A Heart Lesson and a Check-up

*This article originally aired on November 8,2013. Over 2 years later, we are headed to the Pediatric Cardiologist for a check-up. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow. We’ll be on the road traveling for the next 6 hours. For now, I’ll leave you with Crash’s last Cardio visit.

Heart lesson: the two top “chambers” are  the left and right atrium. The bottom “chambers” are the left and right ventricles. The lines separating the atrium from ventricles are the Mitral valve and Tricuspid valve. Those valves open and close to let blood flow through as the heart beats and pumps it through. Or at least that’s how I understand it. I’m not a doctor.

This isn’t Crash’s heart. But this is what Crash’s heart looks like on an echo scan. You can clearly see the   valves separating the atrium from the ventricles. Crash’s doctors are keeping an eye on the tricuspid and mitral valves because there some regurgitation. This simply means that the valves aren’t closing completely. Therefore, some blood flows backward into his heart. However, what they are mostly concerned with is his aorta and pulmonary artery. They are making sure they are not narrowing, which is something that can happen after the surgery that he did at 5 days old. But just like he has for the last 6 years, he rocked his cardio check-up! The regurgitation is minimal and always has been. The aorta and pulmonary artery haven’t narrowed. He is thriving, now standing at 3′ 11″ tall and  61 pounds. We found all this out yesterday from his cardiologist at the IWK… Dr. Kenny Wong (joined yesterday by Dr. Matthew Woo).  Dr. Wong was impressed enough that he doesn’t need to see him again for 2 years! For the last 3 years we visited Dr. Wong once a year for Crash’s check up. Crash always amazes me while we’re there. The child who is normally loud and rambunctious as most boys are (noise with dirt as we typically describe them) was calm, quiet and patient while they did his EKG and again during the echo. Thank you Crash! I kind of liked his yearly check ups. We always used them as an excuse to get out of town and visit family we don’t get to see often. Guess we’ll have to find a new excuse… Daddy needs new running shoes? Mommy wants to go to the K-cup store?

On another note, I was terrified thinking about how Bang would behave during Crash’s EKG and Echo. I was relieved that he wanted to be held while we were in the patient room for the EKG. He watched with curiosity what they were doing to his big “bubby”. Then in the patient room for the echo, they turned the lights down to see the monitor better. Bang took that as his cue to snuggle in and fall asleep in my arms. Whew. I got to watch the whole thing! I was afraid Bang would get restless and have to go run and play and I would miss the best part. Thank you Bang!

The 2 and a half hour night time drive home with 2 sick kids (the oldest with a bad cold and the youngest with a fever) is a story for another blog.


8 thoughts on “A Heart Lesson and a Check-up

  1. Hope everything goes well. It’s almost worse being the parents than being the child in this type of situation. Kids are so often much more resilient than we anticipate. Finding the positive in the circumstances (like an excuse to see family, or go somewhere different) always helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like I told Crash tonight at bedtime, these check ups are as much for mom and I as they are for him. It’s relieving to us to know that he’s doing good. And it was a good excuse to go to the city and ride the escalators and do some shopping 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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