Thursday, December 02, 2010

My Taevy Baby's Heart

Last time we picked up Taevy's ADHD medicine the doctor's office told us we would have to come in for a med-checkup before they would refill again. I don't know about you, but I tend to roll my eyes at these checkups. I had to do these every 3 or 6 months for several of my medications and it feels like the office just wants to make sure they get my copay! At least, that's how I used to think about these checkups. Not anymore.

Her medicine helps her. Greatly. We fought going the medicine route until the end of her third grade year. At that point her focus problems were affecting her ability to succeed at school. It HURT to watch her struggle. As an example, the other day she was without her medicine for a day...She was saying the prayer before dinner. During that prayer she lost her train of thought in the middle of the sentence 3 times! Her focus is so affected by the ADHD that she loses track before her sentence is over. Now, imagine how difficult it would be to learn a process like long division! Taevy is old enough now to be frustrated that she can't focus for more than a few seconds (without medication).

Today we went in for her ADHD checkup. We didn't feel like there was any huge issues to report. Taevy has complained about her "heart speeding up" for a while. The medication is actually a stimulant (with opposite affect on her), so I figured that was probably pretty normal. Some of the medications I take have that affect, and anxiety also has that effect on me. In addition to the "heart speeding up" Taevy also has a very decreased appetite on the medicine. She really has no desire to eat breakfast, and very little desire for lunch. By dinner she is ready to eat, and is hungry all night. I knew she looked almost too skinny, but didn't realize until today that she has actually LOST 5 pounds over the last 10 months! This is a child that consistently grows up and puts on appropriate weight. She didn't have 5 pounds to lose.

Because of the "heart speeding up" complaint the doctor wanted an EKG done on Taevy. Honestly, I never imagined it would come back with an irregularity. But it did. The EKG showed "Left Anterior Fascicular Block." On the EKG (on one of the lines) there is a big wave followed fairly close by a smaller wave. The big and small wave should remain the same distance from one another. In Taevy's case, the small wave travels farther and farther away with each beat, until eventually she loses the wave entirely. Then, at another point, the wave comes back again, and eventually moves away again. Slowing down....then speeding up.

I haven't done a ton of research. From what I can this defect basically increases her chance of needing a pacemaker when she is older. This result indicates a need to look for underlying heart disease. If no heart disease is found, then she goes on with life pretty much like normal. We'll be visiting the cardiologist soon.

What does it mean in the short term? Oh fun! For the next 6-8 weeks Taevy can't take her ADHD medication. The doctor doesn't want her taking this stimulant drug if there's a chance it could hurt her heart. The cardiologist will need to okay a safe ADHD medication for Taevy. The doc also said Taevy shouldn't do super strenuous activity until we're cleared by the cardiologist. Normal activity is fun, but we won't push it. Also, the doctor wants Taevy to put on 5 pounds to be at a more healthy weight. Can you imagine having the doctor tell you to eat as much as you want?! I think that would be my dream! LOL!

All in all, I'm not too worried. With all of the other medical issues present in our family I don't feel the need to borrow trouble. Now, getting through the next 6-8 weeks with ADHD Taevy is TRULY going to add stress to this Christmas season. No lie! I guess we'll be taking it easier with school than I had planned, otherwise we may drive each other absolutely batty!

Prayers appreciated for my Taevy Baby.


Cindy 9:32 PM  

I will be thinking of your sweet girl.

Heather 9:37 PM  

Oh my friend, I'm so sorry to hear about poor Taevy's heart condition! We'll be praying, praying, praying for both of you. Hugs

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

Forgive me if I'm pointing out something obvious...
My daughter R also struggles with ADHD and because of her weight (among other reasons) we decided not to go the pharmaceutical route. Instead we give her 2 fish oil capsules a day, and also work to up her fat/protein intake with PediaSure drinks. The fish oil is not a cure, but it has made a difference, and we added the drinks on the advice of her doctor. My theory is our Cambodian girls were deprived of some important brain nutrition in utero and as infants and my hope is the fish oil and other fats help to compensate, a little. Anyway, it might help, in the meantime while Taevy has to be off her ADHD meds.