Sunday, August 7, 2011

An Unexpected Visit to the Cardiologist

Three weeks ago, three of my four girls had their yearly physical. Due to some scheduling snafus, we could only get three in and had to wait until next week to get the fourth one in. Since Clara is at some kind of doctor at least once or twice a month on average, we let her wait. :-)

I was really not concerned at all about these physicals. There were a few things about each girl I was afraid I would forget to discuss, but beyond that, it was barely a blip on my radar. Emilie and Alyssa's went off without a hitch. However, when Dr. Harvey was listening to Megan's chest, he said, "She sounds good, except that the heart murmur is still there."


He must have noticed the look on my face because he quickly said, "...but we already know about that...don't we?"


I have heard a lot of medical information, to be sure, but this one was new. Megan is my very healthy baby. Aside from some sinus yuck and a mystery fever and hospitalization when she was 10 days old, that kid is as healthy as a horse.

He continued (I could almost see him doing the backstroke), "Well, this is not uncommon to find a murmur at the four year-old check-up. It is probably just an innocent murmur, but we'll set you up with a cardiologist, just to make sure."


And truly, after that, I barely gave it another thought. I did call my mother-in-law who is a Nurse Practitioner, or "Nurse Grandma" to us. :-) As always, she put my mind at ease, and I went on my merry way. The thought of going to a specialist is really no big deal to me anymore. As scary as that used to be to me, it is almost as normal as going to the pediatrician. Call me jaded, but I guess when you have been to as many specialists and sub-specialists as we have, it just becomes normal. How sad is that?

We had our visit this past Thursday. The only thing I was anxious about was finding the building, and beyond that, I was just enjoying some one-on-one time with my little Sunshine. We waited for less than 3 minutes and they took us back. After listening to Megan with his stethoscope, he wanted to do an echo cardiogram. The tech spent about thirty minutes doing the test, and then she called the cardiologist in to take a look.

I was not phased at all... until they started whispering. I couldn't hear most of it, but what I could hear, I didn't understand. Finally, the doctor turned around to talk to me. What he said was something like this:

"Mrs. Bryant, I would love to tell you that what your daughter has is an innocent heart murmur, but I can't. Based on the velocity of the blood flow through her aorta (he told me which one, but I don't remember), and what I hear when I listen to her chest, what she has is an 'aortic stenosis'. Basically what that means is that, while the valve in her heart should be in three equal parts and open and close evenly, hers is not even (and he proceeded to draw a picture on the paper on the table)."

I don't remember what he said from there. I do remember feeling like I was going to cry, but refusing. I also remember feeling like I wanted to run outside and SCREAM! However, I continued to listen, forsaking all of the before-mentioned emotions. After all, Megan's biggest concern at this point was putting her shirt back on and I saw no need to upset her.

What does this mean for Megan? Right now, nothing. He put no restrictions on her and wants to monitor her as she grows and develops. He is hoping it will correct itself, but if it doesn't, there is the possibility that she will have to have surgery in the next few years to repair the aorta.

I left there reeling. I called Jeff to tell him, and beyond that, I was afraid to speak. It's strange, really. While this does not affect her life right now, you just never want anything to be wrong with your children. Don't get me wrong, I am SO thankful it is considered mild, but really, I am tired. Growing up, it was rare...VERY rare to take medicine of any type and even more rare to go to the doctor. Our medicine cabinet consisted of Tylenol, Robitussin, and NyQuil. They have since added Tums, but that's it. So to be dealing with all of this.....I don't know. I guess I just feel like the hits keep coming. I am hurting for my girls, for our family, but at the same time, I refuse to wallow. There are so many who are so much worse....we have much for which to be thankful.

I do not ask, "Why", though. I have never found that to be a productive question. I just pray and believe that God will use it for HIS glory. Maybe it is to grow Megan. Maybe it is to grow us. Maybe it has nothing to do with our family at all, but in His infinite wisdom, He will use it for the sake of someone in our 'circle'. Whatever. Doesn't matter. It is what it is and I will hold on to what I do know, and continue to do all I can to take care of my precious girls.

What do I know? I know that:

1. God, our gracious Father, is still sovereign. None of this took him by surprise. He knew every one of all of our days before any of them came to be.

2. This will work together for the good..."All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord." Oh, how I do love Him.

3. God will provide. He will provide healing, care, and the resources we need to take care of our girls.

4. If I am not careful, Satan could use this as a foothold in my life to create fear and doubt and jeopardize my relationship with God. I will not let him do that. God is in control, and as hard as it is for me to believe or understand, He loves Megan even more than I do.

5. He created my girls in His image and has a special purpose for their lives. If these trials are what it takes to make them holy, then so be it. That has been my prayer for them since before they were born. How could I ask Him to make them holy and then question His ways?

While I am fighting some very human emotions, these are the things I am holding on to. It doesn't mean I don't feel like throwing up when I think about it all or that I don't wish they were all healthy...what parent doesn't want perfect health for their children? It just means that sometimes we have to go beyond what we feel and stick to what we know. Faith is believing in what you cannot see. If we could always see it, it would be too easy and we would never feel the need to rely on God.

I don't want that. I need Him, oh, I need Him. Every hour I need Him.

This is a big week for us. It is the 41st annual Revival Week for life Action, and while we have only been present for four of those 41, we are praying that God will work in MIGHTY ways in the life of His people. The only hope this nation has is a touch from God. I am praying for a Revival for our nation, but first, I am praying for a revival in my own heart. I am praying that God would have His way with us. I am also praying that He will sustain Clara during this very tiring week. Would you pray with us?

Much Love! Have a blessed night!!


1 comment:

  1. I am praying for Megan and all of you guys. Thank you for sharing this amazing testimony of how you are keeping the faith. Your words helped reaffirm my faith. God bless.
    Doug Hansford