Health & Parenting, Home & Happiness

July 25, 2019

Transplant Evaluation Day 4

I woke up this morning dragging myself out of bed to get my treatments done and go back to the hospital to get my heart cath done. There was some confusion about the specific order and they called the transplant team to verify since the order was written differently than the paperwork and schedule I was given. The transplant team did want the Venogram so the cardiac team decided they were going to go in through my neck and do the Venogram first, and then re-route for the heart cath if necessary. They told me about the procedure and prepped me for it, then in the actual room they got me comfortable once I was on the table and administered a little bit of Versed and Fentanyl to make me a little sleepy and to help manage the pain. They put up sterile blankets and tents on my neck and groin, in case they would have to go through my groin instead. I had to hold my head and neck to the left the entire time and they did a shot of lidocaine in my neck and then they started putting in the guider and everything else to open me up so they could introduce the catheter. They had to stop several times because they were having trouble getting it through. They told me my vitals were stable and gave me another small dose of Versed and Fentanyl, as well as another lidocaine shot because I still had a fair amount of pain from what they were doing. I got a headache and the right side of my face started hurting. They said they could not get the contrast through for the Venogram and would have to try an iv, so they got out the vein finder and attempted an iv, but it failed. They saw another vein but it was tiny and they didn't have the right size needle, so the main guy told them they can do an MRI instead and not to put me in any more pain than they had to. They continued to advance the catheter and did get some pressures from my heart, but could not get all of them. They said because of my anatomy and stenosis, they struggled and could not get it. 

I was sent back to my room to recover and took a Tylenol once the lidocaine was already wearing off, and I still had a headache.

As we were leaving the hospital we realized we had forgotten my phone charger in the post-op room and a man from the hospital called me and told me one of my labs from yesterday was mishandled and I would have to come to the lab to have it retaken. I was upset since I had just taken my port needle out like 10 mins prior and would have to have them poke my vein but thankfully the versed and fentanyl seemed to last and the lab wasn't painful. I guess they froze one of the tubes that they shouldn't have. I'm glad it was just one tube and not all 11 that they messed up, and it was pretty great of the Cancer nurse to ask if they could combine some of my labs so I could do 11 tubes instead of 14.

A few hours after my heart cath it is still hard to turn my neck, specifically to the right, and any sort of strain on it is painful whether from moving, laughing, or coughing. Thankfully I have not had a serious coughing attack to the point of making it bleed through the bandage or anything more serious. I do still have a headache but the face pain isn't so bad anymore. I feel kind of proud of myself for making it through Transplant Evaluation and I feel a lot more prepared since I know what some of the tests are like now.

Overall, they are making it sound like I'm still a little too early to be listed, but that is just my guess from the way they've been talking, they haven't directly said that. I do wonder if some of the heart things going on are more serious than what we've been able to see or find and I hope that I don't have too many serious complications that will alter the ability to have a successful transplant. I can honestly say this has been the most exhausting week of my life and I am ready for a good night's sleep. Now I just hope my body cooperates with me and that I can be patient enough to receive the decision and confident enough to respect their decision. I'm also hoping any additional testing or vaccines I might need are minimal and not much of an obstacle or painful process to get through. I am glad to still have these lungs and hope new lungs would give me a chance to live a better, and hopefully longer life.


Heart Cath 6:45 AM:
A catheter is inserted in the arm, groin, or neck and threaded to the heart to evaluate heart function, as well as assess for disease and proper heart muscle function.


1 comment

  1. Hey Sara, I'm still trying to catch up on all of these recent posts. You've been on my heart and in my prayers, of course, as usual. I love to see that smile on your face, though. Call me some time when you feel up to it! <3 Much love, I'll let you know when I'm all caught up.


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