Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Holter Monitor.

Ellie had open heart surgery almost four years ago.  Each year, she visits the cardiologist around her birthday to get an EKG, an echo and to determine what our next steps are.  At the last visit, Ellie's cardiologist wanted to put her on a 24 hour Holter monitor to see what is causing some abnormalities in her heart rhythm, but nothing that's a big deal.

A photo posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on
The Holter monitor looks pretty simple.  However, try convincing a four year old that she has to wear wires attached to stickers attached to a small case that she can't get wet.  Also, she can go through her normal activities but not sweat so she doesn't lose the stickers.  And she can't get the monitor wet.  And it's either really hot (pool weather) or raining (puddle weather) the whole time.

Let's just say it's been a rough 24 hours around here, and I would like the school staff to know that we originally planned to do this on a school day.  I'm glad we didn't!

"I want a bath."
"Go to the pool."
"Go to the spray park."
"My stickers off NOW."
"Take my backpack off now?"
"I take a shower!"

We were given 5 extra stickers (a.k.a. electrodes) for the 7 leads.

At 22.5 hours in, I'd replaced 9 falling off stickers, leads, wires, etc.  I slept in the basement with a little girl who did not want to sleep with the various leads on.  Matt held her on the couch until she fell asleep and I moved her downstairs.  She just couldn't get comfortable.

The worst-case scenario here is heart medication and the best case is switching cardiology to an every other year visit.

But I think Ellie's worst-case scenario is having to do this test again.

The same girl who watches blood draws and shots cannot even handle this monitor.  At 23 hours, she had to go play outside.  Note the mess of cords.

A photo posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on
We finally gave up at 23 hours and 40 minutes.  We were out of replacement electrodes and my attempts to use the same ones were futile.

My tips for parents with a Holter monitor test for their kids?

* A school day is a bad idea.  So is a day when you're pregnant if you were hoping for a glass of wine.
* Ask for extra electrodes.  Five seemed like a lot of extras.  Realistically, we needed 10-15.
* Plan a low-key day if it's hot.
* Good luck.
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1 comment:

  1. OY - It IS hard, harder even, to not do the stuff you want to do when you're to allowed to do it. And it's right there! I hope you got to enjoy a well earned glass of wine and Ellie got to double swim and/or puddle jump after this was all done. <3


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