I can't say that this is how I envisioned our life -- our family -- on June 24, 2006, but that just makes me all the more thankful that it didn't turn out the way I wanted. Without the trials we've endured together, I don't think I would understand joy, grace, love, and compassion the way I do today; the way I love my husband and follow my Savior looks drastically different than it did eight years ago.
Of course, those difficult times have been brightened by happier ones. Just today, those couple of hours we spent with Dr. I were sandwiched between family pool time and a date night at a new-to-us restaurant. Even on days we don't get the news we wanted, God is good and our life is so incredibly rich.
Leading up to today's appointment, I knew in my gut that something wasn't quite right. Ethan has become increasingly tired with activity and often tells us that his "heart is tired". Sure enough, the echo proved my suspicions and we've found ourselves at "go-time".
The pressure gradient across Ethan's conduit has gone from 50ish mmHG in March to 70ish today; normal is below 20. We are praising God that his heart function hasn't been impacted by this rise in pressure, but intervention is necessary to keep that from happening.
The short story is that Ethan will be going into the cath lab "much sooner than later" to address this issue. We don't know when, but I'll be sure to update here once we have a date on the calendar.
The long story is that, in addition to the pressure in the conduit needing to be addressed, Ethan's pacemaker has about seven months of battery life left. How those two facts intertwine has the potential to get complicated and muddy, but we are praying for clarity.
Here are a few of the possibilities:
A - The conduit can be ballooned or stented to relieve the pressure AND the pacemaker battery can be replaced in the cath lab. This is best case as it keeps Ethan out of the operating room for a while longer and addresses both concerns at once.
B - The conduit can be ballooned or stented in the cath lab, but the pacemaker battery will be replaced in the operating room five to six months later.
C - The conduit can't be ballooned or stented in the cath lab and will need to be surgically replaced. If that is the case, Ethan will likely stay in the hospital after his cath and have the surgery within a couple of days. His pacemaker would also be replaced at that point.
There are also many variables that play into each of those scenarios but, again, we're praying that God would make the course of treatment clear and direct. Would you pray specifically for that, as well? If that means an interventional cath isn't possible, and we go with "Option C", then I will be as okay with that as any human mother can be. And, of course, there's always the possibility that God will do immeasurably more than we ask of Him and blow A through C out of the water. He's done it before!
While we wait to see how all of this will play out, will you be praying with us? Here are some specific things you can pray for over the next few days:
-continued health of Ethan's heart and body
-ease and quickness of scheduling the cath
-wisdom for the cardiology team in their decision-making
-peace for Jeramie and myself as we wait
-continued protection against worry and anxiety for Ethan
-trust in God's plan and His timing
This part of the journey brings about many opportunities to get tripped up on some rocks and become easily discouraged. We appreciate your encouragement and prayers as we navigate another tricky path and continue to look to Jesus, who already has all this figured out anyway.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.