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.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Improving - Regular Days?

12/10/2009 - 12/12/2009
On Friday Tyler was able to do more laps walking around the 12th floor of the hospital. He is still using a walker and it causes his foot to swell but he is getting better and better. He also got into trouble for re-arranging the furniture in his room (a no-no for open heart surgery patients). He is also now off the IV and only taking his medication by pills. So now he only has the LVAD controller and EKG monitoring wires to deal with.

Tyler also told the staff to get rid of the contraption above his bed. Since he had leg surgery, one of the doctors ordered a pull-up device to hang over his bed so that he could use his arms to get himself out of the bed. Tyler said he wasn't going to pay for its use since he shouldn't be using his arms like that (due to open heart surgery), and that it was ridiculous that it was ordered.

We also got to put on our rings again. Lucy and I were able to take him out in a wheel chair to look at the Christmas lights around the hospital. It was a 30 minute excursion but nice to get him out of his room. Of course we also got to have excitement when we got back to his room. Tyler and I were switching from batteries to the main power unit. The system controller has two leads that supply power to his heart pump. I disconnected the first lead and at the same time Tyler disconnected the battery from the other lead. The "red heart alarm" went off, which means we stopped his pump. Within one second we had the power back to the pump and I collapsed into a chair....sweating. So, we got to experience the top level alarm in the hospital, didn't panic, and got power back to the pump. We also learned that only one person at a time should be fooling with the cables. I feel I'm comfortable changing the power source and will just let Tyler do this from now on.

Oh, and Tyler is not going to the 17th physical rehab floor now because we were told the nurses on that floor are not currently trained on LVAD patients. No, wait a minute, he should be able to go to the 17th floor according to one of the transplant surgeons. Ahhhh, the confusion continues. Hopefully he will make it to that floor soon or better yet out of the hospital.

Early afternoon Tyler and I got to take a nap together. Both of us were exhausted and Tyler had just done 6 continuous laps around the 12th floor, using his walker. The side effect though is being worn out and his foot swelling again. During the nap Tyler had a dream about having a heart attack. I still can't imagine what it must be like for Tyler.

Tyler and I went on another excursion outside the hospital and I'm hoping the next excursion will be to go further down the street. Maybe get a Starbucks coffee, eat at Chipolte, or have lunch somewhere together.

Got a call from DJ that there wasn't any water pressure in the house. He had already called Dave and Karen (from across the street). Sounded like a main broke or pipe burst. I could only imagine how much flooding was taking place.

Found out it was the water supply to the sprinklers. There is a valve in the crawl space that I turn off in the winter every year. There wasn't a pipe that burst, just a connector hose outside that supplies water to the sprinklers. DJ was able to go into the crawl space and turn off the valve and Dave helped to start getting the water that was pooling next to the house pumped out into the yard.

So, all crises have been averted for today. I had a moment where I thought about all the positive things that are happening around us, instead of just the horrible things. The most important is the friends and family that have jumped into action along with us or have been ready to jump in when called upon. Also all of the wonderful people in Houston (nurses, staff, bankers...) that have worked with me to protect as best as possible our interests. And the chance once again for Tyler and I to drive each other crazy. Okay, I'll be nice, the chance for Tyler and I to start moving towards getting back to Denver and starting our lives again....whatever that life may turn out to be.

Tyler was put on some medication for the foot swelling and bed rest was ordered today. The swelling has gone down a lot. I've booked another flight to run back to Denver towards the end of this week. This will give me a chance to do a couple of work things I can't do in Houston and to pick up some more of Tyler's stuff for when he is released from the hospital (hopefully in another week!).


  1. Robert, it was so good to finally meet you last week (it already seems like ages ago!). And Tyler, I cried like a little girl, again, after I talked to you the day of the fundraiser (crying, now, I'm such an emo-loser!) Can't wait to give you a (gentle) hug, and that could be soon, as, it looks like you may be home soon. Looking forward to fattening you up (healthy food, of course!) xoxo

  2. Can I just say that from a CVICU nurse... you just made MY heart STOP as I read this blog... NO MORE RED ALARMS!! Susan Cseri ( Busco)

  3. LOVED being with you two and being able to witness all the hard work and progress! :) WOW :) This is only temporary!