Tuesday, June 16, 2009

has it really been 6 months?

Indeed it has. Joshua had his 6 month cardiology check up today which included an EKG, echo, and pacemaker check. Typically several days before each visit to the cardiologist I become anxious & my mind wanders...what if this? what if that? This time I had absolutely no anxiety. In fact was convinced that the left side of his heart had miraculously grown, because truly, he seems so healthy. No, he's still functioning on only a right ventricle, but one can dream, right? But let me clarify for those of you who aren't familiar with Joshua's condition, his left heart will never develop.

As you may remember before his last appointment, I was looking for tips to help him through the echo, as I knew it would be hard for him to lay still for an hour with a stranger rubbing a wand across his chest. At Kaiser they really do a good job catering to small children when it comes to echo's and such. The room where he has his echo is equipped with a huge projector that casts bright images across the dark ceiling, and they also have a DVD player so the kids can watch movies. Although Josh never watches movies or the TV at all, about a week before today's appointment I pulled out a DVD my mom had bought him a while back. I was crossing my fingers in hopes that he'd like the movie, knowing that if he did I could use it as a distraction during his echo. It was a construction video & not only are there tractors, but also explosions & demolition. He became obsessed with it immediately. So for the past several days I've been showing him this DVD just hoping that his familiarity with it would be the key to a pleasant echo. It worked! He was not happy to be there, but he did awesome, he laid there watching his movie & on occasion he'd look at the echo-tech and say to her "look" during the best parts. Of course a couple of times he'd say in a sad voice 'momma' (as in - "come on mom....do we really have to do this?").

Overall it was a really good experience with a positive outcome on all accounts. Josh did well through the echo & pacer check, his heart function is good, his tricuspid leak is minimal, he isn't using his pacemaker & Dr. Rivera was really pleased with everything he saw.

A quick story...when Dr. Rivera walked into the room for the first time today he held out his fist to Josh & Josh returned the knuckle tap. We went through the usual check up & as Dr. Rivera was leaving, Josh looked up at him & said "Doctor..." holding his little fist up, then the two exchanged another knuckle tap & Josh said "Bye bye!" Josh is apparently 1 going on 16.

Anyway, thanks for checking in on our little guy! We feel so blessed to be his parents. And so blessed that he has done so well after 2 very difficult surgeries/recoveries. I can't understand why we are so blessed & though the future is uncertain we truly cherish this precious time that he is thriving.


Gina and the Gang said...

You are too modest! Why can't you understand why you are so blessed? You are a wonderful, caring, and giving family. Not to mentiont that your heart baby is not going to be your "baby" much longer...so he has to behave!!

Let me know if you want to borrow "Mighty Machines", the DVD for the next echo!!!

allison said...

Gina it was totally "Mighty Machines" he was wathing! He loves it & what a lifesaver it was for me today!

Lindsay said...

So amazing, that little Joshua is! That is great you didn't have the usual anxiety. He definitely does seem so normal so I could see where you could make yourself believe that things could be better. I love that he gave the dr. knuckle taps.

Carlla said...

That is great news! I know exactly how you feel. We feel the same way about how well Aiden has done too. It is amazing! We are truly blessed to be there mommy's! So glad to hear the good news!

Mindi said...

SO good to see him doing so well. He really is such a handsome little guy.

Thanks for the advice. How long was Joshua on oxygen? Last night was rough, but I'm sure things will get better as he gets used to it.

Congrats on the baby on the way!! That is so exciting.

Take care,

Andrea said...

So glad Josh did so well at his appointment and got a good report! Good job preparing him Mommy! I love the knuckle tapping, what a little cutie!

Katie said...

So glad his appt when great and to hear that the "mom anxiety" lessons a little down the road!!! I love that he gave his doctor a knuckle tap...my boys call it a "pound" as they also repeat: "Pound it, lock it, blow it up" This was thanks to my little brother :)

Corrie said...

That's great news! I'm glad to hear that your little guy is doing so well.

My Joshua has his cardiology follow-up next month - it has been a year since his last one. I'm a little anxious and looking forward to getting it behind us. Hopefully he'll be as well behaved as your son for his echo :)

The Simmons Family said...

WoW.. GREAT NEWS!!! I love that he gives nuckles and am amazed at how well he communicates. Hopefully you get to go another six months without an appointment! I'll trade you. Wanna go every 3 weeks?? HA!!


Hetrick family said...

Boy is he a handsome devil! Congratulations on a great visit. Those tractors have amazing powers with little boys! :)