All I Want for Christmas is No More "Heart" Posts!!!
Looks like Santa heard what I wanted this year because I do believe (crossing my fingers, making the sign of the cross and kneeling while I type this), this could be the final heart-related post for the rest of the year.
And dare I say it --- for a couple of months??!!!
We were blessed to stay away from TCH for a full month while Quinn continued with her recovery. Oh, that was pure bliss. Yesterday, she had a post-op echo (ultrasound of her heart function), xray and visit with our cardiologist. Matt was sweet enough to take a half day off of work to take her down there. My nerves are still recovering from our previous trips down there, although of course I would have gone if needed.
Anyway, I was on pins and needles yesterday afternoon waiting on the results. I was pretty sure we were in the clear but I take nothing for granted when you are dealing with hearts. And surgery. And recovery. And inevitable complications.
So the verdict?
Everything (and I mean, EVERYTHING) looks great. Perfect even.
(No leakage, blood flow great, and the right ventricle pressure which was previously high and "stiff" as they call it, seems to be returning to normal)
(No more effusions - excuse me while I throw up in my mouth a bit typing that word. I.hate.that.word. Anyway, no more fluid in her chest or lungs and clearance to discontinue diuretic.)
(99-100% oxgyen. Perfect)
Great sternum healing.
(Clearance to return to "normal" activity. Meaning we can now pick her up under her arms, she can return to Little Gym, and take full on baths)
Great healing altogether
(WE ALL CAN RETURN TO NORMAL LIFE. WE CAN BE AROUND PEOPLE! And I can finally take my daughter on the much-promised day out with mommy. Just Quinn and Mommy. Without doctors, needles, xrays, or ultrasounds. It's going on the planner today)
Oh, praise Him for this news. For He is GREAT.
We are now in the process of transferring our care to a new (but highly recommended) cardiologist whom we'll meet at the end of February. Our cardiologist is transferring to Ohio and we really wanted someone a little closer to where we live, so it worked perfectly. If all goes to plan, we'll meet with her, have a little check up, and then probably plan to see her 6 months after that. And then I think the plan is to go every 6 months for the next year. Then we'll check in every year after that unless something happens.
Every year?!!! Can you imagine? What a gift that will be.
In the way back of our minds we know that Quinn is not done. She WILL need another surgery in her lifetime. Maybe a couple. She has that darn bad pulmonary valve - which while it's "bad" - it could last her years or decades even. If Dr. Fraser had replaced it while he fixed all the other "stuff", then he would have set her on a trajectory to have surgery every 3-4 years since current technology only allows the artificial valves to function that long. So he just left it. We know it could start to go bad at any time BUT we are not focused on that right now. God will carry us all through when that time comes, hopefully many, many years from now.
And I love how God works. Just a day after we scheduled our appointment at TCH for her follow up, we received an invitation in the mail for a "Fraser's Friends" event for that same night. (Oh, and Fraser's Friends is a community group that raises money to support research and education for surgical specialities, including congenital heart defects. Actually I think it's always been for CHD's, but with Dr. Fraser being the Chief of Pediatric Surgery (all surgeries) at TCH, they have expanded the program.) 2012's focus will be neurosurgery ---- can you imagine operating on a tiny child's brain? Whoa. What these doctors do just blows me away.
So last night, after getting the great news, we headed back down towards the med center for the cocktail reception. To say we were a bit on a high would be an understatement. I am pretty sure Matt and I shared a couple of fist-bumps and exclamations of "can you believe we all made it?" : ) ha.
Anyway, we were THRILLED to be able to share the good news with Dr. Fraser last night about Quinn's appointment and recovery. I think he was pretty happy too. It was such a fun night and so interesting to speak with these doctors. You know, we all place these people on such a pedestal, but when it comes down to it, they are just normal people who just happen to have extraordinary brains and commitment to what they do. We each have our own gifts, passions, and talent. I found the majority of them incredibly down to earth and most even had a sense of humor :)
So it was a great day topped off with a pretty awesome night. I may have celebrated with a glass of champagne. Or two. I may have bugged Dr. Fraser to death by saying thank you over and over and requesting a picture with him when he was a bit under the weather. Oh, well! Sorry, Dr. Fraser! Emotional mommy on board.
But I feel like I can finally breathe again. The weight is gone and now I can really start planning for Christmas and the New Year. Thank you, God. And thanks to all of you for your continued prayers. We love you, friends and strangers alike.