Monday, April 30, 2012

From practitioner to parent of a patient

Seems I always start a post with a statement of how long it has been since I have managed to write or how busy life tends to become. It seems I blink, and time just flies past—between school projects, spring sports, a big inspection at work and training for a half marathon, there is barely time to breathe some days.

But summer is just around the corner and, thanks to a fluke episode, my boy is ensuring that we will slow down over the school break. He just turned 9 and is an active, typical little boy—playing baseball and riding his bike over any jump he can find. A few weeks ago, he had what appeared to be a minor viral illness but then suffered what is now being termed a fainting episode. Because it mimicked seizure activity, off to the ER we went.

A routine ECG turned up some thickening of the right side of his heart, so we saw a cardiologist a few days later. A long afternoon spent in the cardiologist’s office ended up in a surprise diagnosis of two congenital heart defects that could result in significant damage if we don’t repair them. Needless to say, I was in shock and still am two weeks later. My healthy, typically wild but extremely kind-hearted boy is shunting oxygenated blood back into his right heart with every beat!

Yes, we are getting a second opinion in a week but, because I have confidence in the diagnosis, the surgery is scheduled for the middle of June—a week after school ends. He will spend the summer being spoiled rotten, and the goal is to be back in school when it starts in mid-August. The cardiologist even said we could sign up for fall baseball. I think he is as optimistic as I am about all this, something I really appreciate.

In the meantime, my son has no activity restrictions, so we are pressing on with life. We fill our free time with baseball and soccer, bike rides and yard work, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts. We have tickets to see the Rapids and the Rockies and hope to throw a big presurgery party in June. I firmly believe attitude can affect outcome, and we will enter this with the best attitudes we can muster! I will do my best to keep this site updated with our progress on this new adventure in life and know we are wrapped in prayer every day by so many people, something I am very thankful for and believe is contributing to my calm emotions.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

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