Life on Pause

I spent a good twenty minutes on the phone with Liam’s cardiologist tonight.  Primarily, I wanted to:

  1. Verify that nasty old Holter monitor is coming soon (it is).
  2. Determine what ye olde doctor will be looking for to make the decision about the pacemaker and when.
  3. Figure out if he decides not to move ahead, exactly how paranoid I need to be for the next six months waiting to do it again.

So, the Holter will be here soon, and Liam will wear it this weekend.  Doc’s looking for “pauses” that last 3-5 seconds. . . and for in increase in those pauses.  Yes folks, not only does my son’s magical half heart slow down to 28 beats per minute, it sometimes just stops and takes a rest.  Freak out much, Amanda?  But as long as this doesn’t cause him to faint while swimming or horseback riding or crossing a busy street, he is what the specialists like to call “asymptomatic.”  Liam only gets dizzy when he’s dehydrated, not when his heart “pauses.”  Then, sometimes, it flutters . . . atrial fibrillation is the correct term.  It pauses, it flutters, and sometimes it just  goes really, really slowly.

So, I worry that the doctor isn’t more worried, though he promises me that if he were any more worried Liam would have already gotten his pacemaker.  And I worry because Liam is asymptomatic. And I worry that he might become symptomatic. And I worry because there will be no archery or horseback riding lessons (two things we considered for summer activities) this summer, UNLESS Liam’s results are exactly the same or better than before, in which case, we lather, rinse, and repeat this game of Pace Maker Chicken for another three to six months.

In the meantime summer activities, vacation, and all other such things are on “pause,” until a decision is made.  Oh, and ablation is on the cath lab table as a “try this first” option. . . so we could have general anesthesia twice this summer – heart surgeries 13 AND 14.

You know, I talk to doctors to make me feel better so I can make Liam feel better.  Tonight, I got nothing to offer him but love.  That’s worked so far.  By this time next week, maybe I’ll know more and we’ll hit the “play” button and move forward.


  1. I’ve been thinking more and more lately about his pacemaker surgery.. was wondering when it was going to happen. I hope he doesn’t have to wear the Holter for too long. I know he’ll handle it like a champ (he is so amazing) and I will keep sending good vibes for quick and thorough answers and also, that this summer will be great one. Those are mighty impressive activities! Well rounded. : )

  2. Two words……… Heart Camp. You can send him off with all of his asymptomatic and symptomatic issues and know he’ll be well taken care of. Colin is registered Aug 27-31. You know it’s time to send him.

    P.S. Colin couldn’t sleep tonight so Kev told him to draw a picture from Heart Camp or Cub Camp…….. Colin drew a picture of himself on the rock climbing wall at Heart Camp.

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