The Little Girl with the Big Heart

We just got back from our latest trip to the cardiologist. Veronica got both an echocardiogram and EKG done.  These are not the easiest things to get a toddler to lay down still for. I’d say The Itsy Bitsy Spider song count is up to thirty-three for today.

I had  high hopes she was getting better but no such luck. It’s pretty conclusive by now that the tissue is not going to heal by itself. At this point she is not going to show signs of having a heart problem and if she did then that would mean we waited too long for surgery.  The cardiologist still recommends surgery and would like to schedule it in mid-October. I’ve heard all of this before so I’m not counting on anything until it actually happens. We’ve put it off and put it off and had the surgery cloud looming over us the whole time but so far it hasn’t rained. I think the difference is that now he has more evidence to draw from and feels this is how it’s going to be permanently.

I did ask about just not doing the surgery at all and he says the risks to that are pretty major, the end result of which is usually a stroke.  And I know my mom just hit the floor. So let me back up and say that he’s talking about things that would happen many, many, many, many, many years from now. She’s totally fine. He’s talking about her later adult life and the problems that would occur from maintaining an oversized heart with an irregular rhythm and the medications involved in those situations.  Let me repeat (mom) she is totally safe and fine. He is just saying that not fixing it will lead to some serious problems when she is an older adult, not to mention that she wouldn’t be able to compete physically with other children her age when she is a little older. So when you look at those factors you realize that it is something that is best fixed earlier in life.

Oh yes. The oversized heart. Her heart is the size of a 5 year old kid’s heart. It’s caused by the extra blood flow. So surgery will patch up the hole which will minimize the blood flow and then her heart will shrink back to a normal size.

All of this may sound bad but really she is doing so well and we’re very happy with how things continue to go. There are so many children in the world who have gone through ordeals much worse than this and we’ve been so lucky to have avoided surgery even up to this point.  We meet the doctor again in September and who knows, it may get put off again.

Next update is in September! Until then Veronica continues to run and climb stairs (she climbed 2 flights on the way to the doctor’s office today) and act like any other kid. To her, having a big heart means she’s extra sweet.


6 Responses to “The Little Girl with the Big Heart”

  1. 1 christin July 1, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I could die. when I think of her precious little face and how hilarious & teeny she is I forget that she has this hole in her heart. I mean I seriously completely forgot about it for a time. she’s so healthy & full of life. I think it’s wise of you to kinda just cross the bridge when you come to it in Sept, but know that it will be something that has to be done. and luckily she’s little; she won’t remember it, and it will save her trouble down the road.

    also I wonder if she will be like Lance? He has an enlarged heart that allows more oxygen to flow to it and that is why he’s such an amazing athlete (well, part of it). I think you should start her now on training to be the first female Tour de France winner.


  2. 2 stacker95 July 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Thank you for that update R. I don’t think any of us doubt that Veejie has an extra big heart. It matches her extra big sparkly eyes and her extra big smile and the extra dose of adorable that she carries around with her every day.

    Glad you are taking things day by day. That’s all you can do. Every day she is stronger, so I am so glad surgery has been able to be pushed off for as long as it has been.

    What a trooper. Can’t wait to celebrate with little miss ginormous heart at TurnerFest.
    xoxo aunt stacy.

  3. 3 mom July 2, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Rebekah and Chris,

    I am so proud of both of you for the way you are facing all of this. I too, think it is wise to get it done while she is young enough not to remember it. While it is a very hard thing to go through (for you especially), I know the Lord will keep his angels around Veronica and you as well. I also know that many folks who love you guys are praying for her upcoming surgery and heeling process. Please let us all know how we can help out in all of this too. We are there for you. The Cardiologist sounds like he really knows what he is doing and we thank the Lord for that too. Your dad and I love you guys with all of our hearts and trust God for a great outcome on this.

  4. 4 babs July 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    On the other side of this surgery cloud there will be a great big rainbow…..

  5. 5 Sheila July 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I am glad you are able to take this one step at a time. You are handling this better then I could. She is such cutie I forget that she has this problem. i can’t wait for our next playdate.

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