Hard living

Colman is doing really well. We went hiking at Enchanted Rock the weekend before last. It’s the first time we’ve tried doing anything like that since Colman’s heart failure in August of 2012. Before Colman’s fenestration was closed in the cath lab, he had trouble walking across a parking lot and wanted me to look into getting a handicapped sticker for my car. Now look at him:


Colman hiked up the rock at a pretty good clip. Kevin only carried him up one of the steeper parts. I feel like Colman’s getting stronger and he seems a little more solid to me than he did before. I haven’t weighed him in a while because I don’t want to put too much pressure on him about his weight and eating, but when he sits in my lap, it doesn’t feel like he has bird bones any more.

In other news, I took Rowan to see Dr. Rogers on Wednesday for a checkup. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when Rowan was born, he was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve, which is a type of congenital heart defect. It’s a very common defect for a sibling of a child with HLHS to be born with. Rowan was then checked at two years of age, but his aortic valve looked good and it wasn’t leaking. In speaking with the cardiologists, I was told that if the valve did cause Rowan any problems, it would probably be when he was in his sixties, which was just fine by me because I planned on being dead by then.

Dr. Rogers had me worried for a bit at our appointment on Wednesday. He listened to Rowan’s heart for a really long time. He listened to him sitting up, then he’d lay him down all the while listening with his stethoscope. Then he’d sit him back up. Then he’d lay him back down. Then he ordered an echo.

After the echo, Dr. Rogers came back and said, “Follow me. I want to show you something.”

I just thought, Shit!

We sat down in the office where he was running Rowan’s echo, and he said, “I don’t think he has a bicuspid aortic valve. I think it’s normal. Look at this.”

And then he showed me Rowan’s valve. And although it was hard to see, there was definitely a third leaflet on Rowan’s aortic valve. He slowed it down. Then he freeze-framed it. Dr. Rogers found it! I don’t know where it was hiding before or if it was just a bad angle, but Rowan’s heart is perfect.

Thank goodness!

However, Rowan does have a strange combination of unrelated, innocent heart murmurs, which earned us a visit from the medical student so she could hear them. One is a Stills murmur. The other is a venous hum, which is why Dr. Rogers was sitting him up and laying him down. You can only hear that one when he’s in a sitting position. Then the last one is a third heart sound.

On that note, Dr. Rogers released us from cardiac care and returned us to normal care. No worries about Rowan’s heart, even if they were far off in his future.


So if this guy needs heart surgery in the future, it will be a result of hard living.

Thanks for all the fun stories y’all shared. I love reading the comments and you guys cracked me up! And according to random.org, Mary Kate was the winner of the Amazon gift card.


3 thoughts on “Hard living

  1. Great story about even greater news for two great kids (and their children too!….no that’s not a typo, I really did mean you and Kevin). Colman ascending Enchanted Rock reminded me of the day I took off from work and took my daughter up to Fredericksburg, and out to Enchanted Rock, in the summer after she graduated from high school and hadn’t yet flown the nest to college. That time with Elizabeth, now married and a mother herself, I was reminded of Alex Haley’s “behold the only thing greater than yourself”. And that’s what your picture of Colman ascending the great pink granite dome reminded me of. Of course the story of Rowan also rounds it out so well, and poignantly. Wonderful wonders for both of them, for all of you!

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