Cutest Blog on the Block

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cardiology checkup

This morning, we had a checkup with Dr. Raunikar. He is so wonderful! He adores Zach and obviously loves what he does. He is very thorough and takes time to answer all our questions. We thank God for him!

If you'll recall, I talked to Dr. R. recently about Zach being out of breath, so we were a little anxious to see what this checkup would bring. Would Dr. R. see that Zach is getting "in trouble" --- that his heart function has decreased to the point that there needs to be an intervention (cath/surgery)? We have been members of this CHD family long enough to know that you must be prepared for unexpected news. It is all part of the journey, unfortunately.

I am so grateful that we are past the days of anxiety over these checkups. We still prepared Zach by talking about what they would be doing and since Zach loves to arrange "structions" in numbered lists, we told him he would have to:

Number 1: stand on the scale and see how much you weigh.

Number 2: let the nurse "hug" your arm to check your blood pressure.

Number 3: let the nurse wrap up your finger to check your oxygen saturation.

Number 4: lay down like a big boy and watch a movie while they take a look at your heart on the echo.

Number 5: talk to our buddy, Dr. Raunikar.

He was 30.1 lbs, up about 1/2 lb from his last visit not quite 2 months ago. His bp was good, heart rate was 112, and sats were 86-87. Dr. R. listened to his heart, lungs, felt his liver (an enlarged liver is a sign of heart failure), which was all normal. Zach happily chatted throughout the exam without a bit of fussing. Of course he giggled as Dr. R. pushed around on his belly to check his liver - lots of tickle-spots there!

He sent us across the hall for an echo and said that everything looks about the same as the last one. The med (enalapril) that Zach takes for his leaky valves is helping and he is increasing the dosage just a bit up to 2.0 ml 2xday.

He also sent us downstairs for a chest x-ray. We had not prepared Zach for this, so he was a bit anxious when we walked into radiology and he saw that huge machine. Daddy stayed right by his side though and he was just fine.

Dr. R saw some streakiness on the x-ray and said Zach may have some "vascular congestion" (I think that is what he called it). He is putting him on lasix for a while to see if he can "pee it off". Zach hasn't been on lasix since right after his last surgery. While he is potty trained, he does sometimes still have "ack-idents", so I am not looking forward to adding this. We plan on him wearing a pull-up for the first few days!

We go back for another chest x-ray on Feb. 23, so we'll see if his lungs look a little better and if his breathing improves. We are still on track for the heart cath April 6 and the Fontan sometime this summer.

It was a treat to see our friends who were there for their first checkup with Dr. R. They just got home from the hospital after Anna Grace's birth and first surgery. She is a cutie!

We are so thankful for Zach's continued progress, growth, and overall good health!


  1. I'm glad the appointment went well. Zach is such a big boy to be fine with everything at the appointment as long as he knows about it ahead of time! I love his "structions!"

    It was really nice to meet you all in person yesterday! I hope to see you again soon. :)

    We'll be praying for Zach's lungs to look better, and for the Lasix/potty situation!

    Big heart hugs and prayers,

  2. Hi!
    I came across your blog today. Zach is a beautiful little boy. I have a 2 year old daughter, Cassidy, who was born with Tetralogy of Fallot w/ PA & MAPCA’s.
    I think blogs are a great way to get the word about about CHD’s and I commend you for what you’re doing.
    My wife and I are also on a mission to spread the word about CHD’s. We just started a jewelry company called Lucky 10. All of our products are handmade and pertain to Heart Defects and the Heart Community in general.
    Please check out our site when you get a moment. If you could help us get the word out about our new business we would be very grateful. It’s a project that’s very dear to our hearts.
    Thanks so much and we look forward to reading more on your blog!
    Vito Lisa

    P.S. If you want to keep up with Cassidy’s journey here is her Carepage info: , Page name: cassidylisa

  3. Thank you so much for your sweet encouraging comment on my blog and for your prayers. Your lil Z (Zach) is a cutie too. We will keep him in our prayers as well and I will keep up with your blog. It is so wonderful to have friends who know what it is like.




I'd love to know what you think!