Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sweet relief

I totally should have let people know this last night, but I think I'm just a little bit in shock and can't wrap my mind around the conversation I had with Caleb's cardiologist last night... Dr. Kumar called last night right as we were walking out the door to go to small group.  He had talked to his nurse, who had given him the readings I've gotten on Caleb's sats from the last two days.  He wanted to let us know that he was really pleased with those numbers and so much so that he felt confident Caleb does NOT need a heart cath or any additional tests at this point.  Wait.... what?!  So we just went from painful disappointment, to anxious fear of more procedures, to a sudden change in his color, to... "See you in 6 weeks"??  You can imagine why it's taken me a while to get the word out.  It just doesn't seem possible!  But of course it is possible!  I feel no hesitation whatsoever in crediting God with our great news.  I KNOW that God has responded to the prayers of hundreds of people.  Wow.  Thanks, guys.  You get to count this as your victory, too.

We go for a check-up in 6 weeks.  For now, we're breathing a sigh of sweet relief and moving forward with our plans in the next couple weeks... I'm leaving on Wednesday for a little get-away by myself. I'm going to Colorado for a few days to visit my dear friend Kylee, to rest, read, have great conversation, and re-charge my batteries a little.  I'm SO excited!!  Then when I come home, Jonah, Caleb and I will be joining Daniel on a work trip to Chicago.  And to think that I was about to cancel these plans to be in the hospital... I can't get over it!  

That's all for now.  My little PINK boy is waking up from his nap... better go kiss his face for the millionth time today!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

From blue to pink...

I believe with all my heart that my baby boy is experiencing God's healing hand on him... as you may know, we have been in a critical time right now, monitoring Caleb's sats at home, watching with baited breath to see if his oxygen level continues to drop and if his lips continue to be blue.  I am FULL OF JOY as I share the news that Caleb's sats are going up!  His little lips have gone from blue to pink in the last few days and we are seeing numbers on his oxygen monitor that we haven't seen in months.  At first I started thinking of this whole thing as a fluke until I realized... this is no fluke.  Caleb has had blue lips and low oxygen for weeks.  Yes, I can think of reasons why this is, but the truth is simply this: we started praying, and others started praying, and I have seen with my eyes the color in his face begin to change, and have seen the evidence on the monitor last night and all day today... God is with my baby boy.  I don't understand all of God's ways, why some prayers are answered the way I hope for and others not, but I have no doubt in my heart that this week God touched Caleb and changed his oxygen level.  His sats are in the high 70s and low 80s and that's right where the cardiologist wants them.  God has given us a gift this week and we won't forget it.  

Caleb's sats need to stay up for a few days to be completely out of the woods.  I'm convinced we need to keep lifting him up, and I will keep expecting God to respond!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The scoop

It's amazing to me that after a week of uncertainty with Caleb's health, and an incredibly difficult trip to the hospital yesterday, I can report that this sunny, blue-skied weather is mirroring my heart today.  It's true, in spite of my crazy life, I'm overflowing with joy today.  Every day this week, Daniel and I have set our alarms to wake up early, before our kids get up, to spend time with God, praying and studying our Bibles.  And because of that time with God, and the prayers of so many people, our spirits have been lifted and we have joy and peace that has nothing to do with our circumstances.  I can't help but share about God's goodness; it's beyond what I even understand!

Our cardiologist called first thing this morning (note to Ingalls' and Atwoods: quick news, just like you asked God for!) and he said that yesterday's test came back clear and good (next answer to prayer).  That's one potential problem crossed off our list.  After we talked a while, Dr. Kumar said what we really need is an accurate reading of Caleb's oxygen level (his "sats"), because it's hard to get a good reading when he's screaming, which he always is now in the doctor's office.  He's also had colds and that can affect the reading.  So since this test came back clear, Dr. Kumar said maybe he's actually fine and the problem is just that we need to see what Caleb's sats are when he doesn't have a cold and isn't crying.  So we are actually in the process of getting one of these machines for our house, so we can monitor Caleb at home, when he's calm and happy.  Dr. Kumar wants us to take several readings over a week or so and see what it shows.

