Monday, October 4, 2010

what a difference a pacemaker makes

saturday marked six months since asher was admitted to london's PCCU with severe bradycardia. when active (read: awake and playing a bit, since he wasn't nearly as energetic as usual), his heart rate was in the low 50s. last night was the half-anniversary of the scariest night in asher's life. his heart rate was sitting at 30, he was hands down the darkest shade of grey i'd ever seen him (only slightly lighter than charcoal - and i'm not exaggerating here at all), he was sweating like a pig so that he soaked through his bedding in just a couple minutes, and his nurse couldn't wake him up. there was a vial of atropine at his bedside and the intensivist was scared out of her mind and actually said, "this kid needs a pacemaker right now. get him out of my unit; i don't want him here." i was terrified that asher wouldn't wake up in the morning.

and it didn't improve much over the next week or so. he didn't get his little battery-pack for over a week, and that whole time, i was disintegrating emotionally. i must have cried every day. now, granted, i made some great friends, and the lunches with D were a very welcome (if surreal) distraction, but every time i looked at asher my heart broke. every. single. time.

and if i'm honest here, i have tears in my eyes as i write this post. it was probably the darkest time in asher's life. sure, the first admission, when he was diagnosed and had his hybrid... that was terrifying, too. but don't discount the beauty of shock and ignorance. when you have no idea what's going on, you don't know just how scared to be. but by now, i have some knowledge on my side. i know what it looks like when a heart is failing and shutting down. and by now, i know asher, and i know what we would have lost if his heart got the better of him.

and now, here we are, six months later. as i type this post, asher is at school, playing with his friends, playing on the computer, singing songs and learning and... well, living. i'll admit, in april, i would have told you that this likely wouldn't happen. and yet... it's happening!!!! asher is alive!!!!

so i want to take this opportunity to thank all of you, our wonderful readers, for all your prayers and thoughts and love. you have given us both so much strength and courage to get through all the horror, and the grace and joy to fully embrace the normalcy. thank-you so much. we couldn't do this without you.

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