When I was born, I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries. I had open-heart surgery two weeks after birth and went home after only one full week. Though my parents always tell the story of how I went into cardiac arrest and Texas Children’s Kangaroo Crew came to pick me up, I was too young to remember those details. However, I DO remember my visits at Texas Children’s Hospital for my yearly heart checkups.
The day of my checkup, my parents take a day off from work. You see, my checkups aren’t just checkups, we make them into an event. We wake up early in the morning to get there on time. We schedule the appointments early because we know it will take a few hours.
When I arrive at Texas Children’s, I wait patiently to be called. The waiting room is so colorful and has lots of things to do while waiting. Then I get called to take my echocardiogram test. The gel feels cool and smooth when they put it on me. Normally I watch the TV that is in there. I love watching what is happening in my chest on the little computer they have.
When it is done, I do the treadmill test. This is my favorite test! I walk and walk until I am running. The nurses would cheer me on when doing the treadmill test to keep me going so I could beat my score from last time. It gets harder, but I keep going. It is fun to see how long I can go.
When I see Dr. Dickerson, she is always cheerful and very nice. She makes me laugh and always carries a smile. Dr. Dickerson talks to me about the tests. She is also interested in what I think. When I was younger, I used to look forward to the stickers; now I look forward to lunch with my mom.
The visits at Texas Children’s are always memorable for me. I know it is important to have all of the different tests and to see my doctor. I also like skipping school! Texas Children’s saved my life by doing heart surgery and continues to give me the best care possible.