Over the weekend, Clare's right arm behaved itself, but she frequently complained that her left hand hurt. When we asked where it hurt, she pointed right at the location of her fistula in her left wrist. She was still complaining of the pain on Monday, so I called her cardiologist's office. When the office finally called me back on Tuesday, it was not Clare's cardio but another one from the practice (one we have never met, but spoken with a few times on the phone over the past four years). He apologized for the delay, explaining that Clare's doctor was on vacation, and he had ordered copies of the ER reports to bring him completely up to speed before he talked to us. After quizzing me on various things regarding Clare's fistula, he asked us to come into the office right away so he could check it out himself. He gave me the impression that he did not think Clare's doctor had fully evaluated the fistula and that it needed to be taken care of sooner rather than later (which was what Clare's doctor had suggested - a wait and see approach). Of course, this always happens at 4:30pm - the kids are all hungry and whiny, dinner is in the oven, and Shawn is not home yet. So dinner was turned off, all four children nicely cooperated with getting their shoes and jackets on and back in the car, and Shawn was only 20 minutes away. (We ended up arriving at the doctor's office almost at the same time since herding four kids in and out of the car takes a little time.)
After examining Clare, asking lots of questions, and listening intently to Clare's wrist, the doctor stated that he believes an aneurysm has formed at the site. (The ultrasound at the hospital did not ultrasound past Clare's lower arm, so there is no ultrasound of the site itself.) This is not life-threatening, but definitely should be dealt with. It has only been a week since the vessel problem was diagnosed, and it has progressed fairly quickly over that week. He thanked us for coming right in, explaining that he did not want to start referring Clare out to other doctors when he himself had never even met her. He was going to put in a call to Clare's cardiac surgeon down at Children's and expects we will at least speak with the surgeon's office before the end of the week. Clare will probably have an appointment with the surgeon so he can take a look at the problem himself and discuss where to go from here. The cardiologist believes it would be a fairly simple surgery if Clare has a fistula. I think it would be more complex if it is an aneurysm. Since the vessels are near the skin, the surgeon can most likely make an incision in Clare's wrist and go from there. We now have lots of new questions about what's going on!