It’s been six weeks since my surgery to implant the VAD (ventricular assist device). From Jami’s last blog post you can get a sense of the urgency associated with the surgery. I’m just so thankful that there was a plan B when my heart decided it was not going to hold out until donor heart became available. I’ve heard that almost 50% of heart transplants are a transition from a VAD to a new heart.
I was out of the hospital and back home in 7 days… really fast for a surgery this invasive.
The surgery was on March 21. Since then I’ve had two unscheduled
stays in the hospital as we try to get my coumadin (blood thinner)
dosage right. The pump can clog if the blood is too thick… that would
be bad. I’m told that the unscheduled short stays happen to everyone…
Jami can attest that being readmitted are some of my saddest times.
I’d say I’m most focused on one goal right now… staying out of the
hospital as I recuperate. I believe I’ll be picking up my activity bit
by bit as I gain strength and have less pain (the pump is not a welcome
guest in my chest and some nerves inside my ribcage really take issue
with the unwanted visitor bumping around in there).
Bright spots include celebrating Paige’s prom last week. I got be
the official photographer for a pre-prom event at Jami’s parent’s house.
…and today I had the privilege of celebrating with Reilly as she passed her driver test on her 16th birthday!!!
I’m so thankful to be getting back my stamina and feeling healthy.
My appetite is returning and I’m slowing gaining back weight which I
desperately need to prepare for the heart transplant. I’ve got some
time. It’s typically 6 months to heal from the surgery then I’ll go
back on the list and wait. Having my mobility and being able to wait at
home is a blessing but it will take time for a new heart to become
available. I’ve heard all kinds of estimates, conservatively I’m
looking at 9-18 months.
But life is sweet and I’m thankful for every day!