Sunday, February 23, 2014

Home Is Where The Heart Is...

... The rest of him is there, too!

Brief update of the past week.  On Monday, February 17th, Michael was transferred from the 8th Floor ICU, to the 12th Floor, which is fairly intermediate care and nothing like ICU.

On Thursday, February 20th, he had his second biopsy.  The results were a zero, showed no sign of rejection and he recovered from this one much quicker than the first one.

Friday, February 21st was a L O N G day for him.  He was both anxious and nervous to be leaving the hospital.  PICC line was removed, Pacer wires were removed, and medications were picked up from the pharmacy for the first month.  Finally, he and his Sister were on their way!  (approximately 2 1/2 weeks from transplant)

Visitors and germs will continue to be a big issue, since his immune system is compromised.  He isn't with me, so this will be up to him and his Sister and will be a vital part of his recovery.  I'm crossing my fingers, hoping they learn to be tough and say "NO" to potential contamination.

This journey is far from over, but I would like to thank everyone for the prayers, good thoughts and support!

Here are a few photos.  Thank you to Cindy P. for the beautiful heart she sent us for Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

More Words Than I Have Energy For And Lots Of Photos

***Note:  Look closely as you scroll through the photos.  There is one in the mix that may not stay there long, but you will see the significance to my posting it.  Once again we would like to thank the donor that made this possible.

I don't have the energy for a long explanation of the past... ummmm... let me count... 10 days by the time I finish this.

Superbowl Sunday, we spent the day at the hospital and arrived home at midnight.  At 12:20am, Monday, February 3rd, twenty minutes after getting home, the call came.  Nurse Debbie, who Michael knew from his much younger years, was the one to make that call.  We had speculated how we would feel when it came, but let me say this... MY HEART WAS POUNDING LIKE CRAZY AND HUBBY IMMEDIATELY GOT A STOMACH ACHE FROM NERVES.  I was still dressed from the morning prior and hubby threw a shirt back on and skipped the shower he was about to take.  We had been exhausted when we got home, but the adrenalin kicked in and kept us moving.  Thank heaven there was no traffic on the road at that hour.  We were told he was scheduled for 5:30am and that they hadn't told him yet and would wait for us to get there. (I started calling the family)

When we showed up on the floor, they immediately told us he had been rescheduled for around noon and was sleeping.  Knowing how he was going to feel when the call came, I had no intention of waking him up to tell him until it was necessary.  I planned to let him sleep as long as he could, because he isn't a good sleeper to begin with and the news was going to send him over the edge.  His door was open enough for me to peek around the curtain without disturbing him, but he immediately saw my feet and then my face.  He wasn't sleeping!  He said, "Mom? what are you doing here???"  I said, "They have a heart".  He said, "WHAT???"  I repeated myself.  He said (pardon my bluntness) "You're effing sh!tting me?!?"  Nope, I wasn't.  To say he was a little freaked out would be an understatement, but he handled himself and his nerves, very darn well.

Family made it with plenty of time to spend before they took him down. (1pm)  Due to all the recent surgeries and procedures, they had work to do before the heart arrived.  Once the heart was on site the actual transplant didn't take very long, but bleeding kept him there for a bit.  They weren't sure they would be able to close him up, but after the bleeding was under control they closed him and sent him to recovery.  His nurses were awesome!  Special thanks to Alex & John for making us comfortable on that first night in recovery.  You guys were awesome, even if John did shave his face naked, including his mustache... which hasn't been shaved in about 25 years.  Too bad he didn't shave his head, which desperately needed it.  We all got to see him before we left to get some much needed rest.

He was technically ready to leave CVICU on Wednesday, but someone from ER took the room they were trying to hold for him in his favorite wing.  He let someone else take an available room on the other wing and opted to wait for his.  His nurses did some maneuvering and managed to get him back in his home away from home on Friday.

He has encountered some problems.  First it was his lungs and they thought he might have an infection.  They tried to sedate him for a bronchoscopy and COULD NOT GET HIM SEDATED and had to cancel it.  We held him down for three hours after the attempted sedation and he hasn't been in his right mind since.  He couldn't sleep and hardly even closed his (wild) eyes at all, he was paranoid, hallucinating, delusional, seeing people that weren't there, carrying on conversations with people that weren't there, talking and moving his hands like he was at work, etc...  A psych consultation and them being able to give him something that finally allowed him to sleep has made a big difference.  Wednesday morning they took him down for a new PICC line in his arm and removed the central line in his neck, he was able to do the bike machine for about an hour and a half and stayed in the chair for most of the day.  Was back in his right mind and very glad to be there.  All IVs (except for occasional ones) are out and he is taking oral meds now.  We are ALL hoping to move forward with his recovery process.  First biopsy tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!

I hope to be back to see everyone soon.  I miss you!

Now for some photos...

And one more heart photo that came in after I posted.

Monday, February 3, 2014


If you pray, please say a prayer for Michael, as well as the heart team and a special prayer of thanks to the donor and their loved ones.

I'll try to let you know something as soon as I can!