Today, I got to spend the day with just two of the handsome men in my life…Madden and his daddy. It was nice. Unfortunately, we weren’t doing anything fun like going to the zoo or out for ice cream. It was a doctor visit.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted an update on Madden and his condition of complete heart block. Truth is there hasn’t been a whole lot to report until recently. Since diagnosis in May 2010, he has been monitored for 24 hours via holter monitor every 6-8 weeks with an occasional echo to make sure the structure of his heart hasn’t changed. Madden has remained asymptomatic – praise the Lord! But with every checkup, Madden’s resting heart rate has continued to decrease slightly (at diagnosis it was in the 70’s and now it’s in the 40’s) and these latest test results showed that his heart rate dropped to an all time minimum of 37…pretty scary for our very active 2 year old.
Our cardiologist here in Baton Rouge and another pediatric cardiologist in New Orleans consulted with one another and decided that with his decreasing heart rate, it was time for Madden’s heart to be paced. So Madden is having a pacemaker implanted next Friday. Today was our initial meeting with the doctors in New Orleans that will be performing the surgery. Of course, we were shaken by the news of his need for a pacemaker so soon. However, after having our question and answer session with the doctor today, both Nick and I feel very positive and hopeful about going forward with the surgery. To hear the doctor talk, Madden will live a pretty normal life with a pacemaker. There is a short list of things that he won’t be able to do….tackle football, competitive wrestling, use a jack hammer or arc welder…not so bad, right? Other than those and possibly a few other things, he can do anything his little heart desires. Rough-housing with his brothers? Totally fine – believe me I asked! The most comforting thing that the doctor said to us today was that “Madden’s life will not be dependent upon this pacemaker. Something happens to it and his heart will still be beating.” Just slower I guess. Then you just have a matter of let’s call the doc and get an appointment to have the pacemaker fixed/replaced. So Why, then, are we doing this?, you may ask. Even though, his life is not dependent on the pacemaker, there is the risk that he may become symptomatic – with one of the symptoms being the heart stops beating. The doctor assured us that this was a very VERY low risk, but a risk nonetheless. So we (and the doctors) want to take every precaution that this won’t happen. We love our little guy WAY too much!
Every night we pray for God to “heal Madden’s heart.” Although a pacemaker is not what I had in mind when making that request, I believe that it is our answer now. His heart will work perfectly again. And I am excited about that! We humbly request your prayers for Madden and his upcoming surgery and recovery. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
"He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me..." Psalm 23:3-4