Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pediatrician Appointment {03.19.15}

Sarah recently had another doctor appointment. This was just a routine follow up where her growth is plotted, ensuring she's still growing. Although she was a little anxious while we were getting there, the appointment went amazingly well. She stood where she was supposed to in order to be measured, was so chatty that the doctor was very impressed and not a single tear was shed. What a difference this was compared to a year ago!

The good news is that she is growing in height and weight. She is 43 inches tall and 37 pounds. She is now on the percentile charts! Her head remains the same at 46 centimetres which has been this size since December 2013. On a growth chart, she is now almost -4 units below standard deviation.

An average sized head would be closer to 50-52 centimetres and although a 4-6 cm difference doesn't seem like much, it is a pretty big gap when we're talking about head sizes. Unfortunately, there is really nothing I can do to make her brain grow.

After we finished at the doctor's office, we headed to my sister's where Sarah and Rosie played and watched a movie together. It was a nice way to end the morning.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Update on Me

Late last summer I went to to see my doctor regarding some irregularities in my heart beat.

I had some routine lab work done on the 9th of July. I wasn’t worried much until the next day when the doctor called and said I needed to come in and discuss my results. I just thought and hoped that it would be something like my thyroid or a vitamin deficiency. The next day, as I was getting ready for the doctor appointment, I heard a voice in my head say “You will have something to say about this. Believe in me.”  

The doctor said my blood work was normal and fine which could only mean a heart issue. I received the news that I have something called multiple PVCs which means my heart has a lot of extra beats in the normal rhythm. In a person with no heart issues, this wouldn’t be a problem or even exist, but with my family history, I needed to get checked out further. Friday afternoon brought a friend over and we shared a coffee and prayer time on my back deck. That evening I wrote in my journal “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. And my God will meet all [my] needs according to His glorious riches.” Philippians 4:13 & 19. I was confident that God had it and I didn’t need to fret about it. So far, so good. Later that afternoon I received an encouraging text that said, “He is all that He says He is. Lean on Him, listen to His heartbeat. Believe in Him! He has good plans.”

Early the next morning, was Saturday and as I was doing my devotions, I heard the same voice whisper “You’ll have a story to tell.”  I kept telling myself that I needed to believe I could be healed. I had been having a few really good weeks. God was good to me. Then this heart stuff came. Had I become comfortable in my faith? Comfort would rob me of my dependency on God and in my trials, I would need to turn to Him so He could answer my prayers and receive the glory. 

That night, I believe I suffered from a panic attack. My heart began to pound and race, my blood pressure read numbers higher than Doug’s were, my chest felt tight, I was light headed and even in my 30 degree bedroom, I felt cold. I don’t know how long it lasted but it was close to half an hour. Although my heart was still racing I managed to fall into a restless, fitful sleep. I told Doug the next morning what had occurred and he lovingly encouraged me to tell him sooner if it happened again. 

My cardiologist began a series of testing which included a stress test. If the goal was to stress me out, I was successful. Within 4 minutes, my heart was up to 170+ beats per minute and the test was stopped. During that, the doctor saw multiple PVC occurring and so began the next series of tests, all which included much waiting. 

On November 19, I went in to get hooked up for a 24 hour holter monitor test and on December 16, I went to have a cardiac MRI. 

When I saw my cardiologist in January, I was told that the MRI shows no evidence of a heart attack and all my valves look good. I have an impaired left ventricular function which means that the muscle is not as effective at passing on the blood it receives as effectively as you would expect. There is a comment that the right ventricle is normal and the difference between them is only 4%. This says that my heart function is on the low end of normal. The normal range is from 55-70% and mine is functioning at 54%.

The big problem with not being able to squeeze out as much as has been squeezed in by the atrium is that it then transmits the leftover pressure backwards, from the ventricles back to the atria back to the vessels that supplied them. What that looks like is increasing breathlessness if the blood backs up to the lungs. 

The other issue that I have is an enlarged atrium which gives blood a place to slow down and become turbulent. This can lead to clots which can then cause strokes and blood clots in the lungs. This is generally not a problem until the atria are very dilated and I could potentially develop an arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation.  In my case, my valves between atria and ventricles are intact and function well.

In the end, this study does not explain the extra beats. The muscle walls of my heart are normal size and thickness. It was also determined that I have needle phobia which meant that the injection of the dye part of the test was unable to occur.

Because I still find myself breathless when I try to sing or the fact that I can only walk at a certain pace, my cardiologist had sent me for some x-rays as well as a lung functioning test.

The results of that showed nothing out of the ordinary which is neither good nor bad, just inconclusive. 

On January 22, I went for the final test, an echocardiogram. The results of that indicate that my valves are good and although my heart functions on the low end of normal, it's doing alright. So, it's not great news, nor is it bad news. It's just what it is. My experience says that stress and caffeine are the triggers and so if I can stay completely stress free, I should be good. I'm thankful there's nothing 'wrong' with my heart. I'd still love to eliminate the bouts of racing and such but I will just try and learn to cope with them.

The past few months have taught me great lessons in leaning on Jesus in my weakest moments. I am so grateful for the people who have walked with me, faithfully praying and frequently checking in. I am so blessed by the community of people I have surrounding me and my family.

Have a wonderful day!


Related Posts with Thumbnails