Updates all around

Olivia’s newest word is “Bravo!”  She’s still not talking a ton so as soon as Dr. Friedman is settled in her new office I’m going to make an appointment to have Olivia be seen.  Her eye teeth aren’t in either and I want to make sure this is nothing to be concerned about as well. Sometimes heart children have issues with missing or duplicate teeth.

Speaking of Dr. Friedman, she is definitely moving to Southington!  We are thrilled as her new office will be less than 1 mile from the house. Will make future visits much easier on everyone as well as picking up paperwork or prescriptions.


We had a wonderful christmas.  Spent the holidays with both sides of the Belfonti & Pelletier family.  The girls were completely spoiled and love all their new toys.  Olivia received a Leappad alphabet magnet set that will tell you the name and sound of each letter as you put it in the toy.  It also sings the ABC song. We’ve been thrilled to hear Olivia singing along with the song! :)  She has the tune right but a lot of the letters are just “mmmaaaaaaa” jibberish.  It’s cute 🙂

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Years. I hope 2006 is as healthy and happy for all of you as 2005 has been for us.

Medical records

We received our letter from Grove Hill today about Dr. Friedman leaving the practice.  I called immediately to request that the medical records be released to Dr. Friedman’s new practice. Of course it’s not that easy so I now need to wait until they mail me the form so I can then sign it and mail it back.  The letter didn’t state what her new address is – I believe this is Grove Hill’s way of making Dr. Friedman’s life difficult because they put her cell # on there for us to call.  I’d like to call today to see if there is anything settled yet but hate to bug her because I’m sure her phone is ringing off the hook with concerned parents.  Oh well … I’ll survive 🙂

Merry Christmas!

Fever is gone!

Today she was within normal range all day. Well, she was between 98.7 – 99.7 all day. Olivia normally runs 96.8 – 97.8 but we’ll take it!

Dr. Matt called to check on her today and said that if she were to spike another temp today over 101 to call and we’d be going to the outpatient lab for more bloodwork to rule out a heart infection.  Of course Dr. Heller is on vacation this week so as much as I’m VERY impressed with Dr. Matt, I’ve been feeling like I’m flying a 747 without autopilot and no training.

Murphy’s Law: When your cardiologist is on vacation and your pediatrician is “practice-less” your child will get sick.

Fever day 2

She ran between 100 – 101.7 all day long. Acting fine. Eating is off but not terrible. Tylenol seems to keep the fever under control.  She received another dose of penicillin from Dr. Matt at 5pm.  He will call us on Saturday with 48 hour blood results but at this point everything points to a typical childhood virus.

Fever day 1 / Trip to CCMC ER

I was working from home because Diana’s was closed (another long story I won’t get into but please keep her family in your prayers.  She and her husband had a rough couple of weeks).

First thing in the morning she had felt warm to me when I woke her up, but I was rushing to get Maddie to school so I brushed it off as being “pillow cheek” where it was warm from the bed.  She was acting fine all morning – a bit fussier than normal but I assumed it was because I wasn’t giving her my undivided attention since I was working.  She didn’t eat much lunch and took a decent nap.

When she woke up she really felt warm so I took her temp.  101.2.  Hmmm … cold symptoms for going on 3 weeks and now a fever? My 5+ years of Mommy training told me this was going to go downhill fast.  I gave her tylenol and called Dr. Friedman.

I knew before she said it that we needed to be seen.  She referred us to a new dr to the area, Dr. Matt Lopreiato of Berlin Pediatric Associates.  His practice is just getting started so she felt we would get some very good individualized attention. AND he knew Dr. Heller from residency training.  Music to my ears because it meant he wouldn’t “freak” about Olivia’s heart.

Dr. Matt was able to see us at 3:45pm.  I never in my life prayed to hear the words “ear infection” because I knew we’d be spared the trip to the ER.  Alas, it’s never that easy with Olivia, is it?   He told me he wasn’t worried about her heart but more with her lack of spleen. Super infections and all, I guess.

Unfortunately / fortunately, he was unable to find the source of the fever.  He knew I dreaded going to the ER because I was afraid they would admit us unnecessarily but based on the time of day, it was really our only choice to get the services we needed:  a chest xray and bloodwork.  He told me he would call ahead to let them know we were on our way and he would call them hourly to check in on us.  He would not admit us unless they found something in the tests. (whew).

My sister Heidi saved the day by picking up Maddie so Arnie could go directly to the hospital from work to be with us.

Olivia and I arrived around 5pm and there were at least 8 families waiting in the waiting area.  In my mind I’m screaming “GERMS!!!”. I sign us in and have a seat as far away from all the other people as I can.  Within 5 minutes we’re called into Triage.  I explained Olivia’s anatomy and they told me they were aware and our room was being prepared.  They don’t like to leave their cardiac patients in the waiting area (membership has its privileges).

Chest xray came back “perfect minus her heart being on the wrong side”.  Her nurse was able to get her IV started on the first poke! Yahoooooo.  The preliminary blood work results showed normal so she was given penicillin via IV and then they sent us on our way (3.5 hours later).

Pediatrician stuff

Monday afternoon Renee Richard from CCMC Drug Trial called to check in on us. I mentioned that we had used the last of the prednisolone on Friday night.  Renee was leaving for vacation but said she would feel better if she knew I had called Dr. Friedman to request a refill to have on hand for Olivia.

I called over to Dr. Friedman’s office and got Gloria on the phone.  I mention that I need a refill and the conversation goes something like this:

Me: Hi Gloria, it’s Tricia, Maddie & Olivia’s mom. How are you?
Gloria: Oh Hi! How are you doing?
Me: (explains about croup episode, requests Dr. F call in another refill.)
Gloria: (long pause) Oh, you don’t know …
Me: (starting to freak out)
Gloria: Dr. Friedman left the practice.
Me: (picture me gasping and jaw hitting the desk).
Gloria: She’s opening another practice locally.  It’s all rumors right now. We haven’t been told anything concrete yet.

She then gave me Dr. Friedman’s cell phone number and said I was allowed to call her on it if I had any questions.

I immediately called the number and talked to Dr. Friedman.  She is opening a new practice and it is likely to be right down the street from us!!!!  She would call in a refill and told me to call her if I had any questions in the meantime.  She’s hoping to have the new practice up and running next month. Whew!  The thought of having to “train” a new doctor on Olivia is something I’d really rather avoid.  We’ve got a great situation with Dr. Friedman and Dr. Heller working so well together.  AND, Dr. Friedman is bringing along her nurses so we don’t have to “train” any nurses either! 🙂

I wasn’t sure I should call Dr. Friedman’s cell during off hours so I emailed Dr. Heller the next day to ask her if I could call the cardiology group in the off chance that we needed to speak with someone off hours in the meantime that Dr. Friedman is in limbo.  She talked with Dr. Friedman and they wanted us to call her on her cell if there’s any issues that arise with Olivia in the meantime.  (insert foreboding music.)


Olivia had a really bad croup episode tonight.  We had to give her the last of the prednisolone (liquid steroid).  It was scary because she couldn’t stop coughing and was almost holding her breath to stop coughing.  I thought we were going to end up in the hospital.  Thankfully the steroid worked and she slept well.