Visits to the cardiology clinic, in my opinion, never get easier. The crux of the matter is that we’re talking about an event that no one can predict: open heart surgery. Unless you or a loved one have gone through it, you simply cannot feel the weight, the gravity of it.

Because Namine is sick – she’s pretty much over the stomach flu, but she’s still dealing with this sinus infection and cough – we expect her oxygen saturation to be lower than normal, her heart rate to be elevated. It’s still alarming, though, when we’re used to seeing her at an O2 of mid-eighties and a heart rate of low 120s, to see her at 79/80 and 135-140. We’ve come a long way from the trach days, when we were so obsessed with her stats that she was constantly attached to the pulseox. But old habits die hard, and less-than-optimal stats still make me nervous.

But, the doctor tells us, we shouldn’t put too much stock in her current stats precisely because she is still recovering from sickness. In two or three weeks, if her stats are still that low, then she should have a scan done. Several things could be the cause of low O2 sats, and eliminating sickness as a cause would help to reveal the true reason.

So for now, we wait. Waiting is hard; it is the worst feeling, knowing that surgery is coming but you cannot predict it and therefore you cannot truly prepare for it. We have been mentally preparing for the Fontan for over three years now – or trying to, anyway – but I don’t know if we’ll ever really be ready for it, when it finally arrives.

Husband. Daddy. Programmer. Artist. I'm not an expert, I just play one in real life.