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.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We have to go to the Hospital.


Obviously it has been quite a while since October 2010.   Things have been going relatively smoothly since then.   There have been on again, off again issues with blood pressure and his INR (blood-clotting) levels.

Two days ago Tyler started complaining about a stomach ache.   You would think this would trigger something inside of me since it was in Cozumel that he started complaining about pain.   But we didn't know if it was something he ate, muscle strain, etc.

At 5am the next morning, Tyler woke me up and said "We have to go to the hospital now."  My reaction was simply to get up, get dressed, and go.   Okay, I did brew a cup of coffee.  Being panicked just doesn't happen anymore.  

At the ER, they started running test and put him on morphine and diloted for the pain.   His white blood cell count was up and they though it might be an infection.   I was worried that his drive line might have become infected.  Once Kathy, the LVAD nurse came, I went back to the house to take care of some things.   Then I got a call and he had appendicitis.  Man, Tyler's luck is something else!

Once I got back to the hospital (the Houston flashbacks were really starting to kick-in!), they were loading him up on Vitamin K to get his blood thicker.   Of course they took his INR in the morning and it was 2.2.  Finally got it to the right level and immediately they had to start reducing the level so he could go into surgery.

He went into surgery at about 4:40 pm and  I got to wait in the waiting room.   More flashbacks.  But, I had a good book to read.   I was asked later how I could concentrate on reading, but at this point I was just taking things in stride.   Nothing I could do at this point.

Surgery was over at about 6pm.  The appendix had not ruptured, but was seeping.   The surgeons were able to get the appendix out and clean the area up, and felt good about the surgery.  They had to do the old-fashion type of surgery (cutting instead of laparoscopy) due to not wanting to expose the LVAD to infection.   I saw Tyler in ICU and he was in immense pain.   I was told he wouldn't remember anything last evening, so I got out of there quick!   He was in good hands and I needed to get home.  Yeah!  I could actually go to my house this time!

Tyler has apologized to me for "messing-up" another celebration.   When we were in Cozumel, we were celebrating the end of my cancer.   This weekend we were going to celebrate my birthday.  Oh, well.   I more than fine with him being okay.  I talked with his mother and she asked me what I wanted for my birthday....if I had anything specific I may want.  My response was, "..in no particular order, a heart, appendix, or testicle would be just fine!".

Not sure how long he will have to stay in the hospital this time (hopefully less than 4 days).  Supposedly Tyler is the first LVAD patient to have an appendix removed.  Yeah!  Another milestone!  :-)   Tyler of course had already wooded the staff and some mentioned they couldn't wait to talk to him after surgery.  I warned them to temper their expectations.  Sure enough, right after surgery Tyler was trying to sit up, wanted to go walking, and informed the staff that the oxygen he was being given wasn't doing him any good!  I was asked if I could calm him down after relating a story about Houston in which I was called by an ICU nurse to come and calm him down.   I figured the only thing that would calm him down this time was pain meds!

He is doing well so far this morning and I think he will be fine.   He is very strong and should recover well.


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