Monday, November 22, 2010

Hope's First ER Visit and a SPECTACULAR Abstract

Anyone that knows me knows that I am not overly paranoid.  When my kids get a cold, we wait it out.  I don't rush them to the doctor or the emergency room.  To be honest, we have only been to the emergency room one time before and that is when my youngest, Paul, feel and got a huge cut on his forehead...needing 4 stitches.  I just don't like the emergency room and prefer to wait and call the doctor or go in to see her. 

So...for me to take Hope it had to be very concerning...and it was.  She has had a runny nose for a couple days and her voice started getting hoarse.  On Friday she woke from her nap and was just plain cranky.  She was crying and it seemed like she was in a lot of pain.  I checked her temperature...normal.  I listened to her lungs...normal.  I checked her pulse ox...normal (82).  I gave her some tylenol and tried to give her a bottle of Pedisure.  She just wasn't having it or anything else.  I walked my house for about an hour hoping it would calm her down.  Her cry was really hoarse and it scared me.  I thought she might have strep throat.  By this time it was after 5pm and the doctor's office was closed.  So I waited until Jerry got home from work and off Hope and I went to our first ER visit.

Now...our local hospital is affiliated with The Cleveland Clinic, so I was happy and knew they would take good care of us.  We got through check-in (I'm sure that's not what it is really called) and back to a room in a few minutes.  The doctor came in immediately and checked Hope over.  By this time she had eaten 6 Ritz crackers, 1/2 a bottle, and an entire popsicle (they give those out at the hospital).  She was happy, smiling, and back to her 'normal' self...of course!  Her pulse ox was 83 and no temperature.  We went through her symptoms and he checked her ears and her throat.  He called her cardiologist to discuss everything and we were released less than 2 hours after we arrived with a diagnosis...COLD!  No croup, no strep, no heart issues, just a cold.  I am so happy and relieved and kind of feel silly for taking her, but I am glad I did.  I am glad we met the nurses and doctors that were there so they know Hope and hopefully we won't have to see them again through the ER.

Now for the cool abstract that I found:

Congenit Heart Dis. 2010 Sep;5(5):476-481.
Successful Pregnancies in Two Women with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Opotowsky AR, Shellenberger D, Dharan V, Paré E, Norwood WI, Webb GD, Donner R.

Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Avenue, Bader 209, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Objective.   Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a relatively common complex congenital heart defect. Prior to development of staged reconstruction (i.e., Norwood procedure), HLHS was almost universally fatal within months of birth. Early survivors of the Norwood procedure are now reaching reproductive age. We report successful pregnancies in two such women. Patients.  The first patient was a 20-year-old woman transferred from a community hospital at 33 3/7 weeks gestation because of preterm labor, suspected preeclampsia, and mild chronic hypoxemia. She had normal systemic ventricular shortening without significant valvar regurgitation but severe neoaortic dilatation. A fetal ultrasound demonstrated intrauterine growth restriction. An urgent Cesarean section was performed at 33 6/7 weeks gestation, given breech position and intractable preterm labor. The second patient, a 23-year-old woman followed at this institution through pregnancy, presented with preterm labor at 36 weeks gestation. Her systemic ventricular shortening was normal, with mild tricuspid regurgitation but without neoaortic dilation or regurgitation. She developed active labor at 36 3/6 weeks, and had a spontaneous vaginal delivery of a small for gestational age infant. Both women tolerated labor and childbirth without complication. Neither infant had evidence of structural heart disease on fetal echocardiography or physical examination. Conclusions.  These cases, the first reported successful pregnancies in mothers with HLHS, highlight the challenges of pregnancy among women with complex congenital heart disease in general and raise several considerations specific to HLHS.

PMID: 21087437 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

This is the best article a mom with a HLHS baby girl could ever read.  This is with the medical technology of today...imagine when Hope is 20 and the advancements they will have made!  The tears flowed so much when I read this article.  Even if Hope doesn't want to have children of her own...there is still the possibility and I never knew it was even a possibility before...actually we were told it is/was not possible.  


  1. I also saw this abstract online. I was thrilled also. When Aly was diagnosed we were told that she would not be able to have children PERIOD. Now, only less than two years later, the story is changing. I can't imagine what it will be when our girls are old enough to have kids.
    I'm glad everything was ok with Hope. We went to the ER with Aly once and got a diagnosis of teething. :) Better safe than sorry with our special ones, right? :)

  2. I'm glad your ER visit was quick and painless! Feel better soon, Hope!

    The abstract was very interesting!!!

    Mason's Mommy

  3. Thank you for visiting Dominic's blog, good to know I wasn't just writing to no one. I am glad to hear that Hope is doing well and has just a normal kid cold.


  4. How awesome to read an abstract like that!! I hope Hope feels better soon!

  5. With children like ours, no matter how old or young, what's the harm in going the extra mile? Better we be sure they are well than gamble with the future!


  6. So glad to hear that it turned out Hope had a common cold and nothing more serious. Scary though!
    I also want to Thank YOU for reaching out to Jonah and our family recently! We are so comforted by the loving support of those that are walking the same walk. We never feel alone! And we learn so much along the way:) Thanks for sharing Hope's heart with us. She has such a strong fighting spirit that inspires us everyday!
    Love-Rob, Stacie, and Jonah

  7. I'm so glad Hope's ER visit was "nothing." Don't feel have to have peace of mind, and if a trip to the ER is what it takes, then so be it!

    Wonderful abstract! That gave me tears and my heart baby is a boy! :) I think about the having children thing often, wondering even if Derrick should. It wouldn't be risky to his health, of course, but I wonder about the heart of his future child. Fantastic news that the hearts of the two girls seem to be normal...there's HOPE! :)

  8. This gives me hope!! I don't have HLHS or HRHS but I do have TGA, SV, and Pulmonary Stenosis and am an Angel Mom but they were worried that I wouldn't be able to carry another child ... this gives me hope!! Thank you for posting this!!

  9. Always trust your gut! Even if it turns out to be 'just a cold' you will feel better knowing and will learn from it.

    A bonus to ER trips and waiting! lol Mention heart defect and they pretty much put you on the fast track.

    Happy Holidays~