If I have learned anything over the last four years on this journey with Brinkley it's 1) to trust my instincts and 2) expect the unexpected.
That came in handy today. Brinkley has been fighting off some type of respiratory crud so I have been checking his oxygen levels regularly (as I typically do during cold and flu season). Our pulse oximeter no only measures his oxygen levels, it also measures heart rate. Ideally, Brinkley's oxygen level is somewhere between 98 and 100. Because of the settings on his pacemaker, his heart rate is usually around 100. This morning his oxygen was in that ideal range but I noticed that his heart rate was erratic jumping around from the 70's to 130.
My instincts kicked in and I went through a few steps and contacted his pacemaker specialist in Charleston. After several calls from various people on her staff I got a call from her main nurse about 12:30. The nurse said that the cardiologist's office is Greenville was expecting us at 1:00 and told me what they planned to do. At this point, I knew something was truly wrong. I told her that I would have to get him from school and couldn't do it by 1:00 but we were on our way. I soon got a call from Dr. Raunikar, our local cardiologist who was on his way to the airport. Again, a sign that I was not simply overly concerned.
After arriving at the office and following the instructions that I was given, we were told that one of the leads of Brinkley's pacemaker is broken. As a matter of fact, it has been broken since December 9th. Several more phone calls transpired between various staff and our MUSC doctor and myself and the MUSC doctor.
The bottom line is that we will be checking into MUSC on Monday, February 20th for open heart surgery number 3 to replace the pacemaker lead and the battery. There is potential that more may be done but we won't know for sure until some preliminary work is done on the 20th. Surgery will be later that week. Please pray for us as we work over the next week to work out all the logistics. This was definitely not on the radar. Expect the unexpected.
As you can imagine, this has been a bit overwhelming to say the least. Earlier in the day I was a mess. The tears were flowing and the prayers were being lifted. The Lord has been so faithful to us through each step of Brinkley's journey and I know He isn't finished. I prayed that I would remember that in spite of the fear that may creep in. We stopped at a light just a couple of blocks from the doctor's office and the song Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave came on. The tears quickly began to flow again as I heard Brinkley singing along and I listened closely to the words. It was just the reminder that I needed. Each time his little voice sang "overwhelmed, overwhelmed by you" I became a little more overwhelmed not by my circumstances, but by His continued faithfulness.
I'll continue to be overwhelmed and expect the unexpected.