The week or so prior to going to the State Fair, Jessica had called Namine’s cardiologist to inquire whether or not she could go on any rides. Since we never received a response, we decided (as any parent would) to err on the side of caution.
We had explained to Namine that she couldn’t go on any of the rides that displayed a heart warning. She understood, but understanding still cannot make up for sadness and disappointment — especially because she’d been looking forward to riding some rides pretty much all day. Her response, though, was mature.
"I want my heart to stay healthy, so let’s go find something else I can ride."
Despite not being able to ride any rides, Namine still had a blast at the fair. She hit her mattress like a ton of bricks, and she fell asleep in almost no time at all. As for the matter of rides, and Namine’s heart? It was as good as settled, as far as we were concerned. Cardiology had never called us back, after all. This was simply how life would be for Namine, and she would have to accept it. She has had to accept many things that are out of her control, and as we’d already seen earlier that day, we were sure she would handle it with maturity.
The day after we went to the fair, Jessica got a phone call from cardiology. “Good news!” they said. “Dr. Zangwill” (Namine’s cardiologist) “says Namine can ride any ride, as long as she meets the height requirement.”
I don’t want to give the wrong impression, here. Memes aside, this was good news. Great news. Amazing news. But it still would have been nice to know prior to going to the fair. But that’s okay. There’s always next year.
Namine having permission to ride the rides isn’t a carte blanche, of course. Even though her heart, having gone through its three-stage repair, is healthy, it is still weaker than an average heart. If Namine were to go on rides, for example, each time afterward we would have to make sure she wasn’t feeling nauseous or dizzy. (Note to self, bring along the portable pulse oximeter to check blood oxygen levels.)
It’s worth mentioning that Namine’s heart isn’t the only thing keeping her from rides. Her caudal regression makes her shorter, and she cannot stand without assistance — either from us or her walker. But there are still many children’s rides we recall seeing at the fair that did not have a height restriction but did have a heart warning. Namine will be happy to know she can ride the train roller coaster next year.
All told, this is amazing news indeed. It’s been a year since Namine’s third and final surgery in the process to bring her heart up to a life-sustainable strength. Given the complications which occurred soon after the surgery, we had worried that even more complications (or, God forbid, a complete rejection) might occur. But no, Namine’s heart is stronger than ever.
So here’s looking forward to next year’s fair.