Wednesday, December 15, 2010


That's my girl!

Zoe had a cardiology appointment today. Not just any cardiology appointment, but the full-spectrum, 2 and a half hour cardiology appointment. First, while in the waiting room, I filled out the routine paperwork about how she's been since our last visit. Next, we are escorted back to "Room 4" and Zoe gets stripped down. Today, her blood pressure was taken first (good results) and sats checked (93%) followed by an EKG (completely normal.) Zoe was measured and weighed (26 inches and 14 lbs 13 ounces or 6.72 kg for you heart moms.)

Then, the dreaded echocardiogram. This time, we came prepared. Bottle, check. Stuffed bunny teether, check. Light up spinning ball wand, check. Given the horrific screaming fit Zoe displayed 6 weeks ago, the tech asked that I hold Zoe cradled in my arms while she performed the echo. She fussed at first, but we got through utilizing all three of our props. After the echo, we returned to "Room 4," only to be summoned back because "Dr. Stock wants another picture." I looked at Caleb and said, "Oh great, that can't be a good thing."

Turns out, the tech needed a better picture of the descending aorta, since Zoe's had issues with it being slightly narrowed. Dr. Stock walked into the echo room to observe. Zoe was irritated that she was back in the dimly lit room and threw a small fit. With a series of finger snaps and a little ditty of "just a little distraction" by Dr. Stock, Zoe pepped up. Knowing my personality, Dr. Stock, before we left the echo room said, "her function looks better!" We walked back to "Room 4" and on the way, Dr. Stock looked at her vitals for the day. "93!?, Really?" I said, "yep, she's consistently 92 at home." His response, "She's our little rockstar!"

We sat and discussed Zoe's echo which showed very good function. So good, in fact, that he was contemplating taking her off Enalapril (her heart medication) and leaving her with just aspirin. After a short discussion, we decided to not mess with what seems to be working. With HLHS kids these days, the art of medicine still has much to be perfected. Cardiologists are figuring out the best treatment and medication as medicine evolves with Zoe's condition. All in all, Dr. Stock was very pleased with how she looked both clinically and radiographically. She's still on the growth chart which is a feat in and of itself - a little over 10%.

I then asked the big question, prefaced by, "ok, I know I am jumping like 10 steps ahead here..." and was interrupted with, "you're not going to ask about her next surgery, are you?" Geez, he knows me so well! CHOP doctors, with textbook hypoplasts, generally perform the Fontan around 18-24 months of age. Luckily, Dr. Spray and many of the CHOP physicians and nurses will be in Scottsdale, Arizona in February to present at the annual update for pediatric cardiology and CHDs. Dr. Stock will talk to them about CHOP's ideal time frame for the Fontan.

At the end of Zoe's appointment, the four of us were all smiles (Me, Caleb, Dr. Stock and Zoe.) We won't be seeing Dr. Stock again until February 11th.

After arriving home, Zoe continued to show off and scarfed an entire jar of pears. She usually takes 1/2 a jar...if we're lucky.

Today was a great day, full of good news and positive energy. It always amazes me how after a cardiology appointment, I realize how much stress and anxiety I have leading up to and during the appointment. On the way home, I felt like I could breathe easier, literally. I allowed myself some happy tears and told my show-off how very proud of her I am. She was sound asleep, but I still told her.


  1. Congratulations on an amazing appointment! YAY!!

    It is interesting reading what CHOP feels is the ideal time for the fontan. At U of I they are still doing around the age of four.

    Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

  2. Stace, it makes me so happy to read this post. I know we work ourselves up so much and its so great when its all good news. CHOP told me that they probably won't do Jakes surgery until age 3 or 4 due to his breathing issues.

    Don't worry about that right now. Enjoy being home with your rockstar!

    Love you both so much.

  3. Such good news! Zoe is a total ROCKSTAR! See you next week for some holiday cheer!