Health & Parenting, Home & Happiness

July 22, 2019

Transplant Evaluation Day 1

Today was my first day of transplant evaluation and I made it through! Our day started at 5:45 am, and anyone who knows me, knows I am not a morning person. Regardless of how much I planned to not overlook any appointments, it was still overwhelming initially. I was nervous about labs since I have horrible veins and the lab technician was amazed after she scanned my hands and arms and agreed that it was hard to find something we could use. Thankfully she got everything with one stick, although she had to ration the last three because my vein was over it. I had an ekg after labs which was a little off, but they didn't seem too concerned about it.

After labs I met with a nurse coordinator and she basically re-read the papers I was given to us and made sure to try to answer any questions we had. I had a chest x-ray and dexa scan to follow which was pretty successful, although I had trouble lying flat due to shortness of breath and coughing. Next I did up&go testing which was squeezing a metal thing on a chair and then standing up and walking around in a circle once and then squeezing it again. The cardiac surgeon met with us and told us about everything related to transplant and the risks and side effects of the surgery and post-tx medications. He gave us statistics and we talked about any heart related concerns I had. I was really impressed with the surgeon and liked him a lot.

We made our way to the anesthesia clinic after lunch to discuss the medications I'm currently on, as well as my health history and any previous issues with anesthesia. They also briefly talked about what the anesthesia process for transplant is and what the recovery period is like. The nurse did hear a heart murmur, which I have seemed to been having off/on.

Last we settled down to do my Echo, which I was excited about because I was exhausted from the day. I thought it would be like my previous echos, however they put an iv in so they could light up my heart better on the screen. I guess that is common to do, but I was not prepared and not excited. She fished around but settled on the same vein I had used for labs.

After we got ready to leave I went to the bathroom and had a coughing attack that almost made me throw up. There was a lady in the bathroom that asked if I was okay and if I needed a glass of water which was really sweet. I declined and she told me to get some water when I'm done, so that was kind of funny and thoughtful.

We left the hospital and went to a thrift store, but I stayed in the car since I was still feeling like I might throw up from coughing. Unfortunately, in the parking lot I saw a man get into an altercation with a woman who was clearly scared and running away from him. He was yelling at her and pushed her into a stone wall and had her pinned and she was trying to get away, so I ended up calling the cops because I didn't know how I could help her and it looked like he'd been reaching for a weapon  but he moved her to a place out of my field of vision. I saw that she had a brace on her arm and from what I had heard and seen it seemed like domestic assault. In the end, the cops arrived and patrolled the area, then called and asked me more about what was going on and mentioned they have previously received a lot of calls about the same guy but couldn't ever get there in time to find him. It was unnerving to say the least and I hope she is okay, and that she doesn't ever go back to him.

Today left some unexpected twists and turns and a little confusion with directions. I'm surprised after all of my time in the hospital, we still haven't officially learned where every test or department is. Overall, transplant seems overwhelming and exhausting but I am a little relieved that I'll be able to know how sick or healthy my entire body is. I am most nervous about discovering any heart problems with the heart cath, and not enjoying my first ABG which will be tomorrow (I've written a song about it but have never experienced one).

DAY 1 SCHEDULE: (For anyone wondering)

NPO (nothing to eat or drink)

Labs and EKG 7:00 AM:CBC with Diff, Hepatic Function Panel, PTT, TSH, Hemoglobin A1C, ABO/RH, Iron and TIBC, Rheumatoid factor, Ferritin, CMV IgG, Pregnancy Screen, CMP, PT/INR, Lipid Panel, t4 Free, Vitamin D 25 Hydroxy, Nicotine Metabolite screen, Vitamin A&E, UA with reflex and Urine colony count, TB Quanteferon

Meet with Nurse Coordinator 7:45 AM:Going over transplant forms, questions..

Chest X-Ray and DEXA Scan 8:45 AM:
The DEXA Scan is to measure bone density (how strong the bones are) and the risk for bone fractures..

Meet the Surgeon, Up&Go Testing 9:45 AM:
Up&Go Testing assesses mobility (how well you're able to move) and your risk of falling


Pre-Anesthesia Clinic 12:45 PM

Echocardiogram 1:45 PM:They use a wand on the outside of your body and press on your chest to determine how the heart is beating and pumping blood, etc..


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