Friday, May 30, 2008

Heart, Check

I'm such a space case. Forgot to update on the checkup yesterday with the cardiologist.

First, a backstory. When Kiki was born, she had a little hole in her heart. Well, I suppose little is relative. I mean when you're 7 pounds, how little can little be?

I digress (as always).

Anyway, 12 days after she was born, which would have been 7 days after we took her home from the NICU, Mom and I took her in to see the cardiologist to see how dire the little hole might be. I do not know if this is the standard case in a pediatric cardiology office -- and it may be, and I'm just ignorant -- but we spent the majority of our time there waiting. The first wait, in the main waiting room, was the shortest. The two subsequent waits in a colorless little room with a desk and high high walls were unbearable.

Anyway, I'm there with my Mom, bless her heart, and I remember vaguely that she remarked that he had the bedside manner of House, and this was probably just after he made me cry and just before he told me that Kiki's heart was A-Ok, and that we really dodged that heart defect bullet there, by gum.

I want to point out thought I don't dislike him. I think he's okay. I'm actually quite ambivalent about how I feel about him, except to say he seems to be a very good cardiologist. Thorough, and conscientious. I've never seen House. Is House also thorough and conscientious?

In his defense at the time I was sleep-deprived, post-partum, a brand-new mom, and scared to freaking death at the possibly fragility of my newborn sweetheart who I was still afraid I would never love enough.

I was a mess.

This is how he made me cry. He came in after we had waited and waited and waited after she had had an echo and an EKG. He sat down. He shuffled papers. He read things. He did these things in absolute silence. Then he began firing off questions that I don't remember but quite honestly but felt somehow accusatory and dire, like he was hinting that I was a horrid mother who would no doubt end up killing her child if the child didn't first die of whatever it was he was hinting she might have.

And then he said, "Well, you don't have anything to worry about because her heart is perfectly fine." and then, "Oh, I'll see you in a year to make sure that nothing crops up between now and then."

You know, I can't possibly write it up well enough to defend my crying. Okay, I'll admit it, I was just emotional. It happens.

ANYWAY, I took Kiki in for her follow-up yesterday BY MYSELF. Again the waiting and the waiting. And this time no adult company, just a little girl who does NOT want to sit still for long. Or for EKGs or echoes.

Luckily I had brought toys. Luckily, most of our waiting was in a room by ourselves. Luckily I have long since gotten over just plopping her down on the floor wherever we are and handing her things to bang together, which she does quite happily, until she gets bored and creeps off to find magazines to tear up (she carried a magazine insert with her to the echo, and played with it during the procedure because next to washcloths, the child lurves paper.)

I did not cry this time. I was kind of irked at the wait, but also kind of amused. I think he tries to agitate people. Which is odd for a cardiologist, you know? Or is that ironic? Whatever.

So anyway, according to her readings on the echo, she's either got the mildest case of stenosis in medical history OR she was just irate during the procedure. I corrected him before he could get full into his schpiel because I am just that stupid. "She wasn't irritable," I said, "she just doesn't lie still unless she's sleeping. Not even then, most of the time." (Mind you HE was not in the room when the echo was given. He was just assuming.)

Stern look. Throat clear. Begin again. Mildest form of stenosis in medical history -- pause for emphasis, stern look -- or the readings are inaccurate, and in either case, it won't affect her and he would't recommend any correction anyway, so clean bill of health.

"Okay," I said, "thank you."

Pause. Another look. "We get these types of readings all the time," he said, "because younger ones get so irate during the echo."

Gaaaaah. "She's very mobile," I corrected him, and Kiki blew him a raspberry for emphasis.


But anyway, the point is, clean bill of health, heart okay. But she still only weighs 20 pounds, in a wet diaper and right after breakfast (don't look at me that way, we had just got out of the car, and I hadn't had a chance to change her. I changed her in his office later.)

It's not like I'm not trying to fatten her up, either. You should see what I put in that child's mouth. *sigh*


YarnHacker K June 2, 2008 at 8:14 AM  

Cardiologists as a rule can be extremely condescending. My dad had quite a few of them and not one of them was anything less than distant and superior in the hospital setting.

A friend of my mom's is married to one of the few exceptions, though it took us all over a year before we realized he actually wasn't an asshole, just quiet and reserved. Hopefully you'll never have to know your guy that well. :-)

YarnHacker K June 2, 2008 at 11:38 AM  

Also. House? Is a royal asshole. His bedside manner basically consists of coming to your bedside and insulting you. He's this "brilliant" doctor who sends his lackeys out to break into people's homes to look for evidence of environmental toxins so he can diagnose patients. He was so annoying that we stopped watching it years ago. You're not missing much.

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