Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Week 11: Something Unusual

Week 11 in the 30 Week Writing Challenge

Something Unusual

This was a really tough one for me. 

When I think of "unusual," 
I think of things like ghosts and UFO sitings, 
neither of which I believe in. 

What about unusual things in my daily life? 
We have a pretty simple routine
and we don't encounter a lot of unusual events in our day. 
Or life in general. 

Is there anything unusual about me

After thinking long and hard, 
I came up with this little fact: 

I have a heart defect that has never been corrected.

According to the US Library of Medicine
heart defects are the #1 birth defect among children, 
and many of which do not need any treatment. 
So perhaps this is not so unusual about me. 

Oh well. 
I'm still going with it. 

When I was born, the doctors immediately detected something different in my heartbeat. 
They snaked a camera through my nose back down my throat into my heart, 
where they identified a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), 
which is a hole in the wall separating two chambers. 

(Interestingly, my dad has a copy of this on a VHS. 
How he got that, I have no idea.)

(from MayoClinic VSD)

Rather than operating, the doctors opted to watch the VSD over the years. 
Every few years, we trekked to the hospital 
and I would lie on a cold table with all sorts of sticky wires on my chest, 
and watch the pictures on the monitor. 

Even with my Fisher Price stethoscope, 
I could listen to my heartbeat 
and hear the "swish swish swish
of the blood going back and forth between the chambers. 
It's pretty cool. 

I have to take antibiotics for any invasive surgery, 
which includes routine dental work. 
Any time bacteria can get into the blood stream, 
the bacteria will naturally gravitate towards the heart, 
and a defect is a perfect place for bacteria to fester and grow.

Over time, I grew but my defect didn't. 
Proportionally, it got smaller and smaller. 
By 18, the doctor said: 
"You're fine.  Just keep up the antibiotics as a precaution. 
And come back when you get pregnant." 

9 years later, I went back to the heart doctor when pregnant. 
Everything looked good, 
but he was still prescribing antibiotics in the event of a c-section (of course). 
All in all, I'm good to go!


  1. I still can't think of my topic yet so is it weird to say I'm jealous of your unusual heart defect? Ha! But for real, glad it isn't anything that interferes with your normal health/living!

  2. I too am glad that this isn't anything which interferes with your daily health/living. And I would totally say this qualifies as something unusual.