hugughghhggghghghgghhh. That’s how I feel. Hughghghasghghghghghg.
I took Abby to the cardiolgist today for what I thought was just a routine check of the hole in her heart they found at birth. At six months, the hole had closed so much that they assured me that she would not need surgery on it. I almost cancelled this appointment today because I was so sure that things were fine.
They are not.
They ran an ECG on Abby first. I could tell there were issues when another nurse went and got the cardiologist. Then they ran the echo. Know this for future reference: it’s ALWAYS bad news when the doctor comes in, sits down, and tries to make small talk. When there’s nothing wrong, they come in and say, “everything looks great! See you in a year!” and send you on your way. Today when the cardiologist sat down my heart sank. When she scooted closer to me it began to beat harder from wherever it was hanging out near my stomach, when she asked me to tell her “a little bit about Abby” with that tone of voice you can only tell is trying to soften a blow…I knew something was wrong.
Abby has an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). ASD is a congenital heart defect in which the wall that separates the upper heart chambers (atria) does not close completely. See the handy diagram.
Right now Abby’s ASD is right at the edge of being too big to close by use of a catheter. The catheter option is the one we want. It uses a small tube, inserted in the groin area that is run up to the heart to close the hole. A better explanation can be found here. Abby’s hole might be too big for that procedure.
If so, we have two options. The first is to wait it out. Because the hole has shrunk a little since birth, there’s a chance that it could shrink down to a level that would make it possible to have the catheter repair. The problem with this is that Abby’s heart has already started to swell on the right side (I think, I can’t remember. They said a lot of things. It may be the left side). Also, if left untreated the hole will start to create damage to Abby’s lungs. Abby’s lungs aren’t in the best shape as it is, so this option still sucks.
The final option would be open heart surgery. This one scares the hell out of me. They open her up, stop her heart, put her on heart/lung bypass and patch the hole. They’re remarkably successful with OHS, I just do not want to do it.
So right now we’re praying that the specialists will say that they can close the hole with the catheter. If so, the procedure will probably be done in a couple of weeks. Will you please pray with us? I’ve seen over and over again in Abby’s short life what good the prayers of the masses can do. It saved her life when she was so sick back in June. It keeps me sane. I know this.