Wow...the day is here and even though I'm sitting here in the hospital, I still can't believe it. Danny got the call from Ochsner about 3:30 Monday afternoon and jumped in the car and headed toward New Orleans. His family and I followed him a little later.
Danny was put in an ICU bed/room to wait for the heart to arrive and surgery to begin. His transplant is more complicated than regular ones because he has the mechanical heart pump (LVAD) attached to his. The pump must be removed before the transplant process can begin.
The nurse told us that the surgery was scheduled to start between 11:30--midnight. She said the pre-op stuff would start at 9:45. He had an enema, a sterile bath, and brushed his teeth. Then he laid back down and continued to wait. I was thinking that it felt like I was in a prison movie about "dead man walking" on death row. Just sitting there thinking, praying, contemplating, last minute talks/information feels very strange. I didn't dare mention my "dead man walking" feeling to Danny because that just doesn't seem very comforting and encouraging but the unbelievable happened!!! He asked the nurse if she wanted to hear something weird and then went on to tell her how he felt like he was an inmate on death row forced to face a countdown and the very serious issues related to that. I still can't believe that we were feeling the same thing!!!!
The pre-pre-op procedures in the room went fine and then three doctors came to whisk him away. He was trembling and I hated to leave him.
The surgery will last at least 6 hours. He will recover in the ICU for a week or two and then go to the transplant step down unit for a week or two. Lastly we will go to an apartment or hotel near the hospital for about 6-8 weeks while he recovers at a safe (meaning close!!!) distance from the hospital.
Maggie and Charlie will go to school because they both start mid-terms tomorrow (today). We can't forget to pray for them because this is suuuuper hard on them.
Maggie turned 14 in September shortly after Danny had the LVAD placed. We had her birthday party at Ochsner so Danny could attend. Get this... Charlie's 12th birthday is on Wednesday (12/18) and if we have a party it will be here at Ochsner's just like Mags. I bet not many families can boast of that accomplishment!!
Gonna try to get a little sleep. It's 2:52 am now...
O geez. I thought I posted before I fell asleep but I didn't. Now its 5:57 am, Danny's still in surgery, and this waiting room is filled with people who just got here and appear to be sleepy. Hhhhmmmm...I"ve been sitting here all night!
When he had the LVAD put in, Danny had 2 chest tubes (a drain tube that sticks down into his chest cavity through a hole in his abdomen and drains blood or other fluid out into a measurable container. We were told he will have between 5-7 drain tubes for this surgery. Those aren't comfortable!
I will update again when I have news from a doctor.