So, Jade’s got a new cardiologist. Apparently Dr. Albrecht is scaling back his practice and giving over the traveling part of what he does to one of his colleagues, Dr. McQuilkin. Dr. McQuilken is quite a change – as he is almost of the opposite of Dr. Albrecht. He’s much younger, much smaller, and very soft spoken, whereas Dr. Albrecht was a big ol’ grandpa type guy who liked to joke around. But the standard of care is the same – excellent, and we like the new doctor.
I brought up the recent Ehlers-Danlos diagnosis, and the fact that Jade is already showing signs, so there were a couple of things we needed to have checked out in her appointments: her aortic root, and her mitral valve. He seemed to know exactly what I was talking about, and what needed to be checked and how often, so that was a big relief.
The exam went really well. It’s the first time Jade has actually just laid still and not fussed during the echo (and EKG). He got a good look at everything and even told us some things that were different from what we’ve been told before – or maybe he just explained it better.
1. Apparently, she has 2 VSDs. Not one like we’ve always been told. There is a very small, mostly grown over VSD down in the bottom of her heart. Thankfully it’s in a part of the heart where it wouldn’t have done a lot of harm, and so it’s not a big deal that it was missed – especially since it mostly closed over.
2. I’d been under the impression that the VSD we knew about had grown almost closed, which was why she didn’t end up needing surgery, but according to what he saw, it’s actually still quite a good size for a VSD (7mm). He explained that it wasn’t reduced size that caused her to not need surgery. What caused her to not need surgery was the fact that it did get somewhat smaller (smaller than it was, which was huge), along with the fact that one of the leaflets of the tricuspid valve has actually adhered and grown over part of the defect, minimizing its affect on her. He said that often happens where the VSD is close to the tricuspid valve.
But other than those two little surprises (at least for me), it’s all the same – everything looks good, pressures look good, valves and aorta look good, muscle bundles haven’t changed.
So as long as she doesn’t develop any leaking around her aortic valve, she’ll be just fine. He did caution us, though, that if they see even a little leaking around that valve, to surgery she goes, to prevent damage to the valve, and eventual replacement. As Dr. Albrecht has explained before, if damage to the aortic valve is not detected and prevented, then the valve has to be replaced, and that winds up meaning future child bearing is made very, very risky and inadvisable, due to the long-term medications involved with valve replacement. So definitely want to keep on top of that.
All in all, a very good appointment, and all signs point to continued provision by God for Jade’s health, so we’re thankful!!