Saturday, January 2, 2010


On Monday morning, Ethan will be wheeled into the operating room for the 6th time in almost 10 months. Is it just me, or does that sound absolutely crazy? I'm sure I know there are babies out there who have endured way more than Ethan has, but 6 surgeries in 10 months just seems ridiculous.

Thankfully, Dr. I. gave us the "go-ahead" to proceed with this surgery. At our appointment on Thursday he just kept commenting on how "fantastic" Ethan looked. But, we all know that if looks were an absolute indication of a healthy heart, Ethan's would be as healthy as anyone's! It is somewhat unusual for a heart baby to not have any trouble gaining weight, which Ethan has clearly not had any problems with! Also, since his last surgery, he has lost that bluish/pale color of his skin, so those chubby, rosy cheeks give the impression that everything is just fine.

If only it were that easy.

Ethan's outward looks are definitely worth noting, but it was his literal inward appearance that Dr. I. was more concerned with. We took him back for an Echo first thing, and there were times I found myself holding my breath. I was nervously anticipating the results... whether they be good or bad. Ethan cooperated beautifully; a little Elmo on TV and some teething rings did the trick! He laid there as if he knew what was going on.

When Dr. I. came back into the room and gave us the results, I thought I was going to jump out of my skin. I've cried every single time we've been to his office but, on Thursday, I hugged him instead. It was just an automatic response and now I may feel just a tad bit silly about the whole thing. He informed us that the pressure in the spot where the conduit is sewn into the pulmonary artery was at an all-time low of 38!! This is down from the mid 50's, where it was just in November.

(To give you a reference point: this number was in the low-to-mid 100s before Ethan's 2nd heart surgery in September. This is the same number that will play a huge role in deciding when his next heart surgery will be.)

38?! Is our God good, or what?

In addition, the Echo showed that the left ventricular function looks great! Dr. I. did note that the function of Ethan's right ventricle is still poor, and it may never recover. My biggest prayer, since April, has been for restored function of that ventricle and, more than ever, I would like for you to join me in praying that same prayer.

Overall, it was an excellent visit! Dr. I. spoke with the pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist while we were there, and he also agreed that Ethan would be OK to have the surgery on Monday. Right before we left the office, Dr. I. informed us that he would be the cardiologist on service at Duke next week. As if God hadn't already shouted at us, "It's gonna be alright", we definitely heard Him loud and clear then.

So, now, I'm back in "get-ready-to-be-at-Duke" mode. I've cleaned the house, done some laundry, and started making lists of what we'll need to bring. I've cried a little, prayed a lot, and felt confident that Ethan will be in the absolute best hands.

Thank you for your prayers up to this point; I can pinpoint specific answers to prayer, and I stand amazed. Please continue to keep our sweet baby boy in your thoughts over the next few days. It's easy for me to dismiss this as "well, it's not heart surgery", but there are still risks and possible complications. Pray for the surgeon, Dr. F., that he would make wise decisions during the operation. Pray for the nurses who will be taking care of Ethan throughout the day and night on Monday and Tuesday. Pray for me, as I'm mourning the loss of having a baby with 10 fingers and 10 toes (Ethan will lose the "thumb" on his left hand during this surgery.) Above all, pray for this little guy...

...that he won't have any trouble being extubated, and that his vocal cords would be spared of any damage from the tube. That he won't experience any more pain than can be managed by moderate pain medicine. That he'll recover quickly and be back home in his own bed Tuesday night.

Right where he belongs.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

My prayers are definately with you Ethan and Jeramie.

Anonymous said...

oops, the last anonymous was Grandma A. :) Love you guys.

Stefenie said...

Keeping you all in my prayers!

Stef, Ryan, Wyatt and Logan

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