent him from getting his hands in the gel. Once we were finished, Jeremy took Grant outside to our car to keep us from getting a parking ticket on the meter that was about to expire and Maria and I made up from the earlier betrayal. The technician walked by us and Maria recoiled into me. She wanted to be nowhere near the lady. Then the little turkey started smiling shyly at another doctor while we waited for Grant’s results.

Soon enough, we got Grant’s results and he still has a tiny pinhole of a PFO, which she said is not uncommon for his age. He also gets to come back in two years. While I didn’t get the closure I was looking for, I can rest assured that both babies are healthy. Maria wasn’t even out of breath after her tirade. Pretty safe to say the ole ticker is working well.

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