Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Knowing or Not Knowing?

Some story telling, then the title will make sense.

In 2007 (after Jessica was born), she was seen at Andover Pediatrics.  Her doctor heard a heart murmur and said, "go see Alexis' cardiologist, make sure it's nothing."  We did, Alexis' cardiologist said "benign heart murmur we anticipate that it will go away by the time she's 2." 

In 2009, Jessica turned 2.  Heart murmur still there.  We didn't pursue it because the data that they explained to us about the original heart murmur that it may or may not close during the year she is 2.

In 2010, Jessica turned 3.  She still had her heart murmur.  Her pediatrician said "go see Alexis' cardiologist, make it's nothing."  (Keep in mind that Jessica turned 3 on July 2 - Alexis had just had her heart catheterization at Children's on June 22).  I had already mentioned it to Alexis' heart doctor that I thought we needed an appointment to follow up with Jessica.

On Sept 15 (today), we took Jessica to see Alexis' cardiologist.  After Matt and Jessica were in the ECHO for 1 hour, I knew that they had found something that was abnormal.  I couldn't patiently wait any longer.  I had to go be with them (unfortunately that meant I woke up sleeping peacefully Jessica).  Alexis and I supervised.

The doctor came to see us and give us the results fairly quickly - Jessica has an ASD murmur - the same heart defect that Alexis had repaired 3 months ago.   Jessica will need to have the exact heart catheterization procedure to fix the hole in her atrial septum (ASD).  The doctor recommends we wait another year - but also understands if we decide to get it repaired now.  We will probably wait until Jessica is a little bigger, a little stronger and a tougher little kid.  If her anatomy is different in anyway, there is a possibility that they won't be able to fix it during the heart catheterization - but instead we'd have to schedule another operation - for open heart surgery.  Obviously the recovery, hospital stay and impact on Jessica's active lifestyle is greatly reduced by a heart catheterization. 

So, now that we know what we know about Jessica's heart - is knowing better than not knowing?   Alexis and Jessica are precious sweet little girls that need a world of support. 

I know there are many of Alexis' friends out there with much more complicated heart conditions and my heart goes to each of them and their families.  But we just hadn't expected that Jessica had similar heart problems as Alexis.  But now we know.... and can prepare.

1 comment:

Crystal M. said...

Eva had an ASD and PDA and her ASD was fixed with open heart surgery and she has been FULL of energy ever since.
I will keep Jessica and you all in my thoughts and prayers.