There's nothing like returning home and discovering that Clare's echo is now only three days away instead of four weeks.
Due to the fact that Clare's cardiologist is unexpectedly going to be out of the office for December and January (and Clare had an echo scheduled for December 18), she did not want Clare to wait until February to echo her. While we were away, the office rescheduled Clare's echo to today. The suddenness of it made me nervous for some reason. Why didn't the doctor want to wait until February? After realizing that it had already been over two months since Clare's last cath, I started to feel those familiar butterflies flitting around in my stomach.
I am happy to say that the echo was fairly good news. (With Clare, there never is a truly good echo unfortunately.) Her narrowings are only slightly worse, her valve is still only slightly leaking, and her pressure gradients remain about the same (as far as the doctor could tell because she didn't actually get a good study on that particular number at this echo). All in all, Clare continues to be clinically stable and does not need another cath right now. Her blood pressures are creeping up, though. One of the benefits of being a defibrillator salesman is that Shawn has blood pressure machines in our house. So we take Clare's blood pressure often (which then naturally extends to taking Jamie's, since he begs and begs). Lately, her numbers have been high. Today, in the doctor's office, her top number was 130. And that's on blood pressure meds! Clare's cardiologist is still concerned that there may be some narrowing in her renal arteries, but she does not want to risk sedating Clare to obtain a MRI of those arteries. She increased Clare's dose of blood pressure medication (since Clare seems to be going through a growth spurt - we've hit 22 pounds!). We're going to take her blood pressure twice a week until we see the doctor again in early March. If her pressures do not decrease with the new dose, then Clare will have to undergo a MRI.