heart caths, balloons, and other words that don't belong

Little Gabriel has had an adventurous weekend.

He woke up Thursday as a long term tenant at The Pope House and went to bed as an official, lifelong member.

We celebrated all day.

And then we tucked our new son into his bed nice and early.  We knew Friday would be a rough day for him.

Up at 4 in the morning and off to Egelston Children's Hospital for a heart cath.

His 2 chamber heart just wasn't squeezing like it should.  Add that to the poor blood pressure and there we were in the Cardiac Unit in a little purple dinosaur gown taking "Goofy Juice."

Gabe was, as usual, a trooper.  

Charming the nurses and pulling every cord he could get his hands on.

Doctors, nurses, anathesialogists paraded in to tell me the ins and out, risks and plans for Gabe's tiny heart.

All while my brand new Gabriel stared up at me with his big brown sleepy eyes.

The plan was to sedate him, preform a heart cath, and get a good look at what was causing the poor pressures.

Talk of using a balloon or a stint to expand the narrowed arch or upping medicines.

All I could thing was that Gabe was just too little for all this junk.

And then it was time for him to go back.

Wanna guess how tiny he looked getting wheeled out on the big hospital bed?

I'd show you, but I was too busy trying not to cry to snap a picture.

He looked tiny.  



Well maybe that last one was me since Gabe's Goofy Juice was doing it's job and he was pretty drunk.

Darlene and I settled in for the four hour wait.

Then 60 minutes later, the Doctor walked in.

"We're all done.  Gabe's pressures are outstanding.  If it weren't for the last ECHO, we would say his heart is working perfectly."

And that, my friends, is how a Pope kid shows Doctors Who is boss.

It seems Gabriel's heart has compensated for the poor squeezing and adjusted the pressures accordingly.

The human body is so very amazing.

And so is the Creator of the human body.

I was so, so excited and proud of my boy's little half heart that I forgot to prepare myself for the hurting little baby that was about to be rolled back in.

He was pitiful.

Hoarse little, "Mommy"s  over and over again.

He had to be incubated during the procedure so his throat was very sore and he was exhausted.

He couldn't move his leg for an hour.

Have you ever tried to hold a sad, hurting toddler while he's hooked up to a million wires all without moving his leg?

It's as impossible as it sounds.

They gave him lots of pain meds to try to get him to go back to sleep in hopes that he would wake up a second time feeling much better.

But being the stinker he is, he just refused to fall asleep.

Two hours later he got some lunch and started to perk up a little bit.

We were discharged around noon and headed home.

Gabe seemed pretty relaxed on the ride:

He fell asleep the second his little head hit his pillow and slept straight through the night.

It was a big day and he was plum tuckered out.

So was I.

The emotional drain of having your baby in the hospital for any reason is heavy.

I can't imagine what his actual surgery will be like.

But all that matters today is that our little man with half a heart seems to have doubled up on Will and Strength and Determination and Soul.

I'm amazed at his little self.


Bethany said...

This post breaks my heart.

My husband had to have MAJOR heart surgery when he was 9 months old and has other surgeries since we have been married.

And when my oldest son was 2 years old he had surgery to fix a hernia. Watching your toddler going under sedation is TERRIFYING!

I am so happy to hear that his heart is so strong! It's amazing how God can change things. My husband's heart pumps completely backwards and while it's a little weaker than our's, his heart has compensated and works stingily. Our God is amazing!!

Prayers for your family!


TonyaElise said...

Praise the Lord for such a success! I was teary reading your post because I remember how hard it was just getting Leila's tubes in her ears. Hospital beds should not have kids in them. Then I got to the picture of him in the car seat and almost laughed out loud. So cute. We will continue to pray for his little heart. And by the way, congratulations on your new SON!

miamihoney said...

I am in tears. Such a strong, little trooper. So very strong. Truly amazing.