My older son has a PDA, which means that there is a hole at the top of his heart that didn’t close in the first week after his birth. This hole is very important in while in the womb since the lungs are not used. It diverts blood away from the lungs & back to the heart so that it can grow stronger. Just before, or in some cases, just after birth, it closes on it’s own, allowing a normal amount of blood to the lungs. However, sometimes it doesn’t close. This can be a problem since there isn’t enough blood going to my son’s lungs & too much blood going back to the heart, enlarging the left side to be nearly twice the size of the right. You wouldn’t know he has this problem by just looking at him, but if it is not taken care of then he can have all kinds of problems, with the most common being infections of the heart.
His cardiologists have been putting the surgery off since his birth because of how well he is handling it & how strong he is. Since he wasn’t having any complications, they decided to wait until his arteries were larger to pose less of a risk during the surgery. (A catheter will be inserted through the groin & snaked up through the artery to the heart where the device will be implanted to close off the whole. Within six months scar tissue will cover the device & he will be “perfect”.) The bigger the artery, the safer the procedure.
But AM isn’t the only one dealing with the hole in his heart. I have to deal with it too. Even though I know he is just fine, I still think about it every day. I wonder if he feels it, if it slows him down, how big he might be if it wasn’t there. I wonder if while he’s running across the field it will catch up with him mid-step. I just fear. Now that he is three & a half, the doctors feel it is time to do the procedure. I was told that small children recover faster & tend to be less traumatized by the whole ordeal. I agreed. Also, I just want it to be over so I don’t have to think about it anymore.
On Monday morning he will be the only patient the surgeon will see for the day. He’ll be going to Hartford Children’s Medical Hospital super early in the morning to get his heart plugged up. I am a wreck. I’m nervous for him to be under general anesthesia. I’m scared for him to have a device shoved into his heart! But I am so thankful for the hospital staff. They have already taken Hubs & me on a tour & walked us through step by step & room by room. They have called me twice & gone over the procedure, what to do the night before, how to talk to my child about preparing for the procedure. They have dealt with me calling, and calling, and calling back again with questions. They’ve been kind & courteous & completely reassuring through it all. They have been calm & informative. They understand my fear & turn it into knowledge. I am thankful that they are putting up with this worried momma. I am thankful that we have chosen this hospital.