Good News

It was 9 o’clock Monday night, December 23, and I wanted to have my hands on a keyboard. I had some great news to share, and I wanted to let everyone know as soon as possible. At least, my brain wanted that. My body, on the other hand, was not nearly as enthusiastic about turning on the computer after spending a large chunk of the day in the car, so I put it off.

And now it’s Thursday. Sometimes you gotta strike while the iron is hot.

vch_building-roof_line37So, if you will, allow me to back up and tell this story from the beginning. I’ve written here before about my daughter Sara’s heart surgery she had to have back in May of this year. My wife and I took her back to Monroe Carell, Jr., Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Monday for a follow-up. We had one goal in mind: Our doctor would say Sara was doing well enough that we wouldn’t have to bring her back for another visit until sometime next year.

We had reason to expect a good report. She had been gaining weight like crazy since the surgery, and she actually ended her first year weighing more than either of her two sisters did at the same age (Not bad for a baby who had dropped to the fifth percentile on the growth chart at one point.). She was nursing better, not panting for air, and not constantly crying whenever we drove anywhere with her. In short, she had been like a different child.

Still, the heart is not exactly something you can see and check up on yourself, so there was a degree of nagging uncertainty. When our local pediatrician discovered the heart murmur that led to the discovery of the ventricular septal defect that had to be repaired during the surgery, my wife had taken our daughter in for what she thought might be an ear infection. Sometimes you just never know what a doctor will find.

So, of course, on Monday, Sara proceeded to scream like a banshee anytime anyone touched her, which made her echocardiogram a highly enjoyable experience, to say the least. This type of behavior can also cause a heart valve to show more leakage on the tests than it actually is experiencing, so we weren’t sure what to expect when our doctor came in to see us.

I feel like I’m rambling at this point, so I’ll sum up quickly: No leakage in the right valve, less leakage in the left valve than our last visit, everything looks great, see you in two years.

That’s right. Sara is doing so well at this point that we don’t have to go back for another follow-up until 2015. The hospital doesn’t even make appointments that far out, so we’ll have to remember to set one up in the future. That kind of news the day before Christmas Eve makes for a very Happy Holiday indeed.

And that’s my good news. Sorry, the body is telling me to wrap this one up. I think the mind agrees this time.