By some misfortunate fluke of scheduling, Hope's annual heart examinations always seem to fall near Christmas. And nothing pauses the Holly Jolly quite like anxiety over aortas.
True to form, Hope's annual checkup was Thursday. We switched doctors this year, transferring from the lovely cardiologist in the suburbs to a doctor at Children's Hospital of Detroit, which performs surgeries should they ever be necessary.
It was a long checkup, 2-hours plus, all told, and Hope performed like a champ, giggling at the EKG leads and fiddling with the echocardiogram as the docs checked out her ticker.
The good news, and it's great, is that Hope's issues are status quo. She has a bicuspid aortic valve, which means the valve that regulates blood flow from the heart into the aorta has two leaflets rather than three. She also has a slight jog in the curve of her aorta, which could be suggestive of a very mild coarctation or narrowing. That could present an issue down the road with blood getting to where it should, and worse case, one day lead to a stint to open it and keep things moving.
Or maybe not. So far, neither present a problem. Her blood pressure's great, the blood is flowing like a trucker on 5-hour energy drinks. As it was last year, these are just things we have to wait and watch as they develop. We see them again in a year.
Until then, it's back to the holly jolly stuff.