Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Annual Cardiology Check Up

Kai had to go in for his annual Cardiology check up again, which we have been doing for eight years now, traveling in to BC Children's Hospital and seeing Dr Hosking (great doctor). It's not a big deal. It's just one day out of the whole year, so we really don't have anything to complain about. But the drive is a frustrating one; it sometimes makes me nervous, and it does take up our whole day between the driving and waiting for our appointment to come up, so Hunny has to take time off of work to get the kids from school typically. Sometimes it isn't very convenient.

This year, we were called and told that our appointment was booked at the Surrey Memorial Hospital. They have a temporary lab set up that is open once a week for those on this side of the River, which is such a wonderful option. But it also felt so strange. We were going to a different hospital, and seeing a different doctor. It felt odd.

Despite the differences, there was much to be thankful for. Such as, no line ups! At BCCH, even if you have a scheduled appointment, you need to be prepared to wait for your name to be called for the tests, and then you wait even longer for the doctor. At SMH, there was hardly any wait at all! There was one child ahead of us, and we only waited for maybe five minutes before we got in. In fact, it was so empty in that buiding it felt very eerie. You often wondered if you were in the right place, there just wasn't that many bodies walking around and doing busy things!  But that also meant that our appointment went by fast.

Kai still gets the giggles during the exams! The stickers for the EKG lines tickle him and make him squirm. Thankfully the test really only takes 2 minutes, it's the setting up that takes longer; sitting still isn't easy for him!

The Echocardiogram wasn't too bad either, but he squirms because of all of "the goo" they use to get the pictures. He really is a funny boy!

We saw a different cardiologist, after a student doctor checked him out first, but I'm not too sure how I felt about him. I guess he was good for a quick check up doctor, but I was hoping for more information. Instead, he told me that Kai's heart was "normal" and that we could wait another year for our next appointment. Which is great news, but also strange. Normal? How normal? Normal for Kai, I guess. So not worse, then? His medication stays the same. Before we go back next year, he wants us to do a lot of repeat tests that we did at the beginning, since it's been eight years. Like his 24 Hour Holter, which he did at 18 months old while we stayed overnight at BCCH and got his medications sorted out. The doctor would also like to do an exercise test, since Kai doesn't have much stamina for running and such.  

I had a few concerns when we arrived, one being his tiring out easier than others. The other was that he is always so cold, often doubling up his socks and he won't wear short-sleeved shirts. I was worried it was heart related, but that doesn't seem to be the case, which is a huge relief for me to hear! I dread the day we hear that his heart is getting worse and that he is in Congestive Heart Failure and needs surgery. But maybe it's his asthma that holds him back, and maybe he does have a thyroid issue, which is in the family. Hopefully it's just those things. Although having a dysfunctional thyroid would really suck (I would know), it seems better than having heart failure.  After our appointment, we went over to the lab for some blood work. Our family doctor had written out a req to do a complete blood count and a TSH check in the summer, and Kai had managed to avoid getting this done, but I finally put my foot down and gave him no choice. (he shrieked and put up a huge fuss at the lab, I am sure the whole building heard him! oh my!) So we'll see what the results are.

Things look okay for his Dialated Cardiomyopathy, and we are clear for another year (unless symptoms pop up) and I am thankful. I just wish that the doctor could've been more clear for me. He said that things looked good on the ECHO, but it is just a portable one for the clinic and so it isn't the most detailed, which doesn't give me a lot of confidence. But from what they saw on the not-so-detailed scan, things look "normal".


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