Well it's that time of year...or I guess I should now say, every-other-year. It's time for Kennedy's cardiology check-up tomorrow afternoon. She's done so well over the years that she has been reduced to being seen only once every other year, which is a great thing. She has been home from school today with a fever and cough so I'm hoping she is okay to make it and we aren't deferred, especially since she only sees them every other year now.
The routine begins: a letter arrives from the IWK Health Centre with instructions: "Kennedy will be seen on February 23rd, 2011 for a cardiology appointment. She will also have an ECHO before the appointment. Please arrange for an ECG at least two weeks before the appointment." She had her ECG a few weeks ago and tomorrow will be the ECHO and the general cardiology appointment with the IWK travelling clinic. I'm not anticipating anything major but history has taught me that I need to be prepared...
When she had her first open-heart surgery at 9 days old, we were in the shell-shocked stage still. Too stupefied to truly realize what was happening. I thought, though, that when that was over. One thing to check off the CHARGE syndrome list: we were done with heart issues except for regular check-ups. Sometime in late 2003 when she was five, however, during one of those regularly scheduled check-ups, I got
The second heart surgery was definitely harder for us because Kennedy was so much more 'knowing' at that point. She fought tooth and nail going into the O.R. and even whacked me in the face because she was so upset. But, in true Kennedy fashion, she came through the surgery just like she always does and we got through it too - after a month away in Toronto for everything that needed to be done (cardiac cath, two-week wait, and surgery.) After that surgery, the surgeon did tell us there might be a possibility of her needing another surgery at some point in the future.
At her last checkup, I spoke to the IWK cardiologist about the possibility of another heart surgery and he told me that things looked really good and that it wasn't definitive that she would need one, which allayed my concerns somewhat. I had been operating under the assumption that it was just a matter of time. Nevertheless, each year, I wonder if I'll hear the news I don't want to hear, or if we will once again coast under the radar with a healthy check-up and go on with the status quo for another two years until the next appointment letter arrives. I don't dwell on the what-ifs because it just isn't productive in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of our lives but this particular every-other-year appointment does make me stop and consider the possibility of another what-if.
So, with all that being said, do me a favour and please keep a very special & precious heart in your thoughts tomorrow and hope we get to coast for another couple of years.