12.1.13

EJECT

Our DVD player got a little confused when it was set to play Tinkerbell over and over around the clock (that is what happens when a baby eats a remote control). I panicked a little bit when I couldn't eject the DVD from the machine. It is never good when something can't be ejected.



And segue...

Ejection fraction.

Every time that we are at a cardiologist appointment they ask me if I have any questions. My answer is always, "What is her ejection fraction?" There aren't many ways to qualitatively measure the improvement in Lauren's heart but ejection fraction is one thing that can be measured. So what is ejection fraction and what does it mean?

Ejection fraction is a measure of the amount of blood that is pushed out of the heart every time that the heart beats. For most of us a normal ejection fraction is between 55 and 75%. That means that it takes 3 beats to push out all of the blood twice.

When Lauren's heart was first corrected (how I've decided to start looking at it as I find I'm dealing with a lot of guilt right now), her ejection fraction was 10%. In order to pump all of her blood out twice, her poor little heart had to beat twenty times. No wonder it was so tired that it needed to stop.

The other problem that comes with cardiac failure is that as her heart worked harder, cells started to die and her heart became more and more stretched out. It is sort of like an elastic band. The more you stretch it, the looser it becomes. If you stretch it over and over, past where it should be stretched to it gets bigger and bigger, loses its elasticity and then one day it breaks. Our hearts aren't much different. Lauren's heart had a huge amount of cells die, resulting in dead heart tissue and a baggy sack as a left ventricle three times the size that it should be. This makes it harder to pump the blood out as well.

Imagine that your heart is a sandwich sized ziploc bag with a cup of water in it. If you squeeze it, most of the water will come out without too much of an issue. Now imagine that Lauren's heart is a large freezer sized ziploc bag with that same cup of water in it. When it is squeezed, most of the water remains in the bag.

As Lauren's heart has recovered, there are still parts of her large ziploc bag heart that aren't squeezing. Those parts are either dead or still sleeping. But there are parts that were still on her earlier echos that are now starting to move. And we have watched her numbers increase as her heart muscle starts to reshape and restructure. We have watched Lauren's ejection fraction go to 15%, 23%, the high 20s, 35% and now around 40%. There is still a long way to go and her heart is still quite stretched out but praise the Lord for the amazing healing that He is working!


I have a hard time with waiting. I know that this will take a long time but I want to know what the outcome will be. Sometimes I get frustrated with not knowing if her heart will be efficient enough to let her dance or run or play hard. Yet if I look at what she has done and the miracles that have happened, I know that her healing will be enough for her to live and that is what is most important. I will continue to pray for complete healing and for patience for myself. I don't want to worry about the what ifs of her life, I want to hold on to what is.

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