Tuesday, August 5, 2014


A mere four days after open-heart surgery, Ethan was discharged from Duke on Sunday afternoon, August 3rd. 'Surreal' doesn't even come close to explaining the feeling of coming home so soon, but it's a start.

We all knew it was time to go when Dr. J walked into Ethan's room on Sunday morning and, two seconds later, Ethan pointed his index finger at Jeramie and exclaimed, "Pull my finger, Daddy!" Dr. J had tears in his eyes from laughing so hard (or from the horrid smell that escaped my child's hind parts -- it's hard to tell), declared it a "top hospital experience", and later walked down to Thelo's room to share the laugh with them.  A few minutes later, in walked Dr. I who took one look at Ethan and asked, "So, are you ready to go home?"

We are in awe.  And exhausted.  And thankful.

Being home has been a bit crazier than I anticipated.  We were warned that Ethan would likely try to do too much, being in the comforts of his own home and all, and would tire easily.  They were right.  It has been a struggle convincing him to take it easy and relax.  I'm not sure what we would do without Netflix and an iPad!

Over the past couple of days, I've found myself getting anxious about his recovery.  I worry that he's doing too much too quickly; I worry that he's not getting better quickly enough.  I worry that he seems too tired; I worry that he's not getting enough rest.  It's hard to articulate, but I think I expected the surgery itself to be the hardest part.  Don't get me wrong; waiting and waiting and waiting for news from an operating room about your child's life is never easy, but I don't think I gave enough mental energy to the waiting involved in the recovery process.  I have to continually remind myself that Ethan had his chest cracked open less than a week ago and this wasn't all going to end when we walked out of the hospital.

All of this anxiety has been a constant reminder of my need to keep my eyes on Jesus.  It's a dance, this 'trusting in the Lord' thing.  When I look away for even a moment or two, I find myself tripping over worry and fear.  I am in continual need of the Lord's guidance and direction; without it, I'm a mess.  I happened to be reading in Isaiah yesterday morning and came to chapter 26, verses 3 and 4:

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.  
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock." 

The promise of peace for a mind focused on the Lord, on a God who will not crumble or crack, brought me so much comfort. How awesome that God's word is living and active and relevant to a nervous mama even today!

We had a follow-up with Ethan's pediatrician yesterday afternoon and we're keeping a close eye on a small area of swelling between his sternal and pacemaker incisions.  No one seems concerned just yet and Dr. J will examine it thoroughly on Friday when we're back at Duke for Ethan's post-op appointment.

Please continue to pray for us.  As I'm learning this week, this is not 'over' and we still have a ways to go until our boy is fully back to his spunky self.  Please pray that Ethan's recovery would continue to remain infection-free and that he would grow stronger with each passing day. We are in awe of what God has done in the life of our son and we give Him glory for it all!

Thank you for praying with us and loving us well.

"For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God."
-Psalm 86:10

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