Today is April 26, 2018. Den was released from the hospital last night! We made it home in time to have dinner with Em and get Marg off toward home before dark. Here is what happened in the last few days. I will resume the back story of Den’s LVAD journey tomorrow. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress, like your favorite post and share us with your friends and family. You never know who it is that needs this kind of positive medical outcome to keep their faith in doctors/hospitals from failing. Thanks again for coming along on this bumpy road!
Monday, April 23, 2018
Den is not sleeping at night and only getting a few short naps during the day. He is more combative and lashes out verbally when he is sleep deprived so the staff are now offering him melatonin every night to help.
Nichole from the LVAD team was in this morning. Den’s blood thinning levels were too low and she was going to up his Warafrin to help get it back into range. Den needs to be in a range from 2.0 to 3.0, he was at 1.6 now and this needed to be corrected. She also adjusted one of his meds to bring his blood pressure up a little…hopefully that will also help with the pump fluctuations. Den did have some pump fluctuations during the day but not much else happened. The test from Friday had not been read, so we were playing the waiting game…again. Den is eating well and actually likes the food…I have to say it’s not bad.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Den’s weight is 297 this morning. He is still not sleeping and it is taking a toll on us both…when Den doesn’t sleep well, neither do I. Nichole was in again. Den’s blood thinning levels were still too low. An IV medication had been ordered that would ensure that while his levels were too low he would not form any blood clots. His numbers had only gone up to 1.7 with the new dose of Warafrin. Not long after she left the heart failure team stopped in to see us. This is the group that needed to read the very specific echo that Den had done on Friday. Just to give you an idea how specialized this test was…there is only one tech in the entire complex that can do the exam and only two people that can read the test. We had to wait until today for the results. The doctor from the heart failure team ordered a CT with contrast to check the placement of the LVAD pump, outflow and inflow clanulas and outflow tube condition and the ventricular space around the inlet of the pump. This scan would show us all of the heart and pump so we could move forward to solve Den’s problems with pump fluctuations. The doctor did not rule out the need for another series of tests if the scan didn’t give them enough information.
The new IV was started just after noon and Den would need to have a blood draw every 6 hours to make sure his levels remained in a safe range. Transport came to get Den for the CT around 5 PM. He was gone for all of 30 minutes. The IV site (which he had 2 at this time) for his meds was becoming painful, so the nurse switched to the other access site and removed the one in Den’s left arm.
I talked Den into asking for some Tylenol to help with the headache he had come back from the CT with…it wasn’t bad, but nagging. And I knew he needed to sleep and maybe, just maybe, it would help with that too.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Den and I slept very well last night. We even managed a quick nap after breakfast, curled up together in his bed. We both needed the sleep and our general demeanor and attitudes are greatly improved. We are ready to face whatever the day throws at us!
Around noon, Justin from the LVAD team, came in to let us know that the CT from yesterday was clear. There were no kinks in the outflow tube or obstructions (ie blood clots) in either the pump or canula (really good news). The plan was for Den to be released with some adjustments to him meds and for a very close monitoring of him at home for about a week. I would be emailing/calling the team with daily updates to make any adjustments that are needed. So we finally got out of there around 4PM and surprised Em at the library. I texted her asking her to go outside for a surprise I had set up for her. When she saw her dad, she beamed one of the biggest smiles I have seen in a very long time. I told her that I would come get her after her knmeeting and we would pick up something for a welcome home dinner. Now we are just having a “normal” family evening of TV, computer and later some much needed sleep in our own beds. You never know how much you love your bed until you don’t get to sleep in it for over a week.
We have a follow up with the LVAD team in 2 weeks to make sure all of the medication changes are taking Den in the right direction. Our biggest hope is to keep Den out of the hospital for another year! Fingers crossed!