Monday, October 6, 2008

Cardio appt.

Finn had a follow-up appt. with the cardiologist this morning. I won't cause any unnecessary suspense - all is well. He still has an ASD:

. . . and it's still apparently about the same size that it was 3 months ago when he was in the NICU. On the spectrum of heart defects associated with DS, this is probably the least worrisome, and it's actually fairly common in the general population. From what I now know, a lot of people are probably walking around with an ASD and don't even know it because it's never presented any problems for them. But since Finn's was discovered, we now have to monitor it, and we'll go back in another 3 months for another echo. The doctor said that there is still a chance that it could close on its own eventually, but that it's so small that even if it doesn't close, she doesn't expect it to present any issues for Finn.
The appointment itself was not fun at all (not that I expected it to be!). I went in feeling a little nervous to begin with, just because these types of appointments tend to be a little nerve wracking. There's always a part of me that expects bad news from the doctors these days. So I go in and there are two unsupervised kids in the waiting room, probably around 8 and 10 years old - I guess their parents were there for an appointment but decided to leave them in the waiting room unattended - and they were completely obnoxious. They were, like, heckling me - I'm not kidding! I tried ignoring them for a while and then finally I went to the receptionist and asked where the kids' parents were and she said they were with the doctor. She didn't seem willing to say anything to these two kids (they were just making all kinds of rude, smart-ass comments to me and about me to each other and then giggling up a storm), so I finally laid into them, at which point they of course became defensive. I told them I was going to talk to their mother when she came out, but alas, Finn and I were called back for our appointment before I had the opportunity.
So we go back to the room and I'm instructed to undress Finn. The nurse weighs and measures him: 22 1/2 inches (that's up 3 1/2 inches since birth!) and, according to their scale, 10 lbs. 13 oz. (I don't see how that can be right - it's about a pound off from the scale I weigh him on at home . . .), and then she lays him on an exam table to begin the ultrasound of his heart. He was very squirmy and she told me to try nursing him to keep him still. Well, I tried that, but he's pretty fidgety even nursing, and it was impossible to keep him latched on the way she wanted him positioned with his torso exposed for the u/s. Then she suggested a pacifier. I told her that he doesn't take a pacifier (he hasn't had one since he left the NICU - and we can't even get him to take a bottle anymore). She said, "Let's try anyway." Whatever. "Okay," I said. So she unwraps a sterile paci and gives it to me and brings out this little container of pre-packaged sugar water and tells me to dip the paci in it before giving it to him. Not really something I wanted to do, but by then we had already been trying to do the echo for 20 minutes or so. He wasn't going for the pacifier. She kept passing me the container of sugar water to re-dip the paci and finally ended up spilling it all over his head - I'm not kidding! So now he's got sticky, gooey hair. Grrrr. Finally after a few more minutes she sighed and said "I guess that's good enough . . ." I asked if she got the pictures she needed and she just sighed and nodded. She told me, "Next time, you need to keep him awake for a few hours before the echo so that he'll sleep during it." Umm, yeah, whatever. Even if I could keep him up for a few hours, he's not going to sleep with a transducer and cold gel being pressed into different areas of his chest and belly.
Then she moved us into a different room and another nurse came in and took his blood pressure - three times!! - and put one of those pulse-ox monitors on his foot to check his blood saturation levels. And through this all - this and the echo - they wouldn't tell me anything. They can't, it all has to go through the doctor. And they're being all cryptic, asking me if there is a family history of heart defects, etc. etc. So they get me all worked up and worried, just so the doctor can come in and tell me that everything looks fine.
So back we go in three months to do it again.


Anonymous said...

Silly receptionist...She didn't make an attempt to calm down the kids in the waiting room? She didn't know how I guess, without yelling, so she did nada. She, and the nurse/tech in the echo exam room, both need to dip into that spoonful of sugar reseved for the pacifiers to speak sweet to kids and moms. Oh well, Umm, whatever.

But the cardio results were great, so..that's terrific news.

Chrystal said...

"Next time, you need to keep him awake for a few hours before the echo so that he'll sleep during it."

Why don't they ever tell you that crap BEFORE the appointment?! Grr.

Finn's heart sounds like Playette's. WooHoo!

Oh, and I don't think we've ever gotten an accurate BP reading. Like never.

No EKG? Lucky duck.

Laurie said...

I am SO glad to hear about Finn's heart!! That is excellent news!!

We had a similarly annoying cardio appt. I felt so badly for Dylan...after an hour long echo he started getting cranky and the tech was annoyed. She asked if I brought him a toy or no, he's 2 1/2 months old lady. Sheesh.

Tricia said...

Ugh! I am so sorry you had to deal with those little brats and that the receptionist wouldn't help. Also, my mom was a nurse and many other friends and family are nurses so I know it's not EVERYONE (by far), but I OFTEN have problems with bad bedside manners from them. The worst part of ANY doctor visit is USUALLY dealing with reception and nurses!!!! It's sad. Of course, that's not REALLY the worst part. Of course it's poor little Finn having to even BE there.

FYI, Georgia had an ASD and two VSDs as well as a PDA (she might as well have also had an l-m-n-o-p)...she DID end up having surgery (amazing stuff), but they didn't even think she would need it, even with 4 holes in her heart!!! We had other complications which ultimately led to the repair, but I know several kids who have not needed it with just one I am hoping Finn is like those other kids. But if he does end up needing surgery, please do not hesitate to ask me any questions...and know that our kids are strong and resilient and as much as I HATED the thought of the surgery before G had it, I am so thankful and amazed by all they helped her with!!!

Sorry for the novel-length comment!

Heidi said...

How frustrating! I wish you had our cardiologist. Our waiting room is quiet and friendly. The ultrasound person is kind and sweet and gentle. Luken always goes to sleep after the first few minutes. They have quiet music in the room. I wish I could share our doc too. He is kind and down to earth and explains things very well. He's very encouraging and compliments me on how well Luken is growing. He even helps me get all the ookie sticky things off at the end of the exam. I wish I could share our doc with you. I'm sorry you had such a yucky experience.

Lisa B said...

Why is it that PEDIATRIC folks seem so LAME when it comes to actually treating children??? You mean an infant can't hold still like a 30 year old man for the ultrasounds - what a surprise! What a drag for you!

Alycia said...

Time for you and Michael to go on a date! That picture of Joey and Finn made me miss them sooo much! Tell Joey I hope "pre-school" is going great : )


datri said...

At least the cardio results were great! Kayla's ASD closed by her 2 year appointment and we were discharged from the cardio. Hope it will go that way for you as well!

Our cardio has a DVD player in the echo room, so Kayla was so entranced by the whole thing, she was perfectly still.