Breanna turns 2 months old tomorrow. We got to see specialists this week to find out what’s going on that she hasn’t been getting enough oxygen.
The visit with the pulmonary specialist (lungs) went well and he expected the cardiology visit to go well too based on his belief that we’re dealing with Periodic Breathing – where she’s just not able to regulate her oxygen intake quite yet and will need to stay on oxygen for a few more months.
The visit with the cardiologist today told us that there is no problem with the heart that is having an effect on her oxygen levels. However, they did find that the hole in her heart (normal for a newborn but should have closed by now) has not gone away. That leaves us with a diagnosis of Atrial Septal Defect and an uncertain future. As far as I understand it, she has a hole between the upper chambers of her heart so blood flows between the chambers and blood that has already been sent to the lungs will flow back to the lungs. It puts extra stress on the heart and lungs and can lead to other problems. Most kids will grow out of it by age 5 but the doctor said she’s not sure that this one will. If it doesn’t, it would mean heart surgery later down the road to close the hole. In the mean time, she will have to be checked every so often to see if her heart is becoming enlarged and if the hole is getting larger or shrinking. We will also have to be very careful (especially this winter since she’s under a year old) of colds and rsv. Those things could be very dangerous because of the heart condition.
So, that’s where we stand. It’s not the best outlook but it could be worse and at least now we can be extra careful to keep the germs away as much as possible. What a blessing that we know and can keep an eye on it rather than be surprised by major complications later on. The real blessing comes from Windy (our name for her oxygen tank). Amazingly, the low oxygen has nothing to do with this diagnosis, yet without that low oxygen problem, we don’t know that this would’ve been discovered until there was a major complication when she was older.