A year ago today, I left two girls weak with a stomach virus home with their daddy and drove our son through the pouring rain to a cardiologist in Sandy Hook. If I had told you where I was driving back then, the town’s name would have meant absolutely nothing to you, but, now, I’d venture to say every one of you has an instant reaction when you see it.
Crazy, how that is, huh?
Anyway, I had to take A. to see a pediatric cardiologist and it was terrifying. The start of our school year had already been full of scary dramatic events as my precious oldest child– strong! healthy! active!– lost consciousness in school and an arrhythmia was uncovered.
Those of you who have been around probably know the story from there. If you’re newer around here, WELCOME, and you can catch up pretty easily in this post.
Now, we’re into another school year. And, as I run into people I haven’t seen in a while, they almost all ask me how A’s doing these days. In case you might be wondering the same thing, I thought I’d give you just a quick update.
A. is doing great.
We have had no more instances of his losing consciousness since last winter. He had surgery back in March to place a monitor on his heart. We’ll go in to have that device checked at the end of this month, but we suspect all is well.
A. feels fine. He doesn’t really notice the monitor unless he takes a direct blow right into it. As a result, he has a protective shirt to wear for baseball and his karate peers are aware of it when they spar. You can absolutely see where the monitor is, right through his skin. Were he not so slim, it might be a little less obvious but, as it is, there’s no missing it. I don’t find it particularly “yucky” and it doesn’t bother him, so it’s all good.
We very much believe, at this point, that A’ s syncope was a result of his naturally very low blood pressure and NOT the arrhythmia. Don’t get me wrong– the arrhythmia is there and likely always will be. It likely always was. But we, and the doctors, don’t think it’s actually causing any significant issues for him and that’s fabulous news– had it been the source of the fainting, we’d have to have that whole “pacemaker” conversation.
Still, we do need to address the blood pressure in order to keep our boy steady on his feet. One way to do this is through a very simple pill that helps elevate the blood pressure. The side effects are minimal and it’s considered safe for even very young children. I’m glad to know that option is there, should we ever need it.
In our case, we elected to attempt to control A’s BP through diet. We upped his daily salts and electrolytes significantly through things like bananas, pretzels, coconut water, and the like. Our efforts seem to be working and we are happy to keep managing things this way.
So there you go! I can’t begin to tell you how much it has meant to us over the past year to have so many of you praying for and checking in our little guy. There were definitely some scary moments, but I’m delighted to be able to tell you that he’s doing just great. (And I hope I didn’t bore anyone with this update!)
Anything else you’ve been wondering about our boy?