A Cardiac Catheterization, what is it. Well the official explanation can be found here: http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site483/mainpageS483P0.html , but how do you explain it to a 6 1/2 year old without making it sound scary and painful?
Ellie’s last cardiac cath took place three years ago- two years after her open heart operation. She was growing and doing so well at that time they decided to just let her keep doing what she was doing for awhile. We were told there might come a time when something might need to be done with her mitral valve because it was a bit small but then they liked what they saw right then. So the plan three years ago was let Ellie grow stronger and bigger and see what happened.
The last six months there have been a few little things happening. Ellie is still growing taller, putting on weight and most of all pink as can be, but there have been a few little things that have come up so her doctors sent out two different heart holster monitors to try to track her heart beats. They both came back normal. Yet while we were in for her last check up in November her doctor saw and heard a few things that weren’t normal for Ellie.
So they have decided, since it has been three years since her last cath- that they want to do a MRI and a cardiac cath to get more information on what’s going on and to see if the time has come to maybe go fix the valve.
That means we are heading to Boston on January 30th for the prep appointments and Jan 31st they will put her to sleep do a MRI and the cath and hopefully if all goes well we will be heading home that night late armed with more information and maybe even the beginning of a game plan.
Now back to explaining to a 6 1/2 year old. Since we have been making plans with Ellie’s school and a plan for Sadie so we can focus on Ellie and not have an almost 3 year old running around the hospital for two days, we felt we needed to let Ellie know what was going to happen so she didn’t hear it from someone else.
How do you explain it. She doesn’t remember anything from her open heart when she was a little over one and really doesn’t remember her last cath when she was 3, so we needed to explain to her what was going to happen. We have always told her the truth about going to the doctors. If it would hurt a little or not so she would always know when we said it wouldn’t hurt we meant it. Telling her the truth always has made these things less scary. We told her the basics and that was enough to upset her a little. We heard “I”m a little freaked out”, and “I don’t want to” even a “are you worried Mom?” I told her I wasn’t – cause really I’m not that worried about the actual cath, I’m worried about what it will show but I would NEVER tell her that- and that her doctors are really good and she has nothing to worry about. I said we could write all of her questions down and ask the doctor when we meet with him the day before the actual cath.
We will keep everyone updated on what happens and what they find. Thank you all so much for your support already, yours prayers and thoughts really mean so much to all of us.
Ellie finally perked up when we told her she will probably get to have a ice pop – or maybe two- after she wakes up. Who knew that was all she needed to make it sound ok. An ice pop.