Thursday, April 18, 2013

Oh, Gus!

Gus is always keeping us on our toes.  About a month ago, Gus' teacher carried him out to the carpool line and proceeded to tell me that, just a few minutes before, he had lost all of the color in his face and looked like he was going to pass out.  His teacher picked him up and ran him to the nurses' office, but by the time they got there he was fine.  He had been fighting some allergy/sinus stuff so I figured it was just that mixed with the fact that he was tired.  He was acting like his normal self and told me in the car that Mrs. Ward was funny when she was running with him.  I'm sure being funny was not on the forefront of Mrs. Ward's mind. Then, 2 weeks ago, I took Gus in to get his 4 year well child check-up and the nurse and doctor noticed he had an irregular heartbeat.  So a visit to a pediatric cardiologist was in order.  This was a little over a month after the episode at school so I didn't link the two.  But Gus decided to give his teachers a scare two days in a row last week and the pediatrician advised us to move up the appointment.

Luckily I was able to move up his appointment and off Gus, Hans and I went to Chicago Heights to see a pediatric cardiologist.  Before we actually saw the doctor, Gus was given an EKG.  The nurse was great and Gus had no problems lifting up his shirt and having her put stickers all over him.  When she started to connect all of the wires he tried to sit up to see them.  He thought he looked pretty cool.
He looks scared and a little loopy here.  But I assure you he is neither.  He thought he looked like Spider-man and was more than fine with all of the wires.  The test only takes a few seconds and Gus sadly let the nurse take off his Spider-man arms.  He even helped to take off all of the "stickers."

After the EKG, we were placed in a patient room to wait.  A few minutes later, in walks a man in his 70s wearing a bow-tie.  His attention immediately went to Gus.  We were secondary.  Dr. Ruschhaupt was absolutely wonderful with Gus.  You can tell he really likes kids.  He speaks their language.  And I'm thinking it doesn't hurt that he looks like a kind grandpa.  He is actually wonderful with the parents too, although I'm not sure a helicopter mom would appreciate him.  He is honest and to the point.  He doesn't want to hear your speculations, but he will answer your questions.  After a brief exam he said, "Well, I'm old and in all of my years of practicing, I can't remember the last time I've seen something like this."  Let me remind you that this guy is in his 70s and has been practicing for over 45 years!  But he quickly added "it isn't life threatening."  So the 2 seconds worth of horrible thoughts quickly became thoughts of are you serious!  Only Gus would have a condition that isn't seen very often.  And then I had to snap out of it and pay attention to what Gus actually had.

Gus has Atrial Tachycardia.  It just means Gus' heart has a tendency to beat a lot faster than normal.  It isn't constantly beating fast, it goes in intervals.  Basically something is amiss in his heart's electrical system.  For now Gus is taking beta blockers and will wear a heart monitor sometime next week to verify that the beta blockers are actually working.

As we were heading out the door Dr. Ruschhaupt said, "Feel free to look any of this up on the internet.  But I've already you all that you need to know."  And, indeed, he had.  Honest and to the point.

If you are around Gus you'll have to ask him who his heart doctor is.  It is impossibly cute hearing him try to say  "Dr. Ruschhaupt".  And if you catch Gus is a talky mood, he might just tell how how his heart beats.  That's pretty cute too.

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