Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Barber Day

Today began with labs and then a visit to the barber. This hospital & hotel feels like a small (very small) city…2 cafeterias, tons of vending machines, gift shop, pharmacy with shopping, barber, beauty salon, fitness center, PJ's coffee, art shows, live music…Today the labs went better than they have been because they only had to stick him once and no veins blew out. He decided to use his right arm today..he hasn't been using it because of the major bruising and pain he had. It;s taken almost 3 weeks for the bruising on that arm to get better.

Arm getting better!!

Nice haircut :-)

The medicines Danny's on are so powerful…the side-effects are unbelievable! He has severe mood swings, weight gain, fluid retention, extreme hunger, exhaustion, shaking (often difficult to get food into his mouth). His legs and arms feel like they are on fire from the inside and there's not a way to make that go away. That particular side-effect is from the Prednisone. In 18 years of being married, Danny has never once wanted massages but now his body hurts so badly that he would be happy if i never stopped! He was telling me yesterday that one part of the struggle he's having is the balance between being absolutely grateful for the gift of his new heart, but not always feeling "woo hoo!! happy" because of the amount of pain he's in. He feels like people will perceive him to be ungrateful to some extent if he is honest about how he feels physically. He can definitely tell a huge improvement in his heart function--breathing and chest pain--but I know he won't feel the full extent of the blessing that his new heart is until he is much more recovered from the transplant. The nurses and doctors tell him all the time that this is a marathon, not a race, and it will be a long recovery. 

So far, all biopsies have been negative, which is pretty amazing apparently. God is so good…and we know that He is answering the prayers of so many…THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!!! The doctors and nurses expect his body to reject at some point. It would be unheard of for it not to…I say lets pray about that too ! They also said that he needs to be prepared (mentally) to be in the hospital once a week for the rest of his life for rejection or other complications…wow…God can handle that too! How can someone prepare for that? That's not leading a normal life at all. 

Danny's blood work hasn't been right this past week and they have been changing the dose of one of the immune suppressants a lot. It can get to a toxic level in the body easily so they watch it carefully. The problem is that the results are not able to be seen in the bloodwork for about 2 weeks, so it's a lot of thinking and planning for the doctors and pharmacists. The immunosuppressants and Prednisone effect blood pressure, so that has to be monitored carefully also. He's not on BP medicines yet, but I think that's in the future. 

I know I've said this before, but writing this blog helps me to process and cope with information…so I repeat myself. A high concern for heart transplant patients is not necessarily related to heart problems, but all of the other problems that can result from a suppressed immune system. Various types of cancer, viruses, and other things. That's an area where we just really have to do what God says and take those thoughts and worries captive and trust Him with our fears. We must not worry about tomorrow, but rather be thankful for today. On hard days where things are just wrong…a good habit is to write a list of what we are thankful for. There are always blessings to be found. 

 He's "blossoming" is what the staff here says… :)

I was already "blossomed!!!!" 

Looking good-healing nicely!
Not happy to wake up for early
morning vitals and meds :)

I think his puffiness is cute, but he's not loving it!!

Trying to avoid a picture :)


The pharmacy downstairs sells a bunch of relaxing, lavender products and sets. I look at it all the time but never buy any because I'd rather buy stuff for Danny or the kids. Look what I got in the mail from my aunt!!! It's even from the same company in the pharmacy…yaaaay!! (Danny likes the heated neck wrap…I would have never imagined that!!) She also sent some tulips, which are beautiful! 

We've gotten gifts, cards, emails, prayers…we are so blessed by so many people. Thank you!!


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