My nerves stemmed partly from the fact that I had postponed the appointment so he had gone longer than usual without a check up, and also because having been by ds3s side throughout every scan, I know exactly what to look for in terms of measurements that the consultant takes. I also know what the borderline figure is for intervention. Ds3s measurements have been getting closer to this since his original Balloon Catheter procedure four years ago and so, being realistic, I thought that there would soon come a time when the outcome of his scan might not be good.
So, how did he get on?
Well, we arrived at hospital, cutting things fine with ten minutes until appointment time, packed car park, there were no spaces. Dh dropped us at the door and he and dd2 lurked in the car park eating lunch (alright for some!) which I had packed to help us with grumpy children and the logistics of stopping along the way, which we usually do.
Ds3 and I went in and no sooner than I had given him a bag of crisps and a drink to keep him distracted, we were called in! Always first the nurse weighs and measures his height. When he was a baby this used to take ages because it involved completely undressing him and then putting him on scales, a sort of length measuring device and then re-dressing him partially so that I didn't have to take everything off again for the scan. This time we were quick, shoes off and just a few minutes before all the measurements had been recorded and then we were told to wait outside the consultant's office.
As soon as we had sat down, our consultant ushered us into the office and asked ds3 if he could look at his heart. Ds3 readily agreed which was rather a surprise for me as usually he just cries. He was a little put out that he had been prevented yet again from resuming his crisp consumption, but for a four year old, who didn't quite understand what was going on, he was remarkably cooperative.
One hand holding ds3s and my eyes on the monitor I awaited the crucial measurements. They were the same. Exactly.
Our consultant sat down at his desk reviewing the file, as we cleared up the jelly from ds3s chest. "Good" he said, "How do you feel about leaving things for a year next time?" I could hardly believe it. A year. Twice as long as normal, this was good news. Agreeing quickly we said our goodbyes. I didn't even have to wait for an appointment at the reception desk before leaving. "You'll get that in the post" said the receptionist.
Back in the car park, waiting for dh to drive round to the pick up point, ds3 finally got to finish his crisps. "But you've only been in there ten minutes!" said dh, rather stunned. Happily I relayed the conversation I'd had with the consultant. Feeling like a weight had been lifted, I allowed myself to grin, to really really grin on the way home.
This appointment always hangs over us as a reminder that ds3 is not a normal healthy child, but for the next year at least, he can be.