Tyler's Heart

Pictures - Pictures from Houston.
LVAD Video - A YouTube video about living with an LVAD.
HeartMate II Video Clip - Short video clip about the pump Tyler has.

Another good blog to read is from our friend Bill. Cozumel Part 1 - This Might Be Habit Forming.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

STEMI - ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction

Tyler is starting to retain more of the current situation. Memory still foggy. Understanding what month it is, that he is on a transplant list, and that DJ is at the house taking care of the animals. Showed him Karen's (our neighbor) card that she sent from "the kids" (Toby, Bowser, Max, and Marlow). Made him cry a bit. Understands that the kids are fine. Desperately wants to go back to work, call clients, and keeps thinking he can work from home "tomorrow".

He made a comment about the LVAD controller next to him (didn't know what it was) and thought that he didn't need the LVAD power unit at the end of the bed anymore. I told him that he did need the machine and controller and that it was providing power to the pump in his heart. He seemed to accept this, but it doesn't appear that he knows he will be hooked up to these two machines for a very long time.

He was put into a chair for most of yesterday so he can get used to sitting. Is having the catheter removed and some more IV's removed. On a liquid diet and is swallowing pills instead of having them crushed up and put down his feeding tube. He still is very, very thin and a bit bony. I'm hoping he is able to start eating more and gaining back some weight. He weighs around 150 lbs., when normally he weighs around 175 lbs.

Went to the symposium at the hospital. Larry Brown (RN, BSN, STEMI Coordinator) presented information on how to recognize an ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction and proper reading of an EKG. At the end he presented some case studies for the audience (about 150 nurses) to figure out how to read the EKG he was presenting and to see angiograms of the heart begin studied. Tyler's case was presented last. "44 year old male on vacation in Cozumel. Complained of chest pain....flown to Houston...." He then showed the EKG and the audience responded by reading the EKG. He then showed the moving angiogram of Tyler's left side of his heart, before and after being in the cath lab. The audience actually gasped. He then explained that the patient was on the 8th floor recovering from LVAD surgery and doing very well for his condition. It was another surreal experience watching Tyler's left heart just sitting there, not moving.

When I went back for the 5pm visitation, I heard a bunch of nurses in Tyler's room talking to Tyler. They were negotiating with Tyler about putting him back in the bed. I heard one nurse say, "..see, there is your friend right now. And you said he wasn't coming back." Tyler responded that he figured if I wasn't back by 5pm, I wasn't going to make it. He wanted to wait so I could see him sitting in the chair.
He told me that the nurses were telling him what had been going on the past month. After he asked, I started filling him in on the events of Mexico. He was surprised that we only got one day in Cozumel and didn't know that we had gone with Bill and Heidi. I got as far as telling him about getting him to Houston, but stopped because it looked like it was becoming to much information. I did explain that we haven't been home for a month so far. He didn't like that but seemed to take it in stride.
He is worried about things "falling through the cracks". I let him know that things were being handled as best they could be, but that this was going to be a huge change to our lives and that we both could only take things day by day. Also, that his primary job was to eat and get healthy.

After he was moved back to the bed, I noticed that his wires were tangled and that his monitor was showing wild movements of his heart. When the nurse came back in I was looking at his right side. She asked what I was doing and I responded that I was making sure his drive line wasn't bent. She seemed to change her attitude towards me (from being a little to much Nurse Ratchet!). I also asked about the monitor and she explained a lead had come loose and not to worry. Hmmm, not to worry.....I wish!

At this point I'm hoping that he continues to fill in the blanks as best as he can and maybe sometime next week really "wakes" up. I also know that when this happens it is going to be extremely hard for him. He will continue physical therapy and once he can take enough steps on his own, should be moved to the 12th floor. I'm looking forward to this as the visiting times are less restrictive and I can spend more time with him.


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