Getting ready

April 15, 2016

Den finally had a solid bowel movement today! First time since he got here. He even said he felt better afterward. (Small steps)

He had his pre-op Echo this morning. The tech took multiple images of all of Den’s heart valves.

The first med that was stopped in preparation for surgery was Den’s antidepressant, his Prozac. We found out that it takes up to 3 days for all of it to leave the body, so mood swings here we come!

We were also enrolled in another study that looks at the changes to the heart when an LVAD is implanted. All of the tests for this study would be taken care of with the Momentum 3 tests.

The LVAD team came by again and we had some questions…

  • Will Den be intubated after surgery?  Yes
  • Will he have a central line?   Yes
  • Chest Tubes? Yes – 2 to 4
  • Foley catheter? Yes

They also let us know that is was possible that Den could need dialysis after surgery. It was also possible that he could suffer right heart failure and need a RVAD temporarily. We were also told that Den was scheduled for surgery at 7AM Monday morning.  After surgery he would go to the ICU in the new building and the Step Down unit after that.

Becky called to let us know that Den would be getting the Heartmate 3! She would be by shortly to fill out all the paperwork and sign the contract.

Urology was called to do a consult, since Den’s pain with the Foley had not let up at all. He was given a full exam, including a bladder ultrasound. The exam and scan were clear and it was determined that the bleeding was from irritation to the scar tissue from a prior procedure.  We didn’t find out until he returned that he fell in the office after the exam. Luckily, there was no damage to the poor guy.

One of the cardiology doctors came in to get consent for a possible heart ablation during the implantation of the LVAD.  We talked about it with him and signed the consent.

Den finally ate something at dinnertime. He got an open-faced turkey sandwich with gravy and mashed potatoes…and he actually ate half of it!

Den had lots of visitors today. His sister, Roberta, came by and I took a walk to give them some time together. It seemed like 10 minutes after she left, I got a call from Ronnie, Den’s old work buddy.  He was pulling into the parking garage and wanted to know where to find us. I told him I would meet him outside, since there are 4 entrances and if you don’t know which one to use you can get lost very quickly. I was standing there having a cigarette, when Ronnie emerged from the parking structure. Right behind him was Buddy, another good friend from Den’s old job. Wonderful! Den going to be very surprised! Den almost cried when he saw the two of them. It made him so happy to see these friends that he left behind when he retired. They talked for hours about old times and the future. I walked them back out to their car and promised to keep them up to date on how Den was doing.

The last test of the day was an abdominal CT. When Den got back they stopped his blood thinner IV’s to continue to get him ready for surgery.


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