Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Miracle Maker

I'm back!! After a few friendly nudges, I am back to writing.  So much has gone on since I last wrote. But, the highlights seem to be that we've moved into our new home in South Carolina after ~10 months of construction, I had 2 surgeries for my Ulcerative Colitis (another story for another day), Kinsley Anne started kindergarten, Wyatt started preschool, and Kinsley Anne had another heart procedure...the last being today's topic.

{Insert back story before I proceed for anyone new to the story: Kinsley Anne was born with a couple of "special features" including a left pulmonary artery (the vessel that carries blood from the heart to her left lung to pick up oxygen) that was barely open.  About 2.5 years ago, Kinsley Anne had a balloon blown up inside the artery to inflate it slightly...this took ~10 hours.  Then, just over 2 years ago, she had 2 stents placed inside that artery (this also took 10 hours).  She was only born with ~1/3 of her left lung.  Having that artery opened up lets her lung get additional blood flow, which hopefully encourages the lung's growth.}

This past week feels like it's been such a whirlwind but I sit here with such a thankful heart. For some reason, with this heart procedure, I had such an unsettled, uneasy feeling. When K had her first 2 procedures, she was sick so often...on antibiotics more than she was off. So, while it's never easy to consent to lengthy procedures, the need was clearly evident. Since that time, Kinsley has been incredibly healthy. In just over 2 years, she had a quick bout with the flu, a sinus infection, and an occasional cold.  So, the decision to do this procedure was not as obvious.  However, we knew that the time had come and as nervous as that made me, I knew it was the right decision.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. I had spoken with Kinsley's teacher and school nurse and because of the rampant GI bug, strep throat, and various other illnesses floating through her school, the decision was made to pull Kinsley Anne out and allow her to do her schoolwork at home until procedure time.  The cardiologist supported that decision & with the help of my parents, she was distracted and entertained.  Then, the day before her procedure, I received a phone call that temporarily turned our world upside down. The nurse practitioner called me and told me that K's cardiologist had a mix-up and would actually not be in the cath lab "tomorrow," the day of our procedure.  She gave us two options: we could reschedule or we could come as scheduled and allow another doctor to do the procedure.  I'd like to tell you that I was cool, calm, and collected while making this decision. However, I lost it. I was really upset that a "mix up" could be threatening my girl. Mama bear came out.  Then, my rock solid husband began to speak with his voice of reason.  We quickly researched the alternative cardiologist (who was available to step in and perform the cath) and decided that he was MORE than capable. He is actually the director of the cath lab and has performed an unreal number of complicated cases. A blessing in disguise? Quite possibly.

On the day of the procedure, we arrived at the hospital and were treated extremely well. We met with the pediatric interventional cardiologist that would be performing her cath (for the first time) and really liked him. However, he is a realist and discusses all possible outcomes.  He told us about how tricky this procedure would be and how there was a chance of her needing open heart surgery before the day was through.  Kyle and I swallowed hard.  Although we knew that in the back of our heads, it was hard hearing it from the doctor's mouth.

At about 1145, our sweet girl was taken back to the OR. Kyle and I left to go downstairs for lunch.  Upon our return, the nurse requested an update for us. She told us "they are ballooning the stents now."  When she left, Kyle and I looked at each other and said, "well, surely she misheard or misunderstood."  We decided to tell people that they had started.  You see, in previous procedures, it took ~4 hours for the doctor to reach her artery.  So, in 1 hour, we found it very difficult to believe that they had already accomplished that.  Then, ~45 min later, the nurse practitioner peaked into our room and told us, "They're done. Just holding pressure."  I asked, "done?" in disbelief. She nodded and said, "yes. Dr. Kim will be out soon to explain everything."  Kyle and I literally sat with mouths wide open. My sister, who had come for a quick lunchtime visit, saw our state of shock and excused herself.  Soon, the doctor came and told us that it was "dare he say, incredibly easy."  He was able to dilate the stents from 5mm to 8mm and there were no complications.  He even did some "mapping" of her vessels since they got done so quickly.  He laughed and told us that "even a blind squirrel gets a nut now and then."  We appreciated his humor but continued to stare at each other in awe.  I finally said, "Kyle. I don't know what to say. God is so good. He's the miracle maker!" ...and like all emotionally unstable women, I busted out in tears. The happiest tears I've cried in quite some time.

God is so good. He took us from absolute chaos to miraculous outcome in 24 hours. And only He can do things like that.

Our sweet girl was so incredibly anxious this time. She did not want to eat for 36 hours before her procedure and actually got sick quite a few times from her nerves. While she is a courageous child, she is still human and did not like the unknown. She asked many difficult questions, such as "why do I have to do this? Why me? Nobody else in my class has a special heart."  Questions that she deserves to ask, but that here on Earth, this mama doesn't have a simple answer for. She was a trooper, though, and we are really proud of her.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Mark 10:27

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

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