This blog chronicles the miracles and struggles of our daughters, Emily and Olivia. Emily was born 15 weeks early and had many complications, but she continues to amaze us! Olivia, born in China with heart complications, is also beating the odds. She joined her forever family (us!) when she was four years old and has been doing wonderfully! UPDATE: We started homeschooling August 2009 :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Visit to the cardiologist

Olivia had the works with an exam, an EKG, an ultrasound and x-rays. The gist of our visit was that the doctor confirmed that Olivia's 2005 open heart surgery in China was a success :) Aside from her organs being a mirror image of the norm, everything looks good!! He suggested that we come back every year or two to make sure scar tissue from her surgery doesn't present a problem down the road, but he didn't anticipate any issues. He did however, suggest getting her a medical alert bracelet or necklace that states that her organs are reversed (situs inversus)so that she is never misdiagnosed with appendicitis (or anything else) if she has pain on her right side (since her appendix happens to be on her left side!).

The good and bad news is that we now we have medical clearance to go to the dentist. I'm not looking forward to that visit because I can see what appears to be a big cavity (brown spot) in one of her molars. That should be fixable, but not fun.

So, for anyone who's keeping track...her heart looks good, and her thyroid also ended up being fine (despite initial concerns from our pediatrician's first blood test). Another issue flagged by lab tests was anemia which may still be unresolved. After being on iron supplements, her lab results hadn't changed much which leads me to wonder if she has Thalasemia, a type of anemia not uncommon to Asians that is not caused (or cured) by iron. We'll have to keep that on our "watch" list, but I'm not too worried since it was near normal levels and she shows no signs of lethargy.

In spite of a clean bill of heart health, the cardiologist added another issue to our watch list; while looking at her X-rays, he noticed that Olivia has a slight "S" curvature of the spine. It's not evident to me and I'm not sure if it's curved enough (10+ degrees) to be considered scoliosis, but we'll have to keep an eye on it.

So, overall, she's a pretty healthy kid. We just have to take care of her teeth and follow up on anemia and possible scoliosis, none of which appear to be very serious conditions. And, I might add, a whole lot easier than dealing with the open heart surgery we initially expected when requesting a child with congenital heart disease! Although she was an orphan classified as "special needs," she, like many other so-called kids, is actually pretty healthy and doesn't really have any ongoing medical or "special" needs. But she is still special to us!

Sometimes multiple posts in the same day trump each if you missed the other post with photos you can see it here.

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