Friday, May 28, 2010

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Faith had her check up at the Pediatric Cardiologist yesterday.  She had an EKG and an echo cardiogram.  The doctor wanted to see if the PDA (hole in her heart) had closed up or at least gotten smaller.  The hole indeed did get is now the size of the diameter of a strand of hair! Wow! The doctor said that it is now "insignificant" and would not need to be repaired.     But, the next words out of his mouth took me bit to process.   He said that even though the PDA got smaller, in doing so, it "unmasked" another problem.

It's called Coarctation of the Aorta.  Basically, it is a narrowing of the aortic arterial arch...the side that pumps blood to the body.  The cardiologist drew me a picture of the area of her heart where the blood flow is now "turbulent".   The doctor said that at this point it is very mild, but it is something that can progress, sometimes quickly, so Faith will return for another echo in a year or sooner if she becomes symptomatic.  He also said her risk of infection in that area of her heart is increased, so if she has to have any IV lines placed for any reason, she would need some antibiotics to prevent bacteria from entering her heart.    

I was filled with anxiety through the explanation from the doctor...and I found myself swallowing hard and holding back tears.   But, Faith has been a fighter from the minute she was born.  Her will to thrive is unmatched and I know that will shine through in light of this new diagnosis as well.  

Besides, her heart is tightly entwined with mine...we'll get through this together.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Steph! My 4 year old, Julian (who does not have DS) had a coarc repair when he was 10 days old. So far he hasn't had any other issues. We just have to get an echo once a year to check it. His was very severe and I guess that's why it showed up when he was still a newborn. If you need to talk, I'm here!