Great news and some reinforcement

If you follow me on twitter, or if we’re friends on facebook, you already know the news. K’s cardiology appointment went well. But I promised I’d share the news once I knew. And frankly I need to work out what’s been swimming around in my head the past 24-hours. So you’re along for the ride…wheeeeeee!

I admit I was anxious about this appointment. I get that way every year. Though this go around didn’t seem as bad, or maybe I didn’t vocalize it. I think part of my anxiousness was partly due to having a new cardiologist.

I didn’t sleep well last night, I was up thinking about everything. Yes K is healthy but what if this is the appointment they find something wrong? I sort of feel like we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. For those who haven’t followed along, K was born with coarctation of the aorta. It was repaired when she was 2 days old.

Along with this defect, K’s aortic valve has two flaps as opposed to three that most people have; it’s known as a bicuspid valve. At some point in life K will most likely need that replaced. Could be next year, could be in 5, could be when she’s 40 or 50. We don’t know so we’ll just have to wait and see…or wait for the other shoe to drop. For now her cardiologist will monitor it.

K was brave today, making this the first year she didn’t freak out at all! I was so proud! She even helped with the EKG leads! During her echocardiogram she watched a DVD while I watched the monitor and tried to make out what the technician was looking at. After 6 years I’m getting pretty good at identifying what area of the heart is being looked at. I find it fascinating.

We met K’s new heart doc; we went over the family history and she looked K over. I was impressed at how thorough this new cardiologist is and was quickly put at ease. She said K’s EKG and echo looked great, and pressures were good as well. So we got the best news a family with a heart kid can get, all clear for a year!

It was like a load was lifted. Like I said, every year come appointment time I feel like we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know we’ll get through it, we’re a close, tough family. I know K will get through becuase she’s strong. Pam and I have talked about what we went through when K was born. Having to see her go through that was tough. We both agree, if and when that other shoe drops scares the hell out of us. As hard as it was when she was born, we had just met her.

Now…we know her. We’ve watched her grow so far. I think it’d be that much harder. When I stop and think about that, it freak me out. It’s totally irrational, I know. And it passed as soon as we were finished with the appointment. Now we’re not going to live in fear, or let it rule our lives. It’s just sort of there, in the back of my mind.

I need to go off on a little tangent here and admit, this year I’m tired. I have a full plate and knew I would. In addition to training for the Chicago Marathon, I’m chairing the running team for the American Heart Association. I feel like I’m always busy. Most days I enjoy it; I love the challenge, love volunteering and love being involved. There are days though where I get overwhelmed and want to go crawl in a hole to be a lone for a while…no running, no training, no volunteering…just me and the quiet.

I also set a lofty fund raising goal this year, and so far I’m I’m no where near where I want to be. I don’t feel like I have focused on my personal goal as much as I would like. In a way I feel like I’m letting K down by not raising more; irrational again, yes I know. And I know I’m putting extra pressure on myself.

Today was a reminder that I badly needed. Sitting there looking at my daughter’s heart, I was part scared, part marveling at the technology and part comforted by the images on the screen. It made it more tangible. There was her heart on screen for me to see and to my untrained eye, it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. The repair, holding fast. Her heart beating and pumping as strong as ever. I admit, I teared up.

Today strengthened my resolve…no crawling in a hole, there’s a lot to do! If you want to help me hit my goal, go here to make a donation. Thank you for the support!


K is the main reason I choose to run with heart for the American Heart Association. In 74 days I run for her, for our family and for me. I will run because I can and to show K and her sister that anything is possible…that you just have to follow your heart.

More later!

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