Monday, April 29, 2013

Bees Bluebonnets and Blahs

I've had a bad case of the blahs and it's been hard to find the energy to read the blogs I follow, much less make a post.  

Mike is doing pretty good.  At clinic last Wednesday, they recommended him to a neurologist for the pain and numbness in his left leg and an opthalmologist for his failing vision.  This weekend his right leg began swelling again.  I'm ready for some peace and quiet from the constant worry.

Enough about that for today.  I haven't been anywhere away from the house to take photos, however, our bluebonnets in the backyard were able to capture my attention on two different occasions.  The bees were working overtime and provided a brief diversion.  I miss using my camera and need the opportunity to get back to trying to figure it out.  I've already forgotten so much!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

To Bleed Or Not To Bleed...

...That is the question!

After two weeks, Michael came home from the hospital on Wednesday.  He ended up with a completely blocked vein in his right leg, which caused them to have to go in both sides for the catheter ablation.  He also ended up with a hematoma/bleed in his lower abdomen, which is causing quite a bit of pain.  They are hoping it will break down and resorb into his system, eventually, since doing anything else invasive would likely cause the same results.  Clotting has been a huge obstacle in this journey, since the beginning and he also tested positive for the heparin antibodies... again.

When he was transferred to St. Luke's from the hospital he started in, his leg looked like this.  I won't even mention what else was swollen. (no, there are no photos, either)

I was worried it would end up looking like that after the ablation, but thankfully it didn't.

He has to go to the clinic (Friday) for more blood work.  His Coumadin levels are watched like crazy, since clotting could effect the mechanics of the pump.  Plus, they are monitoring his blood to watch for changes that indicate internal bleeding.  He just told us today that one of the LVAD coordinators was wanting to get him listed for transplant, so he could be accruing time, should that be the direction this ends up going.  I still refuse to allow myself to believe he will do anything other than recover with his own heart.  I just can't.

Since we are now considered experienced with his care, he was allowed to leave the hospital on his own steam and not in that dreaded transport chair.  He hated that chair!  His sweet nurse walked us out and circulatory support wasn't even called.   

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments, emails and prayers!  Your support is greatly appreciated. 


Saturday, April 6, 2013


Michael has been experiencing a few glitches the past couple of weeks.  The last one put him back in the hospital.

On Tuesday morning, when I went in to give him his meds and do pump readings, Michael said his heart was racing and he didn't feel like getting up.  After I finished, I turned the light off and just let him try to rest.  My sister called him and wanted to take him to look at her new house and he was going to give it an honest effort and try to go.  When he came out of the bathroom, he looked deathly.  I slapped the cuff on him to see if we could get a reading.  His pressures were low, but his heart rate was HIGH.  We notified the LVAD coordinator and she said our readings were probably inaccurate and for him to drink some water, which he did.  Since he goes to clinic on Wednesdays, he knew he would be going the next day and didn't want to make an extra trip.

The heart rate continued to be high the entire time, until he went to clinic on Wednesday morning.  Mind you... HE WALKED THE ENTIRE WAY, and it's a LONG WALK from the parking garage to the clinic and he did it without the walker, even in the condition he was in.

When he got to clinic, they did the usual blood work (and more blood work) and hooked him up to their equipment for detailed  readings, etc.  They tried to tell him his heart rate was 60 and he said he saw 160.  They said it wasn't.  He said he begged to differ with them.  The doctor told him the best way for them to get an accurate reading, was to do an EKG, so they did.  At the time they did it, his rate was 156, which was the last reading I had gotten!  The doctor said his rate had probably been higher the day before, (when I was getting 199) and that if he didn't have the pump, he would more than likely be seriously down, or dead.  There was a flurry of activity, with a crowd of doctors and they sent him straight to ICU, for a cardioversion. (shock)  He had been in V Tach for over 24 hours!!!

They have him scheduled for a catheter ablation on Monday, to remove some scar tissue around the pump cannula that they think is causing the problem.  He is also testing positive for HITT (heparin antibodies), again, but they said they will work around it.  While doing the ablation, they will decide if he will need to have a defibrillator implanted.  If so, he will probably have that done on Tuesday.

In case you've missed my visits to your blogs, this is why I haven't been around.  We are hoping to have him out of the hospital and back in recovery mode, soon.