Yesterday was such an emotional and exhausting day, and today has been such a busy day, that I just haven’t had time to blog. But now my mom is going to make me a cup of tea and I will gird up my loins and write write write.
So yesterday… the big reveal. Jason drove up to Toronto Monday night so that we could be together to talk to the doctors Tuesday morning, and it was wonderful to have him here. We waited impatiently for rounds so we would hear about their plans for Ava, but when the rounds finally came in, the ward cardiologist said that he would come back after rounds to talk to us… around noon…. AUGG!!!
But since we are resourceful, we went in search of Ava’s cardiologist, who we had heard had come looking for us first thing before we got there. Not only were we looking for to get some information more quickly (aren’t we awful?) we really trust and respect him, and we knew that if it wasn’t pleasant news, we would much rather hear it from him.
We were able to track him down and thankfully he had a minute to talk to us. He right away said that after looking at her cath results, he could see clearly for himself that the function in her right ventricle was decreased and that her tricuspid valve was quite leaky like we had already been told. And unfortunately during the surgical rounds that morning, Ava’s surgeon said he didn’t feel that he could go in and do a valve repair unless it was part of the Glenn surgery. But that is the problem, Ava can’t get the Glenn because the pressures in her lungs are to high, probably due to the valve leaking! And the valve is leaking badly partly because there is too much volume in her heart.
So in a nut-shell, Ava can’t get the Glenn surgery because she needs the Glenn. The Glenn would reduce the volume in her heart and it’s work-load and probably help out the valve too, so it’s a huge predicament. And unfortunately there is another problem, the left side of Ava’s heart – her left ventricle – is still big and because it’s not functioning, it’s acting like a big boat anchor and is dragging down the function of the right. And unfortunately, I don’t think it’s something that can ever really be remedied.
So the plan.
The plan is to keep Ava on her heart medication drug that she is currently on – milrinone – and then on Friday she will get another echocardiogram. If the milrinone has helped at all by improving her heart function, they will think about doing another catheterization. And if the cath showed any improvement, they would reconsider doing the Glenn surgery.
But if Ava’s heart function hasn’t improved by Friday… well then we start thinking about having Ava listed for a heart transplant.
A heart transplant.
Never ever would I have thought that that card might have to be played this early in Ava’s life. And I’ll be brutally honest, baby hearts are NOT easy to come by and if by chance Ava needs to be listed and we decide to go down that road, we could be waiting an awfully long time. And keeping a baby who needs a heart healthy, until that new heart arrives, can be a huge challenge.
And it just seems too much to think about it, and it made yesterday a very tearful and heavy day. Not that we haven’t given up hope for this week’s echo to show some good news. But it seems that we have had so much bad news in the Ava department that hope for saving her own heart does seem to be ebbing away.
Oh Lord, please grant us the strength just to get through this day – and this day alone, because the future is WAY too daunting.
This verse keeps coming to mind…Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
You can say that again. But that is exactly the lesson that God started teaching us back when Ava was born and then when Sarah got diagnosed with diabetes. That God is only granting us the grace to get through today – as we try to live just one day at a time. And I won’t lie, it’s not easy… and it can be down-right painful at times. But through it all God is already showing us He cares for us by giving us what we need. Like how I got an amazing sleep last night and woke up with my soul refreshed, and then we found out today that we got an apartment at the Ronald MacDonald house so Jason and the kids can join me here, praise God!
So the next steps are exactly that…. steps… that will we take one day at time, thankfully with all your support and your prayers for our sweet little Ava, our Birdy.
Thank you and Amen.