Thursday, November 21, 2013

Moving forward

Hello again lovely people of the Internet.  Its been a bit since I last updated you all and a lot has happened.  We moved! I can eat some food!!! and some time has passed.  I am doing pretty well.  I feel tired almost all the time and sleep quite a bit.  I know I am getting better but some days it is hard to see. I also find it a bit difficult to grasp the concept that one day I will be better.  I will be able to run and dance, swim, laugh,, you get the point.  I know the day will come when I look back and this is all just a distant memory but in the moment it is hard to imagine and truly believe.  And yet, I can look back and remember my hospital days when I felt even the small progress I have made wouldn't happen, heck a week ago I couldn't even eat and felt the day I could eat would never come, but it did!

My first meal!
Yes you are correct I can officially eat food.  I am not back to normal eating but I am aloud what is called a chopped diet.  I call it soft foods.  It has opened up many doors for me and I definitely feel better knowing I can have some food go through my mouth.  I have my next swallow test on Tuesday and am hoping I get cleared for thin liquids so I can finally have something to drink, that isn't thick and gooey.

I finally got some pics from the hospital and of my staples for those of you who want to see that.  The picture bellow is from the hospital.  The tubes you see are some of my chest tubes.  I think I had 7 total, though as I count the holes now there may have been 8, either that or one of them split into what looks like 2 holes.   In the bottom right corner there is a red blob.  This was one of my chest tubes.  I had 2 tubes like this one.  They were smaller than the others and had a little ball thing attached to them and they drained right into that.  The rest of my chest tubes were connected to these big plastic containers that kind of reminded me of the thing people use to test pool water.  I am not really sure if there is such a thing, as I am no pool expert, but I feel like I have seen people checking the water with a rectangular shaped box that scoops up the water and then has different chambers that are different colors.  If you know what this is than great you now have an idea of what the chest tube drain boxes looked like and if not, or if such a thing doesn't exist, I just described it so you are set too!  The next picture is of my incision line.  I have staples in for now.  I tried to count them, quite a difficult task, and I think there are about 100 of those pesky little buggers in me.  They really aren't that bad, probably due to the fact that I am still partially numb around my incision, but they do pinch on occasion and I am looking forward to getting them out. (Which should be in the next few weeks here.  I am at week 5 post surgery already, can you believe it!?!)

Pretty cool huh?

Mom and I have begun to settle into our apartment and our new routine.  Its funny because I thought I would be giving stuff up and have a less complicated medical regimen after transplant, just a bunch of pills right?....WRONG.  I have WAY more to do now than ever before.  Luckily I think as I continue to get better and as time passes the regimen will get less and less.  Being able to swallow my pills will also add to the easiness, its a little hard to put liquid meds in a pill box!  Each week seems to bring lots of procedures.  Just when I think I have had every medical procedure known to man done to me, my doc surprises me with another procedure for me to do.  This past week brought my usual monday morning blood draw, x-ray, pfts (pulmonary function test) and blood gas.  Then I also had a bronchoscopy done and finally the easiest thoracentises I will ever have.

For those of you who do not know a bronchoscopy is a test where they put a smallish tube down your nose or mouth and into the lungs.  The tube has a light and a camera on it so the doctor can see the inside of the lungs.  They can then clear out mucous from the lungs, simply look around and take tissue samples.  The bronch is the only way they have so far to check for rejection.  I will automatically have one done 3,6,9 and 12 months after my surgery and then once a year for the rest of my life.  The bronch I had this week showed some mild rejection so I will have another one in a few weeks to check and see if the treatment for my rejection was successful.  They have a few different ways to treat rejection.  Since mine was only mild and it is my first time I got to be treated with a high does of iv steroids and then an oral steroid taper back to my normal does.  I had the iv at home which was super easy.  Other than making me a bit sick to my stomach and sending my blood sugars on a nice dollar coaster ride, it went fine. 

A thoracentises is a procedure where they take fluid out of the cavity between your ribs and your lungs.     The doctor looks with an ultrasound to find the fluid and then puts in a needle to suck it out.  My last x-ray showed some fluid so I had to get it removed.  The procedure was scheduled for friday.  I went in and was sitting on the table having the ultrasound done, when the doc declared there was not enough fluid for it to be worth taking out!  That was the best news of the week, no big needle in my back, at least not yet. 

Confession time!  I typed this on Saturday, maybe even friday (its been so long I can't remember!) It is now Thursday so naturally things have changed.  This week brought another doc apt on monday (lab draw, x-ray, pfts and abg (blood gas).  We also met with the nutritionist, diabetes doc and my pulmonologist.  Things are looking good.  I also got the okay to stop the bi-pap (yay!)  As long as things keep progressing well, my doc thinks the idea of getting home by Christmas could be a reality!

This week has been a marathon of doctor visits as well.  I was able to get another swallow test scheduled for tuesday, I passed and am just waiting for the doc to give me the official okay for eating normal food and.....DRINKING!!!!  I am so looking forward to a nice big glass of thin liquid!

Yesterday I had another 24 hr ph probe test.  I will have to wait find out how that went.  Hopefully it was good and I will not be needing the stomach wrap surgery.

Well its time for rehab so I got to go.
Later ya'll!

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