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.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Progressing towards January 23rd

Yea, I said (wrote) it! January 23rd. We have decided we are driving back to Denver on January 23rd. Granted, we set this date on our own, but we have to leave Houston sometime. As great as St. Luke's and Houston has been to us, it is still about time for us to leave. We are both getting extremely homesick.

It has now been two weeks out of the hospital and things are going well medically. Tyler keeps making progress and building his strength back. It has also been about 8 weeks from the open heart surgery and his chest seems to be healing well.

Tyler had his first LVAD clinic appointment that took about three hours. While waiting on the nurses and doctors to start rounds, the clinic took on a social atmosphere as patients started visiting each others exam rooms. It confused the staff since they would show up to an empty exam room and have to find the patients in the next room. The socializing was great and the medical parts went smoothly. The doctor adjusted Tyler's Coumadin to a higher level since we are determined to eat vegetables. I know, I know....those Colorado hippies and their vegetables. As long as we have a consistent diet the doctor said they could adjust to it.

After the clinic appointment, we went to register Tyler with the Cardio Rehab department so that Tyler has a supervised cardio therapy regimen. Of course we ran into some bureaucracy with that process but just enough to remind us that we are still in a medial system. His first workout was Tuesday and he did very well. We have gone to the apartment's fitness center a couple of times to do some light work outs and have taken a couple of walks. Tyler is able to walk faster and he is no longer using the walker. We got him a cane to use instead and he is now even getting to the point of not having to use that. He is now able to take standing showers without assistance and can stand in the kitchen to prepare meals. Good news for me! A few nights ago he experienced a lot of leg pain but the next morning was able to move his toes in his right foot, so it looks like more healing is taking place. Tyler still gets worn out but his stamina is increasing. His weight is still basically the same as when he left the hospital but we were told that is normal for the first couple of weeks.

We had an appointment with the pain management doctor and the Fentanyl dosage was reduced again. Tyler is trying to reduce the amount of Vicadin he takes everyday and has now taken over keeping track of his daily meds and logging his LVAD stats everyday.

We are still filing documents with the insurance companies to try and get back the money that was spent in Mexico and working on transferring care to Colorado. The University of Colorado Hospital is waiting for more medical records from St. Luke's so that they are ready for us when we get back. For some reason there appears to be hesitation by St. Luke's to send the information and we aren't sure why. I'm hoping we can keep this process moving along since, as I mentioned before, we have set a date to go home. I think 12 weeks is long enough for a vacation.