Tuesday 3 December 2019

Two heart checks. Now I can relax.

We have had a few new experiences over the last couple of weeks. Visiting our new hospital and the kids getting their hearts checked.

You all know my girls have had trouble with their hearts. They both had holes in their hearts which were fixed over 10 years ago by open heart surgery but they were left with leaky valves. 

When we lived in Northumberland both of the girls always went to their heart checks together. In fact they always had all their heart dealings together. Everything from their first scans to their heart surgery. Becky had her surgery on the Monday and Ellie on the Tuesday. The Freemans hospital was wonderful and said as long as Ellie was checked in the children's clinic Becky would be too but then we moved house and here in Scunthorpe didn't play by the same rules. Hmmf.

So over the past couple of weeks the girls have had their heart check ups, separately. Ellie was in the child's outpatients and Becky in the adult part. For me it has been a worrying time but for the kids it was just a day of school and college and a chance for a look around the shops. 

Ellie's was first on the 20th of November and it was our first time at the local hospital meeting the new people dealing with her. I did write about it in my Word of the Week post but the appointment went well, better than I expected. The consultant said there is no change in Ellie's heart since last year and said if there is no change at all in the next few years she might never need any more heart surgery. She can't promise that but it is fantastic news.

Ellie's heart has always been the worst out of her's and Becky's so when we left the hospital I felt a lot less worried about Ellie and a little less worried about Becky's appointment which was last week.

Before we got to that we had a little bit of drama. When we got back from Ellie's appointment there was a letter for Becky saying unless she could prove she was a British Citizen entitled to free NHS care we would be charged for any appointments. What?!!

I got straight onto the phone and the woman (who was lovely) said it's was just sent out because we are new to the area and there was no trace of Becky being born in the UK. Oops. Years ago Becky's name was changed by deed poll and everything was good until we moved hospital and they tried to search for her using her new surname, not linking it to the old one. She said this issue happens more than you would think and all we had to do was take proof of Becky's name change, her birth certificate which links her to me and something with Stu's surname on which links her to him with the new surname when we went to Becky's appointment.

We got to the hospital early for Becky's appointment so we could see the finance woman which was a nightmare to find. We booked Becky into her appointment & asked about where the finance woman's office was. The woman at reception didn't know but did ring and the woman came to us. lol She looked at all the ID, photo copied it all and said that's the end of that. They just have to be sure that everyone who has free NHS treatment is entitled to it.

Becky had her tests and we went into see the doctor. He said that she still has the leaking valves but they will never go away. He did say as long as her heart stays the way it is she might never need further surgery.

They are going to keep an eye on her and she will be back in 18 months for the next few years, while she's still growing and then when she hits about 20 years old they will do the checks every 2 or 3 years.

Both of the girls reports are being sent back to Newcastle so they can double check. It's not that I don't trust the doctors in Scunthorpe but after the girls heart conditions were missed when they were born and for so long especially in Becky's life I am not taking any risks with them.

We were also told at both appointments that the girls should really refrain from getting their ears pierced and they shouldn't really get tattoos. As they have leaking valves they are more at risk if they get an infection. The infection would go straight to their heart and that isn't good with their dodgy valves. They are not thinking about getting tattoos at the moment but has really put Ellie off thinking about getting her ears pierced. Hooray! 

So we're back in 18 months with the girls and I get my heart check in the new year. Hopefully that will go well and then Becky & I can have our appointments on the same day. The only difference is that they want me to go to Hull for my first appointment instead of Scunthorpe. Eek! That will be an adventure.


  1. I'm so glad both the girls are okay. What a faff about proving Becky's entitlement to NHS treatment. Good luck with your appointment, you can make a day out of it xx

  2. Good old NHS stress - it is good they check but not when your the one they are checking on
    Great result - all looking positive

  3. Oh goodness Kim I bet that was a shock when you received that letter, but thank goodness all sorted now. I can't imagine the stress you must go through when they have their heart checks but so glad everything seems ok x

  4. Oh my goodness what a saga of incompetence on the par of the NHS. I am so sorry for you with all that added stress!