Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hooray for Second Opinions!

Today was specialist day - first the cardiologist for Sadie, followed immediately by ENT/plastic surgery for Katie. For the first time in a long time I can say that both went fantastically!

After a lot of deliberation (2 1/2 years worth, to be exact) I finally took the plunge in switching cardiologists. I had a certain amount of sentimental attachment to our previous pediatric cardiologist simply because of the road we had gone down together. That said, he often was abrupt, failed to provide the full picture and belittled my questions. He's a great doctor, but just not the right fit for us. So, we moved on to Dr. Allen with the MCV group today. What a big difference!

Dr. Allen spent time reviewing Sadie's case, clarifying some muddy areas for us and talking about her recent blue spells. It turns out it's fairly normal, and a benign condition. She's just one of those kids that do this - not because of her heart issue. Her heart, he declared, is beautiful - a prime example of one of the best switch operations he's seen. Her anatomy was such that it made the switch an "easy" (if there is such thing!) operation, and he thought Dr. Peeler, her surgeon, had done an outstanding job. All good news! I was shocked with the amount of time he spent with us in reviewing her history and today's echo. Kristen, you're right, LOVE him! Thanks to all my heart friends who recommended the switch. I felt a bit like a "cheater," but after today's experience know I made the right decision. The sum up for the visit? Sadie's heart healthy and raring to go!

After dropping off Sadie at Three Oaks and picking up Katie from her school, we headed over to the ENT office for a second look at the bump on her face. I hadn't been satisfied with the "we think it's this" answer I got previously, and was not at ALL satisfied with "anyone can perform the surgery." I love the doctor who told us these things, but couldn't rest easy with either answer. So, we asked one of his colleagues who is an ENT and Plastic Surgeon (Dr. Burke) to take a look and possibly perform the surgery. One look, and the charming (did I mention British accent?!) Dr. Burke felt it is not pilomatrixoma. Based on the lab pathology, texture and appearance, he thinks it may be an infection of the lymph nodes caused, possibly, by MAC (which is neither a virus or bacterial infection). We're going to take the less invasive approach of doing up to four weeks of a different antibiotic to see what happens. He was hesitant to perform surgery on the location due to it's proximity (or possible location of) the salivatory glands and lymph nodes.

Slowly I'm becoming a more educated advocate for my kids. I'm realizing I don't have to run home and look up words that weren't explained (I can ask), and that I don't have to trust the first opinion I get. It was harder to get to that point than I realized - I think, though I like to believe otherwise, that I have a really tough time with change. I didn't want to hurt either physician's feelings or imply that they were wrong - yet if I hadn't taken that leap we'd be in surgery on Monday and I'd be worried to death with Sadie's every sign of cyanosis. Progress, baby. Progress!


  1. Oh I am SO glad all went well and that you liked both docs. I love Dr. Allen as well. He seems to respect the mom's opinion, which I love. And I've heard great things about Dr. Burke (his wife is my OB). haha. Anyway, I am breathing a sigh of relief for you guys. You deserved a day of good appointments!

  2. Yay! So glad to hear that things went well. We heart Dr. Allen too.

  3. I am glad you've had a second opinion & that your girls are going to be ok!!!! Sorry I haven't kept up on your blog lately! I'm going to have to figure out how to follow it. I'm so illiterate, internet-speaking!!! I HATE all these worries we endure as mothers & you are AMAZING!!! You've been through so much & are still sane!!! I think I'd have lost it if I were you! You're a strong lady! I'm SO GLAD Sadie is so well!!! (((HUG)))