Hannah’s heart surgery was 3 months and 1 day ago, on 12th August
Today was a very good follow-up appointment!
Hannah’s doing really well. The right ventricle of her heart, which had become enlarged due to the excessive back pressure from the too-tight duct and left and right pulmonary arteries coming off it, is now starting to return to the size and shape it should be. Everything is looking and working brilliantly. They’re very happy.
The pain in her back, that started as inflammation in her lungs is now queried as possibly muscular as a result of not moving enough because of pain, so the recommendation is to move more, have hot baths when it hurts to relax the muscles (and test the theory that it is muscular) and then if it doesn’t get any better (it has been improving gradually), a potential referral to physio to help her.
She’s fine to go on her school trip to Spain at the end of next week and she’s fine to start really ramping up her PE and general fitness training, especially in view of her Duke of Edinburgh Expedition next spring (she has a lot of catching up to do for that and for her Sports Studies GCSE).
When she goes back in January, they’ll put her on a treadmill again to see how she does and to reassure D of E organisers etc that she’s fine to push herself physically.
Then a cardiac MRI again next summer to look at progress with the results of her operation as the full benefits should hopefully be apparent by then in terms of her heart function etc.
One thing that really made me smile is that they have a Happiness board in cardiac outpatients now at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. They may not call it that, but their ‘stop stressing, start living’ messages and the advice they give are very much happiness messages Maybe they’ve read my book!