It's been a good week and Caleb has been in great spirits. We fill our days with playing in the play room, wagon rides, and plenty of play-doh. Caleb started physical therapy this week and he now gets that 3 times a week. The doctors want him to build up some strength and use those tiny little bird legs as much as possible. I've seen improvement already. We get him out of bed a lot and get him walking around the floor. He loves this and so do the nurses, because it's Caleb's habit to stop and give a hug to each person he passes. What a flirt.
Caleb had an echocardiogram this week and the doctor said nothing has changed. His heart is functioning at about 35% and is enlarged. He is stable though and they don't anticipate anything really changing much between now and his heart transplant.
Speaking of transplant, we had a really cool experience yesterday. Every year, the NCAA hosts a Christmas party for all the Riley heart transplant kids and their families. We got to attend and it was amazing to see all these kids who have had a heart transplant and are doing well. There were toddlers who just got a new heart this year and teenagers who have had their hearts for 15 years. There were about 200 people there and it was so inspiring to see this community that we are now part of. It was like a big family. We met one family who had four sons, three of whom were born with heart defects. And of the three who had heart defects, two have passed away. And yet this family was AMAZING. We met all these people and listened to their stories and felt so proud to be a part of this group. And so excited to think about next year when Caleb will be there with us with his new heart.
I really want to talk about this whole idea of being "inspired". People tell us all the time that we are an inspiration and I'm not really comfortable with that. It's not because I'm super modest and don't want the attention; it's because I want to know exactly what people mean when they say that. If you're like me, lots of things can inspire you, but then you can turn around and go back to your life and that "inspiration" has no real lasting impact. Being an "inspiration" is nice, but I'm more interested in having an impact. An inspiration can be a fleeting emotion, but an impact means something in your life is different or changed. Now don't get me wrong, it's very complimentary when people tell us we're an inspiration. I just want to take the conversation a step further and ask, has Caleb's story changed you in any way? Because as Christians, lots of things can convict us, encourage us, inspire us, but we can easily walk away and forget what God just said to us. I'm struggling with this myself. I hope that I'm really a different person because of all the stuff I've been through. God has taught me a lot in these days at the hospital but even the most eye-opening revelation can slip out of my mind after time passes. (Confession: Especially because I spend too much time watching tv and not enough time with God.)
How about you? If you've felt inspired by our story, what is it that you're inspired to do, or be? Has your life been impacted in some way? Has God spoken to you about Caleb's story, and if so, what have you done in response to His voice? I'd love to hear your answer to these questions. Please! :)
For now, thanks for your continued prayers. And this little guy thanks you too.