My ex-wife contacted me yesterday (always a joy) to inform me that my son, Ian, had to see a cardiologist, where it was discovered that he’s got an abnormality in his heart.
A bit of backstory: Ian was born with birth defects: the beginnings of extra fingers and toes, some very screwed up bone structure in his feet, and a fused cranium (which basically meant that his baby “soft spot” had already sealed over). It was one of the worst experiences of my life — you feel like it is somehow your fault. But, we spent the first year and a half of his life going to various specialists, and after a few sessions with plastic surgeons and one craniectomy (where they basically opened up his skull and “vented” it, so that it would return to a normal growth cycle), he was fine. He’s living a very normal life, and turned 11 in February.
I’ve always feared that as he grows older, he’s going to find out more things that weren’t quite right, and that’s pretty much what’s happened. They discovered a heart murmur, and went to the cardiologist for an echocardiogram. It showed that he has one valve that is abnormal. Whereas the usual heart valve looks something like three leaves that close together, his valve has two leaves, which means that the seal they create isn’t perfect, and he leaks some blood back from the valve — which is what causes the murmur.
The cardiologist told my ex that this isn’t life-threatening in any way….so thank the gods for that. Nor does the doctor think that this will require any long-term monitoring — Ian is a healthy, strong kid.
However, hearing this kind of news, I’m levelled yet again by the fucking sledgehammer that I’m not with him…..that this stuff happens and I find out about it after the fact. And, of course, I freak out about the possibility that it could have been much much worse….and that other things like this may lie ahead.
Naturally, right as I’m dealing with this, I get pulled again back into the drama that some of you are already aware of. Like I need that on top of everything else.
I feel like I’m fucking drowning.