To fully explain this story, I have to back up to April 11, when my wife took Sara to our local pediatrician because she seemed fussier than usual. My wife suspected an ear infection, but our doctor diagnosed our daughter’s recent temperament as being caused by teething. That was not the end of her diagnosis, though: She also thought she detected a heart murmur.
This discovery set us on a journey which culminated with the aforementioned surgery last week. My daughter had a ventricular septal defect (or VSD), which essentially means she had a hole where the wall dividing the left and right ventricles of the heart should be. A surgical procedure involving a patch for the heart was the only solution to this problem, and that procedure would involve cutting into my little girl’s chest.
I’m happy to report that the results of the surgery so far have been an overwhelming success. We were out of the PCICU at the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville the day after the surgery, and we actually arrived home yesterday, one day short of a week after the procedure was performed. To think a baby could have open heart surgery and be home less than a week later is astounding to me, but that is exactly what happened.
Obviously, receiving this news threw me and my family’s lives into a tizzy. We were ordered to not take our daughter into any crowded areas where she might get sick, which meant – since she is still nursing – I became the new chauffeur for our other four children, getting them to soccer practices and fashion show rehearsals and all kinds of other things. They spent all of last week between grandparents’ houses, while my wife and I holed up in the hospital. We have a follow-up visit scheduled for next month, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
I have had many, many thoughts I have wanted to write about during this period, but circumstances have basically kept me from doing so. My wife persuaded me to leave my laptop at home before our trip to the hospital, so I couldn’t even take advantage of the seemingly endless hours of having absolutely nothing to do. As my daughter continues to amaze us with her recovery, however, I am going to begin putting some of these thoughts on paper (so to speak).
So if the four or five or you who regularly read this blog wonder where I’ve been, there’s the scoop. It’s nice to be back, but not nearly as nice as my baby girl being back at home with a mended heart.