Ready to hand him over for surgery...wait...open heart surgery? For him to be put on heart-lung bypass? Are you ever ready to sit and wait to hear if your little boy is ok...that they've closed his chest and his heart is beating on it's own? Ready to walk into the PCICU and see his little bandaged, swollen body for the first time after surgery? Are you ever ready to face the inevitable? The surgery that he has to have to save his life?
Are you EVER ready?
The lump in my throat, the churn in my stomach, the squeezing in my chest...those things all tell me no...but guess what?
It's about that time.
Derrick went to see Dr. Shuler today and had an echo. We were both kind of nervous about this appointment. I couldn't tell you how many times we've been to the cardiologist...a lot...but this time we were nervous. We knew it was getting close. Kids usually have the Bi-directional Glenn when they're between four and six months old, and Derrick is seven and a half months. He's been 'bluer' and sleeping more. He gets tired when he plays for a while and he takes breaks when he takes a bottle.
Yep, it's about that time.
We had prepared ourselves to insist on Dr. Shuler giving us a plan. We have been in limbo for months...waiting. We were armed with questions and ready to demand answers, knowing that he couldn't truly give us much of a plan because well, Derrick doesn't really seem to follow the 'typical' path.
We didn't have to insist, we really didn't have to say anything. All of the signs were there, and Dr. Shuler said that he was going to call MUSC and schedule a heart cath before Christmas.
Yep, it's about that time.
Justin and I were talking last night about how we were ready. We're ready for surgery to come and go so we can have some time where surgery isn't looming around the corner. I realize that we'll never be out of the woods with Derrick. We know that. But we're ready to have a little time off from waiting, expecting, wondering if we can make plans for the next month.
While we're ready to get it over with, we're not ready for it to come.
Are you ever ready?
Our prayer was that Dr. Shuler would see any signs that he needed to see, and that he would make the right decision for Derrick. We didn't have to insist on answers because he gave us an answer before we ever asked any questions.
It's about that time.
D's heart function looked good on his echo today and he sounds good. He really seems to be in the ideal place for surgery, which is definitely where we want him to be. We should hear from Charleston sometime this week for the cath appointment and we'll go from there. Dr. Shuler is thinking D will have surgery before the end of January.
You know I can't resist pictures of this guy, so here he is performing his own echo. (The arrow must have been on the wall...it looks like we're pointing at D, but we know you know who he is! Ha!)
And this was his reaction when he heard his heart was looking good!
One reason Dr. Shuler thinks it will be before the end of January is because D needs it, but the other...this is scary and sad...Dr. Hsia, D's surgeon, is leaving MUSC and going to England at the end of January. Going to England is a huge career move for Dr. Hsia, but we hate he's leaving. He knows D's 'complex little heart' and we're comfortable with him, but we know that God has a plan for Derrick and his doctors, and we trust that.
When we learned that Dr. Hsia was doing Derrick's first surgery, I have to admit that I was nervous and disappointed that Dr. Bradley wasn't doing it. I had heard so many people talk about Dr. Bradley and how wonderful he was, and I wanted him for Derrick. I was nervous!
When Dr. Hsia came to talk to us before surgery I prayed that God would give me a sign that he was the right surgeon to do the job. I knew that Dr. Bradley was a strong Christian, and I really needed to know that Dr. Hsia was too. I needed to know that he trusted the same One to guide his hands that I did.
That talk lasted a while and I have to admit that I couldn't follow a lot of what was being said. It wasn't that I didn't understand, it was that my mind wasn't there. I knew Justin was paying attention, I was really just trying not to cry.
As Dr. Hsia was talking, I heard him say one thing. He said, "...how GOD made the heart." I don't even remember the whole sentence, because that was all I needed to hear. God had answered my prayer and given me a feeling of peace as I looked at the man that would touch my son's heart. Justin and I both hope that since it hasn't been very long since D's first surgery, that Dr. Hsia is able to mend his 'complex little heart' again.
No matter who does it, we trust that God will put Derrick in the hands of the right surgeon at the right time.
This is not easy, and no, we're not ready. But it's about that time.
P.S. Please keep Parker, his family, and his medical team in your prayers. He is having surgery tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, and I know his family would appreciate your support. I can't tell you how much comfort it brings to read messages of encouragement and prayer as you wait to get your baby back. During D's surgery that's what Justin and I did, and we hope you can share that love and prayer with Parker and his family. After all, we have the best prayer warriors around! :)
**Prayers little guy. You're going to amaze everyone!!**