Give thanks in all circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Has Mitchell had a high fever lately?” The pediatrician asked me while putting the stethoscope to Mitchell’s heart. As he asked me this, I began to wonder and worry why he was asking me such a peculiar question.
On a Friday, I had taken Mitch to his three year old check up. No illness had prompted me to take him. He just needed his three year old shots. As the doctor was checking out his heart, he asked me that unusual question. I told him that Mitch had not had a fever recently. However, the very competent doctor stated that he was hearing some damage to the heart that was generally caused by rheumatic fever, a fever that is usually very high for many days. Filled with emotion, I heard a personal attack which was, “Your child has heart damage due to the fact that he has had a very high fever, and you are an incompetent mom.” Defensively, I mentioned to the doctor that I was a stay-at-home mom, and Mitch was with me most of the time. Also, I told him I was a conscientious mother who would know if her son had an extremely high fever for many days. In spite of my protests, the doctor replied that he was hearing an unhealthy noise from Mitchell’s heart that required an echocardiogram on Monday. Immediately, he called in the prescription for the echocardiogram first thing Monday morning.
Concerned, I drove my car home. The first person I called was my husband. Together, we were so glad that the pediatrician cared enough about Mitch to make his heart a top priority. However, we were worried. Mitch already had an issue with his heart. When he was fifteen months old, this same doctor accurately diagnosed that Mitch had a heart murmur caused by a heart valve. Due this aortic bicuspid valve, Mitch now had to see the cardiologist regularly with the possibility of a future surgery to replace the valve. The rest of the weekend was spent informing our family and friends about the new heart concern. Prayers and encouraging words were given by our loved ones. Arrangements for our four year old son Daniel were made. The weekend dragged on.
Early Monday morning, we woke Mitch up and took him to the hospital. After checking in, the staff had us carry Mitch to the room where the machine was set up. Clad is just a diaper, Mitch watched in amazement as the technician put gel and wires and tape all over his body to hook it up to the echocardiogram. Quickly, she began the test because it was so cold in the room. Many minutes passed by before she asked my husband and me, “Why is Mitch here today?” We told her that his pediatrician had heard an unhealthy noise usually associated with rheumatic fever. At that time, the doctor walked in, and together they quietly talked to each other.
After several long minutes, he turned toward me and said, “I know what I heard on Friday, but that noise is NOT present in Mitchell’s heart now, and there is NO damage.” Mitch still had the valve issue, but the heart was working perfectly! We all rejoiced that morning for the miracle! Gratefulness filled our hearts!
I have no doubt that on Friday Mitch’s pediatrician heard an unhealthy rhythm coming from his heart. He is a wonderful doctor who truly cares about his patients. Only God knows why on Friday the doctor heard the noise, and by Monday it was gone. This emotional experience caused me to give thanks for our health and to be grateful for the family and friends who lift me up during extremely difficult circumstances.
Father God, help me to remember there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Amen.