It seems so long ago that I sat in the Clinic and listened to Dr. Strauss urge me to see Verity as primarily our baby and not a patient (despite the feeding tube, heart medication, careful record-keeping and reports to the cardio nurse, unhealed incision, and two-hour feeding sessions, et cetera, et cetera).
But at yesterday’s three-month post-op checkup, it was clear how far we’ve moved down the path from where we were! Getting an echocardiogram seemed to be an oddly superfluous activity for such a radiantly healthy baby!
While Dr. Chowdhury performed the echo, I didn’t pay as close attention as I had previously done, when it seemed more vital and less routine.
I found out the happy news that a lowered immune response is not a given for every individual with Down syndrome, and in fact, Verity may have a healthy one! That would help explain why she hasn’t been affected by either the tummy bug or the head cold that went through the family recently. We will still need to exercise reasonable caution about exposing her to germs she may not be immune to, especially during the cold and flu season ahead.
[Notice the politely subtle hint there for those with plans to visit her over these next months!]
We discussed the Holter monitor test that Verity will be undergoing at the beginning of next month.
Then she explained the echo results. She said that she saw a mild pulmonary outflow tract obstruction. Basically, part of Verity’s heart muscle has thickened, which is causing a narrowing of her pulmonary valve (the valve which allows de-oxygenated blood into the lungs to pick up more oxygen). This causes a lowered blood flow to her lungs.
She explained that this condition could resolve as she grows bigger, or it could worsen, so it will need to be watched closely over time. If it does grow more severe, Verity would need another procedure to correct it. That is the worst case scenario.
Then Dr. Chowdhury held Verity and fed her a bottle before we said goodbye to her until December.
So while we didn’t get the boring cardiology report that we were expecting, now we know how to pray! Interestingly, before this appointment, I had been thinking that all the prayers of Samaritan folks for Verity’s heart were not really necessary. But nothing is wasted in God’s economy!
And speaking of economy, we thought you might like to know that when we say we are receiving hundreds of checks from other Samaritan members, we are not exaggerating. This month’s list shows that we should receive around 1250 checks, and that doesn’t count last month’s checks or next month’s checks!
Yes, it is taking a lot of time to process them, but our brothers and sisters in the Lord are helping us pay the medical bills…that we are fully responsible to pay! We are not complaining.
The only connection between the subject of this post and these pictures I took this morning (besides Verity, of course) is her favorite froggy friend, which was given her on her very first visit to the Clinic at five days old. Yes, it is gaudy, loud, ugly and tacky, but she doesn’t seem to notice these flaws at all. <grin> And her fondness for it makes it a great motivator for her.
I was pleased to see her attempt to reach out for the toy, although this is one of the most exhausting positions for her to be in, and she was getting ready for naptime~
I gave her a break when she got too tired to lift her head~