Wednesday, July 27, 2016

cath news

This man is our miracle worker.  Of course, the One who created Andrew is the ultimate, and we recognize that.  But we believe that He sent this man to us.  Dr. Divekar has been Andrew's heart doctor since he was 9 months old and we went in for a cath after learning his pulmonary arteries hadn't grown after surgery and his pressure was dangerously high.  He came out of the cath lab after 5 hours, literally sweat pouring off him.  He had done everything he could and his only option was to place a stent in Andrew's PA's.  Back then this was devastating news, as it bought him another surgery to replace the stents as he grew.  Well.  Over these years he has again and again, made things better for Andrew.  And right now it's about as good as we could hope for.

But first, our time in Iowa City...
Of course, we arrived and checked into our favorite hotel.
Then we hit Target.  This is our regular routine to make things better for Andrew.  We try to have FUN!  #targetisfun.  Because #toys.
We ate out at Texas Roadhouse.  It's fun too.  #throwpeanutsonthefloor.
Then we went swimming.
The kids swam the whole night.  They went on this water slide over and over and never stopped.
Live it up, Andrew!
The kids even convinced Ga Ga to go down!  Ha!
Papa too!
Then they took Andrew out for his usual late night pancake snack at IHOP in his jammies!  Mom said he ate everything on his plate!
Unfortunately as the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end."  As the dreaded morning came and we got Andrew admitted for his procedure.  The goodbyes are always hard.
Heartbreaking tears saying goodbye to all of us.  I love that sweet boy so much.
All I can say is, thank goodness we have her.  
She makes waiting not quite as excruciating!  Ha!
My favorite part was running into a fellow heart mom who we've become friends with over the years through our support group.  Her daughter was having a regular appointment.  So we got in a few laughs while we were waiting.
Andrew rocked coming out of recovery at first.  He stayed still and sedated.  We thought we might get to go home.  But then his site started bleeding and they kept having to add an extra hour every time that happened.  We were in recovery the longest we've ever been- I lost count but I think it was 5 hours... #4hrstoolong
His thumbs up when we finally headed to the regular floor.  So when Dr. D pulled us into that little room after the procedure, we were prepared for the worst.  And we heard the best.  He was very enthusiastic about what he saw in the cath lab.  The PA's had grown a substantial amount.  I just had to sit for a minute and let that sink in after I typed it.  Because I didn't think I'd ever be typing that sentence.  He said Andrew doesn't need to be seen for a regular check up for a YEAR.  We've never gone a year between appointments.  And more good news... he won't need another cath for 2-3 years!  
And when he does need that cath?  It will be to replace his valve.  You just read that right- he is planning to replace his valve in the cath lab!  That's no open heart surgery!  And that is a miracle all by itself.  For 9 years we've worked to support the research and education of CHD's so that someday things could be better for Andrew.  All those efforts paid off, because 9 years ago, this wasn't possible.  Valve replacement was done with open heart surgery.  
God's timing is always perfect.  #siblinglove
 After a really long day.  Ha!  #craigneededanap

So the only unfortunate part for us is that our amazing Dr. D is leaving our favorite hospital. :(  Of course, right after we moved here!  (What's that I just said about timing??)  But there's always a silver lining.  He's going to Kansas City- and those of you who read this blog know we LOVE KC!  So a cath is now our excuse for a mini vacation, and we are thrilled he's not going too far.  We absolutely will follow him to KC, because let's face it.  He knows Andrew's anatomy better than anyone, and his research has helped make this valve replacement an option.  He knows what he's doing.  He knows Andrew.  It's a no brainer.
Boredom at its finest.  But she's such a great sister.
Finally time for an Xray!  And when we came back, Andrew had a surprise!
There's nothing better than pancakes and Jayden!
We were so happy Craig's brother came with his family and Andrew couldn't have been happier.  They even let us leave around 7, and the kids came back to the hotel with us.  Poor Andrew was so tired, he actually fell asleep in the car!  
The kids went swimming once we got Andrew settled in bed.  He doesn't even know this happened. My heart was breaking not to have Andrew in this picture.  He would've been devastated to miss swimming with his cousins.
But I decided to keep the kids overnight so Andrew could enjoy having them with us the next day.  He woke up with a huge smile when he saw who was next to him in bed!  It sure helps when anesthesia wears off!
This girl loves making pancakes in the machine!
Another picture with Herky.  We have one Hawkeye fan in this picture.  #itsnotus
We had to go visit daddy at his office since he now works in the same city that we've taken Andrew to appointments forever!  We are thrilled to be moving here, even though it's Hawkeye country!
We always love visiting daddy at school. 
We headed back home and the kids all had the best afternoon together.  They promised they would let Andrew lay low and relax so he and Jayden played video games, read books and just chatted.  It made Andrew's day.  And this girl's too.  Can you tell how much she loves her big cousin?

So after 9 years I'm so proud to still be writing about the miracles happening with Andrew.  I'm humbled that his story can give hope to so many others.  When he was born we prayed for God's glory to be shown through our son.  And today he is a thriving fourth grader with a bright future and a miraculous story to tell.

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
Psalm 77:14

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