Happy Heart

Gabe had a cardiologist appointment last week.

These appointments are routine, two month check ups and I usually look at them like any other well baby appointment.

But they are getting harder.

As his body is growing, his heart is taking the toll.  It's still subtle, praise the Lord, but it's there.  He can't walk as far.  He's heaving after going up a few stairs.  He needs to be carried more and a trip to the park wears him out within minutes.

I know that each appointment brings us closer to the one where a surgery will be scheduled.  And even though I want to be brave and not let it scare me, it scares me.

I look at his little self and think he shouldn't know how to operate the pulse oximeter.  He shouldn't know where to put the EKG stickers or how to properly use a stethoscope.

But he does.

This is his reality.  It's our whole family's reality.  Most days I don't give it room to bother me.  But on appointment days, it's hard to ignore.

A few nights before we left Minnesota he came down with a croup-y cough in the middle of the night. 

He was fine during the day, but it hit every night.  I kept thinking it would clear up on it's own, but after we were up all night with a crying baby, I finally took him in to the doctor.  

The croup was just about cleared up and he had an ear infection, but what worried us were his oxygen levels.  A healthy person will have a pulse ox of 100.  Gabe usually hovers around 75, but the pediatrician couldn't get a reading higher then a 62.  That's really low.

We decided to give the antibiotics a chance to kick the ear infection and see if that was why his levels were so low.

Luckily, the cardiologist was able to get much better readings.  

His body just can't fight off infections the same as the rest of us.  A minor ear infection and runny nose is enough to drop his stats dangerously low.  This is the first winter he won't get Synergist shots to help fight cold season, so we will have to be extra careful with him.

He is done with his antibiotic now and has made a full recovery.  I'm not the best mom to a sick child.  I believe that, in most cases, their little bodies are designed to fight infections.  I treat with rest and lots of fluids.  I am glad for this minor scare to remind me that Gabriel isn't most cases.  He needs extra care and I need to be more proactive in seeking medical help if he's not kicking it on his own.

Once again, the cardiologist team was blown away by how good his heart sounds.

We didn't do an ECHO since he sounded so good.  The doctor did bump up his meds but that is just because he is growing, not because there is any deterioration.  

I asked the doctor's opinion on surgery.  There is a ton to consider if we are getting close.  Who will stay with Josie?  How should we reschedule schooling?  How long will he be in the hospital?

She stopped me around my fifth question and said that we aren't there yet.  He's still adjusting on his own and our goal is to keep him as healthy as possible and give him a chance to keep getting stronger before surgery.

I walked out of the office feeling a whole lot of relief.

The surgery is coming, but not now.  And that makes all of us very happy.


amillioncanaries said...

These posts about Gabe and his little heart always get me. We still need to get together. Layla has to go to Sibley every year for a checkup and do the EKG and sometimes the ECHO. As they get older, they would probably really appreciate knowing another heart baby. Ya know? Glad to hear it's not time for surgery yet, and my heart goes out to you, Mommy. You are doing a good job. And sanitize sanitize this winter!

Teresa said...

There's a poster in our cardiologists office of a cute little heart baby that says, "Half a heart, Full of life". I love it! So glad Gabe is on the mend.

kimmer said...

Gabriel certainly is a very special child and his heart is just one of the reasons I say that. He is so sweet and full of love and laughter. He has a special energy all his own! We know the time will come for a surgery and when it does we will all get through it together. You and Andrew are such awesome parents and i love, love, love you all!!!

Melissa said...

So happy for you guys and so happy you guys are his parents. He is seriously the cutest little guy ever!

Becca said...

aw i love your cute little heart baby, he's so special and I'm so glad he is a part of your family! :-) y'all are in my prayers!

Beth said...

I love that sweet little smile! What a heartbreaker! So glad for a good appointment.

Cristi said...

I'm so happy to hear that the answer to all of your surgery questions is "coming, but not now." What a blessing!You'll be in my prayers for a healthy winter.

Hannah O said...

check out this cute little midwest boy's story! it made me think of little gabe..