We started out the New Year with a cardiology appointment. Clare has turned into such a great patient for these appointments. She lays quietly for her blood pressure readings, EKG, and echocardiogram and does everything the techs ask her to do. The boys were at school and Violet was at a friend's house, so Clare loved having the solo time with Mom, Dad, and baby Eliza.
The time has come for Clare to have another cardiac catheterization. I knew the cardiologist was going to utter those words (especially since she and the Boston cardiologist have been warning us of this for about a year now). The cardiologist could not get great readings from the echocardiogram as to exactly how Clare's pulmonary arteries and stents are functioning, so the safest route now is to obtain more accurate date by doing a cath. I do feel blessed that Clare has been able to go FOUR YEARS without a cardiac intervention, but I am also getting the butterflies. During the last cath, Clare went into atrial tachyarrhythmia and had to be cardioverted back to a normal rhythm. And the cath before that, she had a pulmonary stent replaced and ended up in the ICU. But I am a dweller on the positive (for the most part!). Clare is four years older and stronger. Her risk of dehydration and blood loss requiring a transfusion are lower. Her blood pressures have been great for over a year. All in all, she has been fairly healthy, so we are hopeful for a successful outcome to this cath, even if it does involve balloon dilations or additional stent placement.
The catheterization is set for February 1, so we'll be at Children's Hospital for a minimum of three days. Clare is starting to show some anxiety about the upcoming hospital stay. She has some memories of her hospital stay a year ago when she underwent dental surgery (such as she remembers the mask with the "sleepy medicine"), but has lots of questions and comments about "fixing her broken heart," as she puts it. We're already seeing that an older Clare will be a whole new experience at the hospital.