On Thursday we had an appointment for Griffin to see the pediatric cardiologist. It was intended to be a check up to make sure everything was good before we head over to Croatia and a chance to say a thank you and goodbye to our doctor and nurses.
As we arrived the nurses and doctors overwhelmed us by their love for our family. They showered us with hugs and warm greetings. Last year we had given them potted flowers that Griffin painted and they had each kept the flowers all year! I was in shock because I thought they would have thrown them away by now but Dr Thoele told us it had bloomed last week.
Everything was going really well we gave them more gifts and cards and his heart function looked great. Then the Dr said he saw 'something' on the echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart). It was a mild narrowing in the section where the Inferior Vena Cava connects with the pulmonary artery. What does that mean? It was affecting the flow pattern of blood to the lungs. They told us it could:
- be completely fine and require no action at all
- need a cardiac catheter that sends a small balloon into the area to expand the mild narrowing or
- be collateral blood vessels that have grown and are drawing the blood away.
What they are planning to do is take the photos of his heart to a council of cardiologists and surgeons for each of them to have a look. They operate under the mindset that "none of us is as smart as all of us." So we should hear back in a week as to the final prognosis and whatever further direction is needed.
Meanwhile the doctor kept telling us that this is not something to worry about and that it should not keep us from going to Croatia.
However, it's never fun to hear of something 'different' when you're at the doctor. Amber had a great peace about her throughout the experience. I was a bit of a mess though because they brought us into the same room they had brought me into when they told me he would have to be rushed over to the PICU (twice). I think it rattled me a bit and resurfaced some of the emotions I had pushed aside for the past couple years.
The cool part of this story is that our surgeon's nurse had sent the file to our surgeon (who was at another hospital in between surgeries). She asked him to look at it right away to get another perspective. Her exact words were "You're not going in to that next surgery until you look at this echo." He saw it and our nurse called us later that day with his thoughts. He told that there was nothing to worry about in regards to the narrowing becuase there was no narrowing at all. He said the picture was taken from the wrong angle and that we had his "blessing" to move overseas.
We were overjoyed because on our drive home we had been praying that God would confirm the call he has placed on our lives. It was a really neat experience to see all of these nurses and doctors confirming the call that God has given our family to move to Croatia by telling us to go.
We will still hear from the doctors after their official council next week, but we are confident that Griffin is doing really well and we have nothing to fear.
On a side note a really cool highlight from the other day was something my coworker told me. He said, "I don't talk to God too often but yesterday I lifted up a word for you son. I told God that I know he doesn't hear from me too often but that he should know who I am because John talks about me all the time." We had a good laugh after he told me about it and it made me so thankful to be a light in the place that God has put me during this season.
Thanks to each of you for your texts and prayers on Thursday, we are truly blessed by each of you.