Four Years Past Heart Surgery: Double Aortic Arch
Four years ago today we handed Apollo over to a surgeon we had only met the day before, trusting she would fix our son. We were told this was a one-time surgery. Afterward, he would be able to eat freely and within a few months, he would be breathing easy.
But none of it actually worked out that way.
Six weeks later he had a g-tube placed and as spring turned to summer, I began reading through every page of his medical records and questioning the doctors about his ongoing symptoms. That’s what it took, my friends, for his cardiologist to realize he had some very serious complications caused by his surgery. No one, up until that point, had noticed he no longer had a functioning left subclavian artery. It took Chuck and I reading medical journals and asking the right questions, to discover the diverticulum, hidden within his body. That put us on our path to learning even more how to advocate, how to ask the right questions, how to demand (nicely, of course) answers. And that led us to seek out the surgeon of our own choosing, who happened to live all the way in Texas.
Now here we are with a five-year-old who just weathered pneumonia beautifully. He is thriving in school (when he makes it). He has no memory of either of his heart surgeries. He doesn’t consider himself any different from any of his peers. And that’s just the way I like it.
The anniversary of his first heart surgery is always bittersweet.