This is potentially great news, but we won't know until we get this machine to our house and see how Caleb does when he's not hysterical.  And trust me, he gets hysterical.  Yesterday was really hard on him, and on me.  He had to be restrained, and he fought the WHOLE TIME.  He reminded us that he's a little fighter.  The kid was not going to give up until they had to just tape him down to the table while they put him in the machine that looks like a cat scan.  It was hard to watch him have to endure all that and have to be the one to physically hold his shoulders down while I just cried and cried and he screamed and screamed.  It was a bit traumatic... but then he passed out in the car immediately on the way home, and woke up singing and smiling and talking to himself in the backseat.  Wish I could have bounced back so quickly!  The whole ordeal completely wore me out!  But it's all towards the goal of helping him be healthy, and I have to tell myself that when he freaks out at the very sight of someone in scrubs, which he does.

Now we wait a bit.  We have to get this machine, which will take a couple days, then we have to see what his oxygen does for a few days... We need your prayers.  We need you to rally around us, remember little Caleb and lift him up to our Father, begging Him for his oxygen to just go right up to where it needs to be.  Thanks for standing with us and not forgetting us.  We feel the effects of your prayers... keep them coming!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Praying for healing!

We just got home from meeting with our small group and I feel refreshed.  Our little group of about 30 or so has come to mean so much to me in the last year; these people know us, care about us, listen to us, and walk with us.  They love me and they love my boys and their prayers make a difference in my heart.  I believe they make a difference to God's heart too... thank you, my friends, for coming around us tonight and speaking life and truth to us.  Community is a powerful thing!

We are taking Caleb to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital tomorrow at 12:30 for tests.  Please pray for him to be calm and feel secure and at ease.  Pray for answers.  Pray for Daniel and me to trust God's plan and goodness.  But please!  Pray for Caleb to be healed and whole!  My brothers and sisters reminded me tonight that we have a Father who wants to care for us and I don't have to resign myself to anything that a doctor says; God can still touch Caleb in a powerful way.  So join us in asking God to do that!  And feel free to text us or email us with an encouragement tomorrow.  We need support and encouragement and are really thankful for it.  

"The LORD is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him sincerely.

He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them."  - Psalm 145: 18-19

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Some tears today, his and mine

Disclaimer:  I am super tired and don't feel like writing, but I want people to know how Caleb is doing... so this will be short.  We took Caleb to see his cardiologist for a checkup today.  It wasn't a very good appointment, and not just because Caleb is now scared to death of doctors and nurses and cries when they come near him.  Today, as soon as Dr. Kumar walked in the door, his face was full of concern when he looked at Caleb.  He said, "Wow, he's really blue."  Turns out, Dr. Kumar says something is going on, because his oxygen levels have dropped inexplicably.  We have to go back next week for some tests to determine what needs to be done.  This was discouraging, because I desperately wanted good news today and we started right out of the gate with a concerned doctor.  Then Caleb had an echocardiogram to get some pictures of his heart and they found that his heart function continues to be weak.  Dr. Kumar said if it hasn't gotten stronger at this point, almost 6 months after his last surgery, it's probably not going to improve.  Which means his baseline heart function is below normal and he is at a greater risk for more problems as he gets older.  We might not notice any changes in him for now, but the doctor explained that when Caleb is, say, 10 years old, we can expect some additional issues after that many years of having a weakened heart.  They can't do anything for his weak heart function, but hopefully the additional tests next week will shed some light on why his oxygen level is so low.  I'm not even going to speculate beyond our next step.  I was discouraged, to say the least, but we had made the excellent decision beforehand to go straight to the children's museum after the appointment and spend the day having fun as a family.  And we had fun instead of being bummed.  Jonah and Caleb have the amazing ability to take our minds off our fears.  Please pray for us this week.  We go back on Thursday and I am determined not to be consumed with worry but just go a day at a time.  Your encouragement and prayers would mean the world.