I had waited a month to get Nicole into the pediatrician's office under the guise of an annual check-up. Nicole has been with this doctor's office since she was four years old and she's now fifteen years old. The doctor that was with and treated Nicole for pneumonia and her hospitalization when she was a month shy of five years old left the practice shortly after this. I had seen that he had returned. I wanted to specifically see him and would've waited however long it took.
This doctor had always listened to me and I hoped he would again. I told him I was here for a specific reason. I explained Nicole's permanent purple fingernails and toenails, her lips turning blue when she was cold or over-exerted herself. I explained how she couldn't ride a bike to the entrance of our subdivision (up a slight incline) without having to rest and the shortness of breath with just walking.
He checked her vitals. He also put a pulse ox on her finger. That isn't a normal part of a check up and I don't recall having this done at all since her hospitalization for pneumonia ten years prior. It really should be part of every office visit just like height, weight and blood pressure. It would have been a tremendous help in Nicole's case.
The pulse ox read in the 83 range. A pulse ox measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. A normal, healthy person should have a pulse ox of 98-100. The doctor asked his nurse to get another one as he thought it was broken. The second pulse ox said about the same thing. The doctor then had Nicole wear some oxygen for a few minutes. I don't remember if this changed her number or not. I will never forget him looking at me and saying "this isn't good...." They also pricked her finger to check her hemoglobin which I don't remember if it was high, low or normal but I don't believe it was normal. The doctor said she needed to see a cardiologist He asked if I wanted him to set it up and I said yes. Later that afternoon I got a call from the cardiologist with an appointment for the next day...