Friday, October 19, 2012

PCMC Appointment: Echo-cardiogram and Cardiologist (Part 1 of 3)

So, as you all know, we had a very big appointment last week with the cardiologist/case worker at Primary Children's Medical Center (PCMC) and the University of Utah hospitals. All in all, it was a very good appointment, although it was a big eye opener to what we are going to be dealing with in the time to come.  I have decided to break up the appointment into three different parts (since we were there for over 3 hours and it was a LOT of information!)

The very first thing we did was a fetal echo-cardiogram.  This is the test they have done at every cardiology appointment we have.  Basically, it feels just like a regular ultrasound, but they take very specific measurements in the the heart, including pressures blood flow, and all sorts of other things.  They also look over the vessels around the heart.  I watched closely this time and they took over 100 pictures of the heart! (It is crazy to think about all the pictures this little guy has of his heart in his digital medical chart already and he is not even born yet!)  This test takes about 45 minutes to complete. 

Once we had the test done, they took us into a consultation room where we meet one on one with the cardiologist.  This time, we met with one of the other 4 fetal cardiologists at the hospital.  Her name was Dr. Pinto.  We were very impressed with her.  The results of the test were good...they didn't find anything else wrong.  I have to tell you, after a few of these appointments, I have started to feel some real anxiety about what they are going to find and what news they are going to tell us.  If they couldn't tell us that things are looking better and that some of the issues had gone away, I was just fine knowing that I didn't have to process some other complication to this already very complicated situation.  First anxiety issue over come.

Although we did not find anything new, I felt it was really good for us to get another cardiologists perspective on things.  The first cardiologist we have been seeing (Dr. Su) is absolutely wonderful, but I always felt he was being a little too optimistic.  We left the last appointment with him with real hope that we might not have to deal with surgery right away.  After our visit with Dr. Pinto, we are preparing for surgery.  There are just too many variables that have to go our way to avoid surgery.  While this may seem like a downside, I am actually very grateful for the realistic perspective and I will work much harder in the future to make sure I know exactly what they are thinking so I can prepare properly.  Just give me the facts so I know!  I am learning very quickly how to ask questions and understand as much as possible.

Another thing I want to say here is how grateful I am for the medical staff and team that will be working on our baby.  Like I said, there are 4 fetal cardiologists, however, there are over 25 pediatric cardiologists at Primary Children's!  Not to mention all the nurses, staff, and others who spend their whole life working with children with heart issues.  I feel so blessed that the Lord has put us in a position to be close to these specialists.  Just one of the many blessings we have seen throughout this whole thing! 


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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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