Yesterday Isabella had appointments for cardiology and an echocardiogram. It can be challenging to get her to calm down long enough to get a good reading. She’s now realizing that every time she visits the hospital or doctors office there’s usually needles or some type of discomfort involved. I get it. I absolutely hate needles myself and have minor panic attacks when they need to draw my blood or give me some type of injection. I completely empathize with my little princess but nonetheless, these are critical visits.

We go to Seattle Children’s and I can’t say enough great things about the entire staff but especially the small team of professionals working directly with Izzy. They’ve watched her grow up from when she was just three weeks old to now, 18 months.

The drill is pretty consistent: Check in, go into a dimly lit room, turn on Mickey’s Clubhouse, try to get an ultrasound of Izzy’s heart, she cries, then cries some more, then a bit more. After they are satisfied with the images then comes in the ECG (echocardiogram) technician. They hook up about a dozen wires to Isabella’s chest and she cries some more. Even with smiles and flashing magic wands given to her by the amazing staff, Isabella lets us all know in no uncertain terms she isn’t having it. Poor little thing.

We didn’t get the results we were hoping for which is that everything is fine and we could come back in a few years to check back in. It wasn’t all bad news either. Basically, we’re sort of at a standstill. Her aortic valve isn’t quite opening up fully to allow the blood to pass through unblocked but at least for the time being it’s not causing the left chamber of her heart any significant strain.

Our next appointment will be in another six months where Izzy’s cardiologist says we should expect to make some sort of decision as to whether we need to perform another balloon procedure to open her aortic valve up just a little bit more similar to her first procedure or if her little heart can sort of grow just enough that the valve opens up without blockage. Of course, my wife and I will be praying hard for the latter.

Izzy has given us every reason to be optimistic and until we have a reason to feel otherwise we will continue living life as normally as any other parent with a healthy 18 month old angel. Nothing changes the gravity of the situation though knowing what we’ve already faced and having to maintain regular visits. As I’ve already said though, Izzy hasn’t given us any reason for concern and that’s how we’ll treat it. More hikes, playtime at the park, walks in the neighborhood and laughter. Isabella has completely left her fingerprints all over our hearts.

Izzy is mesmerized by the fish.
Finding Nemo clan together again.
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