A Visit With the Cardiologist

Last week Gigi had her follow up echocardiogram at Mass General.  The echocardiogram that she had the day after she was born showed that she had a PDA and a PFO (basically two small holes that typically close up on their own).  Dr. Skotko recommended we follow up with another echo, so we had that last week.  It was a long morning, especially because school closed unexpectedly due to cold weather so all three girls were with me, but we made it!  Gigi, who doesn’t like long car rides, screamed towards the end of the 45-minute trip to the hospital but the benefit of that was that she tired herself out for the exam.  Her appointment started with checking her blood pressure and oxygen levels and then she had an EKG.  All of that checked out fine.  Then the nurse moved us into the room for the echocardiogram.  The staff was so nice.   Since I had Gigi’s sisters with me they put a movie on for them to watch while they did the echo which was basically an ultrasound on her heart.  I quickly nursed her and rocked her right before and therefore she slept through most of the echo, which lasted at least 30 minutes.  Carina and Lia were funny.  They were very excited to see Gigi’s heart but I could only imagine what they had pictured in their heads.  Needless to say, it was very disappointing for them to see a black and white blob on a computer monitor and they didn’t find the day very interesting at all so I don’t think that cardiology is in their future but it was a good little impromptu field trip for them.

2015-01-14 09.04.07

The good news is Gigi’s PDA is closed.  Her PFO is still there, but the cardiologist expects it to close.  A PFO is a patent foramen ovale which is a small opening between the two upper chambers of the heart.  All babies have this opening in utero, but it’s supposed to close shortly after they are born.  In some babies, it doesn’t close right away, especially for babies with Down syndrome.  A PFO typically doesn’t cause problems.  The cardiologist said I don’t need to worry about it and she expects it will close eventually.  Worst case scenario is that Gigi would need a device, but the doctor doesn’t expect that.  So it’s all great news and in a nutshell we got lucky with Gigi’s heart, very lucky.  We will follow up with the cardiologist for another echocardiogram in June.

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