Saturday, May 16, 2015

Three Week Follow-Up; All Good Things, All Good Things

Thursday was my three week follow-up with my cardiologist, and it honestly could not have gone better! Since I have been staying at home with my parents, my mom and I had to drive back to Rochester for the appointment.

(Excited to head back to Rochester for the day)

Once I made it to the Children's Heart Center and checked in, the secretary asked me if I went to get my chest X-ray. Nope. No one made me aware that I needed one prior to my appointment. {sigh} The nurse still brought me back to get ready to see him. She did the usual vitals: height, weight, blood pressure and O2 saturation. Then she had me change into a gown so she could do an EKG. She then brought me across the hall to see the doctor. Almost as soon as I hopped up on the bed, my doctor was knocking at the door. He told me I needed to go get my chest X-ray first before he could see me. Makes sense, but I was annoyed that I wasn't told prior to arriving at my appointment. I changed back into my clothes and left the Children's Heart Center.

Mom and I made our way down to radiology. I checked in and got my wrist band, then we waited in the hallway to get called back. I waited maybe 20 minutes, not too bad. The tech took my first X-ray, and he came back into the room and asked, "There's supposed to be a valve in your heart, right?" "Yes!" I responded. Before I knew it I was headed back up to the Children's Heart Center. Minutes after I was put back into an exam room, my doctor was in there. He listened to my heart and lungs and said it was boring (which is good). He said the cardiac silhouette on my X-ray looked larger than he liked, and wanted to get a quick echo to make sure there wasn't any fluid around the heart. He didn't hear anything on auscultation, but just to be on the safe side. He gave me a gown to change into and I waited a few minutes for the sonographer. I love getting echoes at the Children's Heart Center, they have heated beds in the echo rooms, some of the ceiling tiles are painted, and there are TVs with VCRs so kids can watch movies while they're getting their echoes (The kids get all the cool stuff)! I laid there and talked to the sonographer while she did my echo, she had helped me the day I shadowed in the lab before sitting for my board exam. It was really nice to catch up with her.

After my echo, I met with my cardiologist once more to go over everything and discuss things in detail. There was no fluid around my heart, which I knew from watching my echo. Then I started asking him various questions. I wanted to know what my estimated time frame was until I could start running, lifting, etc. He said I could start running now, but not to overdo it. He said start out with brisk walks, then work my way up to a run/walk, then jog, etc. He also told me I could start doing yoga to regain my flexibility. No weight lifting of any kind until July sometime. I'm sure I won't be playing any tennis this summer either, or at least not until late summer. The best thing he said though was that I would be well on my way to running half marathons this summer! That was great news because Wine & Dine Half Marathon training starts in July. My cardiologist said I'm doing well, and I don't need to come back for 6 months. This would also be the last time I have an office visit with him as he is leaving for a new job. I don't yet know who my new Cardiologist will be, but they'll be hiring someone to take over his patients, and he said they would be an Adult Congenital Specialist. We talked for a while before I checked out.

After I checked out mom drove me over to work so I could see all of my co-workers. They were all happy to see me, and I was just as happy to see them. I am enjoying my time off, but I really miss work (A good sign that I enjoy what I do). I think I got to see just about everyone while I was there, and I ended up staying to visit for a little over an hour. Everyone commented on how great I looked, if only I felt as great as I looked (soon enough). After visiting with them, mom and I left to grab some lunch at Moe's. We stopped off at the mall to do a little shopping, then went back to my house to check the mail and mow the lawn. My mom actually mowed the lawn while I sat out in the sun and read magazines - I still have weight restrictions. My doctor told me to use my common sense when lifting things. If I don't think I can do it, then I probably shouldn't, and so on. Mom and I left my house to head back home around 6:30. It was a very good, but busy day, so by the time I got home, I ate dinner and headed to bed.

Today my mom and I went for my first real walk since my cardiologist told me I could on Thursday. It felt good to get out, move and get some fresh air. We also took Coco, mom walked her since I still can't (again, those weight restrictions).

(With my little bean just before our first real walk in 3 weeks!)

I'm really excited that things are progressing, and that I can start to do more. I have to call my doctor back at the end of the month to let him know how I'm feeling, and then he may lift my driving restriction. We really need to make sure that my sternum is healed before I drive again, If I get into a car accident, the airbag will crush my sternum. Once I get my driving restriction lifted, I can get back to Rochester and all my friends.

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