I finally had a chance to talk with one of the doctors today. He explained a bit, and I'm not sure I have it all straight, but I'll share what I have (any medical friends of mine reading this, feel free to correct me or enlighten me further, please).
It seems that the hole in his heart IS the significant problem afterall, and that that has something to do with the right side of his heart being enlarged. Typically the left side is larger (thicker), because it pumps blood to the whole body, and the right side pumps only to the lungs. (We're learning so much!). The lungs act to filter small clots.
There is a change in direction of flow of blood within David's heart that has made his right side work harder and thus become bigger. The way the doctor put it today, the right side finally said, "Enough!" and shifted some back to the left, and that's when the stroke happened.
They're continuing to run tests on his heart not so much to figure out the cause but to figure out where to go from here. His body has adjusted to his heart being this way, and, although the hole is a problem, just going in and patching it might be a BIGGER problem.
He is regaining more and more movement as each day goes by. He is now able to raise his arm above his head, so he has shoulder movement. I saw improvement today in his ability to grasp with his left hand - could do it yesterday but not as well as today. His knee has a lot of movement, but often not well controlled. He still has no movement in his foot.
I was there today when PT came and got him up using the walker, and was pleased to see he went a few feet further than Sunday night. They also had him doing some exercises in bed to work on balance and strength. They are very impressed with his progress.
On the down side, because of that work the headache he had finally gotten rid of came back, and he's been feeling really miserable all afternoon because of that. In this whole ordeal it's been the headaches that have bothered him most. They're quite intense, and it bothers him that they keep him from being himself.
Originally the heart cath was going to be yesterday afternoon, then this morning, then at noon today, now we hear it is to be early evening. We are so eager to hear the report and to know a little more clearly what the future holds.
In my next post I'll try to share some of the small miracles we are seeing everyday in the way God is orchestrating things in our lives. Some really cool things happened today, but I'm too tired to share the stories well now. I'll be sure to get them up soon.