June 25, 2012

Transplant Recovery

We're sorry for not posting in the last few days, but it's been pretty busy both at the hospital and on the home front.  We have been posting short updates and photos more frequently on Tim's Facebook page (http://facebook.com/friendsoftim) so feel free to pop over there.  You don't even need to be a member to check out the page, although having an account allows you to leave comments and messages.

In the last several days Tim has progressed well from his transplant surgery.  He was off the ventilator on Friday and spent the weekend getting stronger, going from a liquid diet to solids quickly.  He's had 2 of his 3 chest tubes already removed, with the third scheduled to be removed today.  He gradually went from about a dozen drip medications down to just one at this point.  He is scheduled to have his arterial and PICC lines removed today leaving just a central line left to both draw blood from and to administer any IV medications that are necessary from here on out.  All in all, the doctors are very happy with where things are at.

As for Tim, he's still quite sore from the surgery as would be expected.  He's gone from an on-demand pump narcotic pain drug to Tylenol every few hours to manage his pain.  He's decided he doesn't want to talk much with the doctors and nurses but is pretty communicative with mom and dad still.  He was excited to get out of bed and into a chair yesterday and was quite content to stay in the chair for as long as he could.  His appetite comes and goes, but he was like that even before surgery, often having eyes much bigger than his stomach at meals.  There are some meals that he just picks at and others where we are surprised by just how much he does eat.  He's shown some interest in playing with some Lego kits we have in the room, but with all the lines in it has been hard for him to really use his arms and hands.  Hopefully after he gets those lines out he will be better able to do things with his hands.  We've got a big Avengers Lego kit he was excited about assembling before surgery, so hopefully that will be motivation enough to get him moving.

Looking ahead, it seems as if very soon Tim will return to being just a kid who happens to be living in the hospital.  We do need to wait for the two week isolation period to come to an end before any discussions about discharge can begin, but we have been told he can likely take walks around the floor in the next day or two provided he wears a mask and gloves.  Mom and dad have their work cut out for them as they have to take a nursing crash course to not just learn about Tim's new drug regiment but also how to do things like take accurate blood pressures and other things to help keep Tim's new heart as healthy as can be.  We will have to even pass tests and spend a 24 hour period being the only ones providing Tim's care under the watchful eye of a nurse to make sure we've got everything down pat.

1 comment:

CEGWoodworking said...

Hang in there Tim. We are all pulling for you! Mom and Dad too!