Oh Happy Day! (aka – cardiology update)
I took Mikayla for her 6 month cardiac check up today. I won’t list all the details of her heart issues – you can read about them here. Basically, she has several issues that we’ve been watching since she was two weeks old. There is some narrowing in her arteries and two holes between the upper chambers.
At our last appointment back in December we had a really good report – the narrowing in her arteries was improving and for the first time we had a clear view of the two holes in her heart. The narrowing for her was something that couldn’t be surgically repaired, so the fact that it was improving on its own was really great. The plan from birth was to do open heart surgery when Mikayla turns 3 or 4 to repair the holes. With the improved narrowing the doctor felt that her heart could handle the holes until she turns about 6 or 7 and by then her arteries should be big enough to repair via catheter and not have to do full on open heart surgery.
There was never any expectation of the holes closing on their own. We’ve known since our first cardiac appointment over two years ago that they would need to be surgically repaired.
Today, “good” doesn’t even begin to describe the news we received! As soon as the doctor listened to her heart he could tell the narrowing had improved. Once he actually looked at it, he said it was basically better – very mild if at all.
Then, he looked at the holes. He looked at me and said, “Mom, this hole is rather unimpressive. And, weren’t there two before?” He looked around at a different angle and did find the second hole – both were much, much smaller than ever before. He just kept talking about how tiny and “unimpressive” the holes are.
This whole time I’m holding my breath, trying not to get ahead of the diagnosis, trying not to get my hopes up. Trying to keep Mikayla entertained with Elmo and carry on an intelligent conversation with the doctor at the same time.
Finally, he said, “I don’t know why, I don’t care why. The fact is, those holes are closing on their own.” He said there’s a good chance the holes will continue to close and she won’t need surgery at all.
Pause for effect…
Do you hear what I’m saying? I’m saying that this beautiful child that kept me up half the night and at the moment has about 75 toys spread across the room is a living, breathing, walking, heart-beating miracle! Six months ago she had two holes in her heart that had not shown any improvement since birth. Today, she has two tiny holes that appear to be closing without intervention. Praise God!
What’s more…the narrowing in her heart is a result of her having Williams Syndrome. The holes in her heart are not – they are just a “fluke” without any known cause. The doctor has said several times that the narrowing was so severe at first had it not been for the holes she probably would’ve had heart failure. The holes (something we view as a problem or defect) allowed some of the pressure caused by the narrowing to escape, making it easier for her heart to function during those first few months.
Are you saying that had she not been born with holes in her heart she may have had heart failure as a baby because of the narrowing in her arteries? Are you also saying that now that the narrowing has improved to nearly non-existent the holes are inexplicably closing by themselves, without surgical intervention?
Hallelujah, yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying! Do you see God’s handiwork here, cause I sure do. Two years ago we feared those two holes. We worried over how much strain her heart was enduring. When she would cry (which was a LOT) I would wonder if her being upset would cause too much pressure on her heart.
Looking back, I praise God for those two holes. Now we know why they were there. God works in wonderful, marvelous ways that we do not understand.
We are not “out of the woods” with regard to her heart – we never will be. There are a couple valves/arteries that will have to be monitored for the rest of her life to watch for the narrowing. It can appear/worsen at any point. And, the holes aren’t completely closed yet. From what we saw today, it looks like they are closing, but there’s still a chance that they won’t close all the way. She may still have to have heart surgery someday.
But today… today I’m thankful for this reminder that God is in control even when it doesn’t make sense to us or to her doctor. Today I’m thankful Mikayla is happy and energetic and pain free. I’m praising God for His miraculous healing of my baby’s heart and I pray that should the day come when the news isn’t good or the improvements aren’t there or the surgery is needed that I’ll remember God is in control and He is good, even if it doesn’t make sense to us.