Friday, September 28, 2007


Hooked up to the "Octopus" (EKG machine). Look at that double chin! He was smiling the whole time...until I got out the camera. Figures.

Henry was such a trooper. He just hung out and never even cried. That's my man!

We just got back from our appointment with the cardiologist in Santa Barbara. He did an ultrasound and an EKG. It turns out that the valve is narrower than it was the last time (2 months ago). Actually, it might really be that it is the same size, but since Henry has gotten bigger, it is smaller in relation to his body size and amount of blood needed to be pumped. Make sense?

Anyway, he informed us that Henry will need surgery at some point to correct the narrow valve within the next two years (at UCLA). The question is no longer whether or not he needs angioplasty, but when. We have to go back to him in three months (December 15th) to have it looked at again. Henry may need the surgery at that point, or we may be able to wait a little longer so that he's bigger. It will really just be a balance of waiting as long as possible, but not too long. We don't want to wait so long that it becomes a problem, but it's easier for surgeons to handle the equipment when the child is larger.

So, how do I feel? I guess I'm shocked. I feel like I was hit with a ton of bricks. Ok, so I know that I mentioned the possibility of surgery and the whole bit various times, so it shouldn't have surprised me. But, I think I had convinced myself that everything would work itself out and it wouldn't actually be necessary. I went to the appointment maybe even a little cocky, like it was no big deal, just routine. I had honestly expected Dr. Harake to say "Everything looks great, it's growing steadily with the baby, let's make another appointment in a year just to make sure everything is still okay." That is really, truly what I was expecting. So, my own heart stopped for a moment when he said that it was actually narrower. In fact, I was happily putting Henry's clothes back on and smiling and playing with him...and stopped dead in my tracks and made him repeat it. "Narrower? Really?"

Ultimately, I'm still feeling so blessed that there is no open heart surgery to be had. There is comfort in knowing that it obviously isn't such an emergency that we have to go back in a week and schedule surgery by the end of the year. Crazy enough, I'm overwhelmed and saddened that my little boy needs surgery at all, but I know that I just have to trust in God's plan and that Henry is securely in His hands and that it will all be all right. So, I'm not crying...just disoriented. Like I just got off one of those merry go rounds at the park...dizzy, kind of want to puke, but okay in the end.

Anyway, that's been the excitement for the day. Thanks to everyone for your prayers and thoughts. Henry's whole life has been such a whirlwind! But he's worth it! Now off to prep for Tracy's baby shower tomorrow! Whew!


Kate said...

wow...jeannett. i guess i kinda thought the same way you did. i'm sorry to hear the news but glad to know that you have wise doctors watching out for Henry. we'll be praying. glad to hear all is going well with your work transition. so sorry that little Henry has to go through all this and he's just a baby!

Jeannett Gibson said...

Thanks Kate. What's that saying? "I know God will only give me what He knows I have the strength to handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much."

Joy said...

oh, jeannett. i'll keep you all in my prayers. thank the Lord for good medical care!

Brianna Heldt said...

okay seeing henry hooked up to all that stuff makes me so dang proud of him for some reason, he is so awesome, what a trooper!

i'm so sorry to hear this, i am actually wanting to call you to hear more about it and chat but i know you're busy doing shower stuff and probably decompressing after a long/emotionally stressful day. maybe i still will.

stuff like this is so hard, henry is so precious and he really, truly IS in God's hands. we'll be praying, henry rocks, looking forward to seeing how your shower goes.

Lisa Leonard said...

ugh! sorry for the not-too-terrible-but-disappointing-news. we are in the same boat with david and its wait, but not too long. (same narrowing and a hole as well). i hate the thought of any surgery, even angioplasty. hang in there girlie. God is good. hugs.

Rachel Slagle said...

I am so sorry to hear about Henry. I will keep him in my prayers. At least he will be able to grow a bit before he has to have his surgery.

Becky said...

Jeannett, what a scary thing for a parent, but thank goodness for good health care. He's looks so big and health, it's hard to believe anything could go wrong. God never leaves us and I'm sure he will turn this into a blessing. We'll pray Henry can continue to grow stronger before the surgery! Love you!

Peggy said...

Wow--I feel like I've been hit up the side of my head. I truly was going down the same path as you. And yes my dear, He never gives us more than we can handle. As always you, Henry and Andy are in my prayers and will continue to be.

Love you all so very much,
Aunt Peggy :(

Chamnap said...

It's nice to know that he can still smile while all of those wires are hooked up to him.

Thank goodness for modern medical technology!

Kristen Borland said...

i thought the same way you did, jeannett. but it's great that everything was caught so early on, and that you've got these great doctors keeping an eye on things. i'm glad he doesn't have to have surgery right now, but finding the balance of when to do it sounds difficult. we will pray for precious little henry. sounds like he did super well at the appointment! he's so cute!!