A Matter of Heart
Technology is amazing these days.
I bet this thought has been generated a million times since the discovery of fire. But the real advances of technology have brought forth wonderful opportunities to see into worlds that only a decade ago were still holding many mysteries. For me this became really clear with the “structural” ultrasound performed on my then 17 week-along unborn son.
“ Well” the Doctor shared, ”everything looks good, but there is one thing I think we need to follow up on to be sure.” That sentence quickly opened up a new world of possibilities, but unlike those we claim for our future graduates, her words ushered in something darker and possibly more sinister, the possibility of there being something significantly wrong with the new baby.
Working as a school psychologist I am confronted daily with the challenges associated for children born with difficulties, on all levels. No parent wishes this for them and theirs and with this quick turn of words, the grief and loss process had already begun. Now it is really too early to know for sure if there will be more significant obstacles to overcome in this “matter of the heart”, but as a parent already, I know it only takes a second for those protective instincts to kick in and the desire to fight takes over.
The baby (he) has a problem with a valve. He is diagnosed with Pulmonary Valve Stenosis (stenosis is just the fancy word for narrowing). What really seems to be going on is two of the three valves that flap open to let the blood out of the bottom right side of the heart (on the way to the lugs) are stuck together. So essentially, we are 66 percent down on valve efficiency. Our valve grade is at 33 percent, far below the passing mark.
The good news, and yes there is good news to this, is that there is a very good and generally successful procedure for treating this condition. If you are going to have a heart complication, apparently this is the best one to have. We will continue to have checkups and fetal echocardiograms (a word three weeks ago I doubt I could spell) to determine if and when the procedure needs to be completed.
But for now we wait. I realize most of this outcome of this is not up to me, it’s up to him; that very little guy who likes to kick at me when I roll onto my right.
I don’t mind the kicks however, they at least Iet me know he’still there and he is a fighter.
A skill that should do him some good in the upcoming months.