Drew had an appointment with Dr. Parrish yesterday. I talked to Drew about his appointment the day before. I told him he was going to have an echo and EKG and explained what those were. He acted like he knew what I was talking about, then he asked me "Who's going to visit me?" The poor kid just assumed we were going to be staying at the hospital. I told him we would not be staying, we would have our appointment and go home. So when we got there in the morning we did our usual routine, first checking out the fish aquarium, then checking height, weight, temperature, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. Drew was at 99%! It still amazes me!
First they did the EKG. These are not his favorite. But he was so brave! He didn't cry this time and was able to stay calm. The nurse places a bunch of stickers on his chest and then connects them to wires. He has to stay still for 2 seconds while they record some information then they disconnect everything and take all the stickers off. Taking them off is the worst part, but I've learned if you press on the skin after taking the adhesive off it hurts a little less. Grandma promised she'd buy Drew a prize for being brave and I reminded him of that during the EKG.
Then it was time for the echo. Or so we thought. Dr. Parrish came in and told us that he had one done in August and it looked good so we didn't need to do another one. I still didn't remember, but he showed me the report so I guess it happened! Drew was disappointed because they have the kids watch a movie during the echo and he really wanted to watch a movie, he actually said "but I want an echo!"
I asked Dr. Parrish if looking back now he thinks we made a good decision. He said he thinks we did for the third surgery. I asked where we go from here. He said he'll continue to see Drew every six months for a while, then we'll go to every year. He said Drew should be able to play sports if he wants to, if he wants to play on a serious team we'll do a stress test first to make sure everything checks out. Then he said something life-changing. He said "we don't expect Drew to have anymore surgery in his lifetime." I was like, what did you just say?! He repeated himself and said he's a glass-half-full kind of guy and he will look for problems, but doesn't expect any. I told him I was under the impression that he would have valve replacements from time to time. And he said it depends on how big he gets, but that he's seen kids that don't require them.
While this is very exciting, wonderful news, I don't know if I can believe it. First of all, I think most kids like Drew couldn't be older than 30 because before that they didn't do these types of surgeries. But more importantly I don't know if I should allow myself to believe it and then experience the heartbreak and grief all over again if it turns out that he does need more surgery. Surgery sucks no matter what, but I think it's a little easier to handle if you are expecting it.
So I was a little teary yesterday just contemplating this news, thinking about what we might never have to do again. And also just in absolute awe of the miracle that is my son. When he was born we had no idea what his future held. We didn't know if he would make it past his first surgery, or his second. We didn't know what his development would look like. And now he is running around with a 99% oxygen level, not taking any medication, and possibly never needing another surgery. God is so good! We go back to cardiology in April, and hopefully just enjoy a healthy, medicine free winter until then.