Matt & I met with the pediatric cardiac surgeons yesterday. They explained, again, the problems with Samuel's heart. I think, again, that I understand mostly. They also explained what they need to do to repair things. Then they explained the dangers. And there are plenty. From my very surface understanding, the dangers are not really in the surgery itself, but how Samuel's body reacts to the repairs. God made our bodies in such a miraculous way that our bodies adapt and modify when something is wrong. Samuel is still alive today because his body has adapted. Those adaptations, however, complicate things when it comes to repair. One crazy thing we learned is that Samuel's hemoglobin is twice what it should be. Most people's blood is the consistency of water. His is more the consistency of oil. Most people's blood oxygenation level is 100. His is 76. His body is used to these things. They have to be careful not to change either too quickly or his heart will shut down. There are more issues, but honestly, I can't even explain. Matt looked me when we left there and said, "I think I would have rather been uninformed." We laughed, nervously.
You might be thinking that we knew this was serious and we knew what was coming before we ever went to get Samuel. You are right. We now know some of the technicalities, but we knew this heart defect was not a walk in the park from the beginning. It feels different now because we know and love our son intensely, inexplicably, just like I gave birth to him. The thought of them splitting his chest open, messing with his heart, putting him on a bypass machine, trying to keep him alive during and after that and all that entails feels way different now.
Now that you're all depressed...the good news. One of the surgeons kept talking about how shocked he was at Samuel's energy. He said he expected us to carry in a very lethargic little boy. Samuel ran around the office, getting into things, talking, busy as usual. He could not believe it. His partner said there is obviously some serious strength in this little guy. Both surgeons also very naturally referred to how God made the heart, mentioned the grace of God, and how we would pray that certain things are or are not the case. They know the Lord and pray over their patients. That is an incredible, incredible comfort. Also impressive was that the cardiac nurse went out into the waiting room while Matt & I talked to the surgeon and explained things, complete with diagrams and a heart model, to Courtney & Cassidy.
Samuel's surgery is currently scheduled for July 18. The cardiac team will keep researching and keep consulting other surgeons around the country to learn all they can before that. We will be trying to prepare for Samuel's hospital stay. It could be a week or weeks. Our family is tight. We don't like to be separated. We will have no choice while Samuel is hospitalized. Emotions are running high in all of us.
Here's some specific prayer requests...that the cardiac team will find the perfect information, perfect action plan for Samuel; that we can make good arrangements for our whole family during the hospital stay; that God's peace will replace fear in all of us (extra measure for Cassidy, please); that we will be physically, emotionally, and spiritually ready for this.
Who needs toys when you have paper, pens, and paper clips?
I was trying to get this ornery little boy to look at me to take his picture. He did eventually, but this picture shows his personality better.
I was trying to get a good picture of us going to the VBS Friday night program/carnival. It seems this group can't do that, so here's the real us.
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20