Sunday, January 9, 2011
Puck's third echo cardiogram within the span of his two, short months of life was scheduled for a Thursday. A day which had crept up quicker than I had expected but which didn't hold the promise I had wished for, or the dread I had come to live with. I suppose I had turned myself off, as much as possible, in order to receive the news I was expecting...the all dreaded surgery date. I didn't hold out much hope that his holes would have grown over enough to warrant truly happy news. The last echo had revealed that there was literally too many holes in his heart to count...If even half of them closed over there would still be enough to cause him problems, my mind knew this, my heart wished it wasn't true, but logically speaking, that kind of luck, that kind of miracle doesn't happen often.
I knew what to expect walking into the cardiologists office and my body finally began to betray the calm veneer I had tried so diligently to portray. I almost passed out after Puck's echo. The room began to spin and I stumbled to a chair ...I did my best not to do a swan dive and I succeeded in staying upright, and keeping my face from bouncing off the cold hard floor. We waited almost an hour for the meeting with his cardiologist after the 'routine' tests had been performed. Every minute which ticked by added to our anxiety. Neither one of us truly expected that the news would be good.
Finally Preston's name was called and Scott and I entered a small conference room. The doctor did a quick exam, listening to his heart, feeling his chest, watching his breaths. All the while I was shaking ever so slightly and praying I wouldn't vomit all over the pediatric cardiologist. He began to talk, asking questions about Puck's status. What the other doctor's had discovered, what his weight gain had been, whether he was thriving or not, and it took all my will power not to scream "Shouldn't YOU know this"? "Didn't you read his flipping chart"? But before I could take his head off he smiled and said, "just by listening to his heart and hearing about his growth, I can tell you that he will probably never need surgery". I'm sure I looked as stunned as I felt. He then swung around in his chair, turned on the computer and said "let's take a look at the echo". He then walked us through the new findings.
Puck went from too many holes in his heart to count to only two holes left! Only two holes are left. Let me say that again...two holes...TWO. Both have shrunk in size and although the bottom one, which is the larger of the two, will never fully grow over, the cardiologist doesn't see it ever causing Preston any problems. The next cardiology appointment is in four months time, and by then the doctor said it will be definitive; he'll either get a clean bill of health, or a surgery date will be set. But the doctor reiterated that he felt that Preston would be one of the lucky ones, and he will never need to have open heart surgery.
Our reprieve has been granted.
I now hold Preston with a new confidence. His body no longer feels fragile, and broken; and the cuddles I give him no longer are forced by a time limit that circumstance had so cruelly created. Everything feels lighter. My voice no longer sounds strained, my shoulders no longer carry a burden almost to heavy to bear, and my own smiles now meet my eyes. Preston has once more given us the joy we had felt November 4th, 2010 when he made his way into this world. Thursday, January 6th, 2011, an unassuming mid week day, he was born again. As Scott so eloquently put it "he just feels different". Yes he does, he feels alive.