Friday, November 29, 2013

Medical neglect

3 years ago today, we gave birth to a perfect baby boy.  Then the next day on our way out of the hospital, one of the Pediatric Cardiologist flagged us down in the hallway.  My husband was picking up the car when he told me our little baby had moderate aortic stenosis.  As I heard the words, I felt my own heart fall out of my body and my brain seemed to empty itself of all previous knowledge of congenital heart disease.  I looked the cardiologist straight in the eye (the same cardiologist I had worked with for almost 2 years taking care of infants with congenital heart disease) and asked "what does that mean?" It took him a second as I'm sure he was trying to figure out if I was serious or not and then he responded that our son would have to be followed closely and would likely need a procedure in the cath lab to open up his valve within the next few months.  We kept the diagnosis to ourselves at first, not wanting other peoples' questions and anxiety to add to our own stress.  But as time went by, he  continued to receive positive reports at all his visits.  And here we are 3 years later with a happy, healthy boy who can dribble circles around most kids his age.
I took him to the dentist recently and when the office staff asked me if the kids had any health problems, I responded "nope, they're fine - no health problems."  It took me a minute before I quickly yelled out the door ... "actually, he has a heart problem."  Her look was priceless.  I suppose I tend to minimize my own children's illnesses, but I'll take it as a blessing that it's not the first thing I think of when I think of my son.
Mom of the year ...  Now where did I put the baby's epi pen?