Thursday, February 16, 2012

The "Heart Way"

Although I count a crowded dance floor as one of my favorite landscapes, I wouldn't say I'm actually a "music person".  There are some people - and I'm always intrigued by them - who listen to music a lot.  They have to have it in the background, or in their headphones, or just wherever they are.  I'm more of a type to enjoy my thoughts and the occasional solace that silence brings!  Apart from on the dance floor, and well, then you need music!  Preferably Madonna or Motown...
When we go out in the car, however, I do like to have music on.  In our car's glove compartment is my random collection of my attempts to bring "the South" to the South of England: several Dixie Chicks cd's and my current driving favorite, Mary Chapin Carpenter's Come On, Come On.  The first song on the album is called "Hard Way" ("Everything she got, she got the hard way..."), but Blake thinks that the name of the song is "Heart Way", and he'll ask for it by - incorrect - name.  It always makes me smile.

As you hopefully know by now, it takes me a while with posts like this one, but I eventually get around to having a point in providing that introductory context.  It's been a busy few weeks for us, starting back in the middle of January when the "Grand Army" rolled into town on a US Airways flight from Charlotte.  We were so glad to see Granny Karla and Grandpa John, and they held the fort with Matt while I went on a business trip to Boston.  I was lucky to see Katie and Haes in NYC for about 40 minutes at an aptly named "Beer Bar" (I had a beer!), and Marisa and I dined together in the exclusive surroundings of Boston's South Station during Friday lunch hour.  It was great to see them all, if even briefly.  I was really happy to get home though, and back to the boys, Matt, and Mom and Dad.

One of the things that made the trip slightly harder than it might have been was that I was in the midst of getting an appointment scheduled for Noah related to his having had a few episodes late last year where his lips went blue.  Strangely, it didn't always happen when he was cold, and in fact sometimes it happened when he was warm and running around squealing with glee about something Blake was doing.  One GP had dismissed it as probably nothing to worry about, but on an insider tip from my expert family pediatrician (thanks, Amy!), I happened to notice one night in the bath that Noah's tongue also looked blue in relation to Blake's.  Again, at the time Noah showed no other signs of being unwell, but I took a quick photo of the two of them as my evidence, and headed back to the doctor's office a few days later.  This time, a different doctor agreed that it was probably best that he get referred to have a closer look.

If there are any two words which, when paired together, can strike terror in a parent's heart, those words are "pediatric" and "cardiologist".  Actually, cardiologist on its own would probably strike a certain degree of anxiety in many.  Anyway, we booked Noah in to see a cardiologist to see if there was anything wrong with his heart, its valves, the way his blood was being oxygenated, etc.  I decided it was best to not even do the internet research that's available to any stay-at-home wannabe doctor.  We had the appointment last Wednesday night, at the Evelina Children's Hospital.  It was a surreal and scary feeling to have my little shirtless boy lying on me while having the scan gel rubbed on his chest, and then to see the images of his heart come up on the screen.  I'd obviously seen his heart in a scan before, but it was just when he was  unborn and inside me!  Now he was my big boy Noah and being so good at lying quietly in this slightly darkened, very warm room with a kind of children's ceiling light going around pointing out different letters of the alphabet.  At one point I had to imagine that my own heart was beating so hard in my chest that it probably could have been heard through N's chest!  So it was with a huge amount of relief that the cardiologist wasn't able to see anything wrong - everything was the right size and doing the right things in terms of oxygenation, pumping...and well, at that point I'll admit to having stopped listening a bit, after hearing that he was all ok!

I had had a gut feeling that the scan was not going to turn up anything worrisome, but it sure was a relief to go home knowing that we could put any major worries to bed.  The doctor couldn't actually say what might have caused it (and in fact, I don't think Noah's had it happen in at least a few weeks now, which is reassuring), but he could rule out anything serious and heart-related which was definitely the best news. 

So Happy Valentine's Day for those of you who are so inclined to be romantic.  I'm very happy that I got to see the heart of one of my loves and can report that it looks great.  I sure I am grateful that we got to learn what we needed to know through the "heart way" and not the hard way.

Bathtub boys on Valentine's Day...lips looking nice and pink!

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