Last week I posted about the “blunt doctor”. Without his honesty I might have missed the full depth of the string of miracles poured on our family
“Doctor Blunt” felt it important to understand that the eye flutters and other movements that we were seeing, were not necessarily signs of brain activity. “There is a strong chance that we are only seeing reflexes.” He and the nurses, nodded cautiously whenever I pointed out Mike’s eye lids moving or his feet twitching. Deep down, I knew that they had every reason to be cautious.
It was a rough, rough day, sweetened by unexpected news.
The decision to do an MRI was a last resort procedure. If he would just wake up, they would know how the brain was doing and wouldn’t have to do it.
I saw the tension in the doctor’s eyes every time he mentioned the procedure. I wasn’t to expect too much, he said in a million different ways, without really saying it.
The cardiologist’s assistant pulled us aside after one of the reports from the main doctor. She was “Doctor Big Picture” and wanted us to understand that not knowing what to expect wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“Mike’s heart was in worse shape than we originally understood.” The night the ambulance brought him to the ER, his heart was working at 15% … fifteen percent. “How was that even possible?” someone asked me as she tried to imagine how long he had been trying to function like that.
By the middle of the week, heart strength grew to 33%. “See, we just don’t know what can happen,” she encouraged me.
I asked if the strength of his heart would improve any more. “Possibly … maybe as much as 10%. But there’s an equal chance that his heart will stay the same for the rest of his life, even with a device.”
Originally, they were going to insert a device that is both a pace maker and a defibrillator. By Friday, it was decided he really didn’t need that, so only a defibrillator would be inserted as soon as the breathing tube came out and was strong enough. He just needed to wake up.
As most of you know, he didn’t wake up … a good thing, because the MRI was done. We rejoiced over the miracle that Mike’s brain did not show any damage from the cardiac arrest. We were left challenged at the discovery of a tumor (benign).
Now, today, Wednesday, March 18th, the cardiologist report threw out another surprise. Mike’s heart is working at 55%. Fifty-five percent!
“At 55%, we consider him to have a normal heart,” the doctor said.
“Will he still need a defibrillator?”
“We don’t know yet. We’re thinking, no, but we’re not sure of our next steps.”
There are a couple of options, but the doctors don’t have a plan in the face of such marked, unexpected improvement. They will watch his progress and make a decision.
What exactly do you do in the midst of a miracle?
For me, I’ve spent the first of our mid-miracle days wrestling a disoriented, frustrated, extremely hungry (hangry) husband who risks hurting himself seriously if gets out of bed or eats something too soon. I’ve cried watching his anguish, laughed seeing his antics, and praised God that even in a hard day … it is still and will always remain a miracle to revel in the rest of our days on this side of eternity.
One of my favorite pictures.