Yesterday afternoon, I received the results of Becky’s recent echo.
It’s the first time I have heard a medical professional use the word normal when it comes to our daughter.
I was disappointed during rounds yesterday when I heard the word “tomorrow”. Because it meant we weren’t going home today. Did you follow that? The team felt too many changes had been made to Becky’s diuresis and feeding regimens. So we stayed another day in the hospital. I was frustrated with the team’s decision.
The floor doesn’t work like the PCICU and, as a parent, I don’t feel as involved in my child’s care. And it’s hard when there isn’t the same time to explain decisions. But I haven’t gone to medical school and I trust they aren’t keeping us here for kicks. Truly, I appreciate the choice to error on the side of caution and am grateful for their thorough care of Becky.
I spent the day trying to do our taxes. Which always makes me feel like I’m going to go crazy. I like it when I can click through the H&R Block software screens quickly. Because I have no farm income. I’m not a minister. And I haven’t won an Olympic medal. I made good progress but did need my brother to calm me down at one point.
Greta returned to school on Thursday. I miss her company but am glad she is getting back into the swing of things. Believe it or not, she had to produce an official letter from the hospital proving that she really was here and that Becky really did have surgery. As if you would chose open heart surgery on an infant as a cover for a quick getaway to Cabo.
Please excuse my snarkiness. I get that we are living in strange times. And I’m feeling worn down which skews my perspective on things. Her professors have been wonderfully supportive. But the letter was needed to check some administrative box to excuse her from weekly Covid screening.
It was wonderful to have my bookend girls together this past week. They are 22 years apart in age but they both have the same reddish hair color. It’s nice to have some genetic continuity.
Anyways, Becky’s echo looked great. The nurse practitioner from the Pulmonary Hypertension team called me with the good news. She said that Becky’s right-sided pressure (the CVP + the Tricuspid Regurgitation Peak Gradient) is now 1/3 or less of the left-sided pressure in her heart (the systolic number from her blood pressure). Her BNP number from her morning blood draw also continues to decline. The BNP measures the stretch or dilation of her heart. I’m finally absorbing some of the more nuanced detail regarding Becky’s cardiac situation. Which anyone can do if you stare at hospital monitors long enough and ask the same questions repeatedly.
It brought a huge smile to my face when she said the word normal and Becky in the same sentence. Because, up to this point, nothing has been normal about this child, starting with her hair. Becky will continue taking one medication and will stay on oxygen to control her hypertension. But this combination, coupled with the surgery, appears to be working.
Becky needs to provide one more clear chest x-ray and then we should hear the word discharge. Which would be magical.
And then I can get back to our taxes.