The tests begin

April 10, 2016

Today they are starting the tests for Den’s clearance for surgery. We started with a cardiac output test. This was done in his room. The nurse injects a know amount of saline solution at a known temperature directly into the heart via the SWAN. They measure the time it takes for the temperature in the heart to go back to normal. They did this 3 times during the day.

He had lots of pain from the Foley…again.  The doctor ordered meds for bladder spasms and had stool softener added into Den’s meds.

Den did eat a little breakfast…cereal, banana and some juice. It’s better than nothing at this point!

Den’s first test was his Chest CT. They took him for the scan just before noon.

When the meds for the bladder spasms failed to give Den any relief, the doctor ordered for it to be removed. This meant that Den would need to use a urinal so the staff could track how much fluid was going out of his system.  If you have ever been on Lasix or any other diuretic, you know that when they kick in you had better be near a bathroom!

The LVAD team would be in to see us sometime tomorrow morning to go over the plan. So we started putting together a list of questions to ask. Things like….

  • Which LVAD would Den be getting?
  • How much education would we need before he could come home?
  • Would he be on all oral meds when discharged?
  • How long would he be in the hospital after surgery?
  • How long is the surgery?
  • What are the possible complications?


We did have a scare that ICU psychosis could be starting. Den started to hallucinate and get combative again. He was even doing things with out really knowing why he was doing it. Luckily, he didn’t do anything detrimental to himself, like pull out an IV line this time. The doctors and nurses suspected that it could also be sleep deprivation, so a sleeping aid was ordered for that night.

During this time the staff were working to Den’s INR, his blood clotting factor, into a specific range to prepare him for surgery. It had to be within range and stable for 3 days prior to surgery.

Den did eat lunch and dinner after I reminded him that he could not even have water after midnight. The sleep aid apparently worked because he “slept like a rock” that night.

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