Had Noah’s chest x-rayed last weekend as a requirement for his new school. The image struck me — I had almost forgotten that he had open heart surgery just three years ago in June, 2008.
And I had forgotten these wires the doctors had used to mend his sternum after they performed Infundibulectomy, an open-heart procedure, to fix the Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) he was born with. I fell back on my chair as I let it all come back to me: the prognosis, the dread, the pleading and bargaining, the search for the best pediatric cardio-surgeons, asking people for help and being grateful to relatives, friends, even total strangers who helped raise money for the operation.
Watching helplessly as the nurses drugged him and wheeled him to the operating room. Surrendering to the will of an infinitely benevolent universe to see my son through. Marveling at Noah when he woke up just two hours after the operation, fending off the nurses and demanding to see his parents. Sleeping on the floor of the Heart Center while he was in recovery and pediatric ICU. His doctors threatening to inject me with morphine if I didn’t relax (that wasn’t much of a threat. In fact, I dared them). Whew. And wow.
Knowing what we do now about congenital heart disease, we have to be more careful with baby Moses. He’s due for congenital screening in July. And If you see Noah now, you’d never guess he had a heart condition and survived cardiac intervention. All he remembers about his ordeal is his Tita bringing him Jollibee at the hospital to cheer him up, bless his nuclear-powered little heart.