Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cardio Workout

My little Girl had her annual cardiology appointment last week and, like I always do, I have mulled my thoughts regarding it around enough to write them down.

Dr. C has been her cardiologist since the day she was born, although it hadn’t been planned that way. We were told during the pregnancy that the ‘best’ pediatric cardiologist on staff was a Dr. K and that Girl would become his patient because her case was so rare and his skills were most honed. Dr. K never seemed to have time to come to the prenatal appointments to review the cardio data in person, but we were assured not to worry, he was just REALLY busy. When push came to shove, we could count on him.

However, when push came to shove during a ‘routine’ prenatal appointment six weeks before the due date, Dr. K was still too busy. Instead the new, young colleague with few patients yet, a Dr. C, would make a dandy replacement, just wait and see! Now, we were ready for the absolute worst so a ‘new’ cardio doctor didn’t seem that bad to us: fine, that sounds great. And, really, it was.

Husband and I were discussing Girl’s latest appointment a few days ago, and how impressed we always are with Dr. C. He almost seems like an old friend, we’ve spent so much time with him over the years. He knows Girl’s heart better than anyone else in the world, and that is really saying something: he designed it.

Girl’s heart was just a jumble of pieces when she was born – it couldn’t even function without Mama’s body to keep it pumping. Studying the echo-cardiogram the doctors couldn’t believe that it would ever work on its own. Dr. C was the attending pediatric cardiologist when she was born and, two weeks later, was part of the team for her first heart surgery. When the surgery didn’t make the drastic changes that were needed, Dr. C redesigned what needed to be done to fix her heart and showed us the diagram two days before her open heart surgery, performed at still three weeks premature. It was like plumbing an apartment building: there were holes to be fixed, tubes to move from one side to the other to reverse flow, filters to devise, pumps to strengthen. Somewhere in a box of memorabilia I have notes on everything that was done. It was a lot – seven hours worth.

Eighteen months later the same team, including Dr. C, performed another open-heart surgery to install a pacemaker to keep Girl’s heart from stopping completely again. Now when we come to his office for Girl’s annual appointments Dr. C lights up to see her dancing around the room and talking with him about Disney princesses. I used to think his obvious affection for her was just endearing but now I think it stems from a marveling at this amazing case that just happened to fall in his lap: the new specialist on staff, only a few years older the Husband and I, relatively recently out of school himself is handed this rare case that the other doctors think won’t survive. But Dr. C makes it happen. He is able to create something amazing out of a jumble of pieces and IT WORKS. Girl is a great footnote for Dr. C’s resume, and I can tell that he’s proud of his work.

I see some obvious parallels between Dr. C’s work on Girl and the work God does with us. No need to explain further: like I said, it’s obvious.

We love you, Dr. C!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, well, now you made me tear up. I think I love Dr. C too -- don't tell the Husband (I like what we're doing here. Combine it with the royal 'we' and we're golden).