Abby’s last echocardiogram.

Abby's echocardiogram and graduation from cardiology

The nurse had just finished Abby’s echocardiogram and was off to get the cardiologist for the results. I had been in this situation many times before. This was Abby’s sixth echo. I wasn’t expecting any problems, but have been blindsided in the past and felt those waves pull at me. The doctor came in and went over the echo time and time again. He pointed blood flow to the nurse and spoke in terms I did not understand. PFO? Was it worse? Had something changed again?  Nope. He turned from the machine and met my eyes. Turning Abby’s chart towards me, he wrote so I could see his words, “Not clinically significant. No followup necessary.”  Tingles, the kind that dance along the top of your skin before diving in, radiated down my arms. Everything felt warm.  And then I started to cry.

I hate crying in front of people. I have never met anyone who said they don’t mind it at all. But I’ve made a commitment to no longer hold back. Not for the good, not for the bad. Emotions are not meant to be kept in.

“She’s graduated cardiology!” I said through tears mixed with laughter. The nurses teared up, too. It was a win for all of us.

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