Summer is over and Jeri and I made the best of it by traveling to one of our favorite places in Minnesota several times. Our daughter and her family were here visiting from the Finger Lakes region in New York, along with my son and his family from the Twin Cities. This coincided with a family reunion. Along with a couple of major projects on our house, it was a full summer.
This past week I had my quarterly follow-up at the U of MN Medical Center; a day filled with appointments. We received some good news and some “more concerning” news. The results of a right heart catherization showed that the LVAD is operating exactly as it should. The pressures in the heart are good and the blood flow that was anticipated prior to implant is there. Over the last month, there has been some irritation to skin surrounding the dressing over the site where the external controller connects to the implanted pump. This reaction to dressing adhesives has caused much redness, tenderness and itching. Daily dressing changes are required to help relieve this. Other than this inconvenience, the LVAD pump is functioning wonderfully..
Over the years, there has been some chronic kidney issues. It was hoped that the pump and its increased blood flow to the organs would reverse that. However, 15 months since implant, that is not the case. We were told this week that there is a very high probability that I will need a kidney transplant in addition to the heart transplant. More evaluation is needed before a final decision is reached. This will require several more trips to Minneapolis and more doctors’ bills. I am asking for your support and encouragement at this time and, if possible, financial assistance in reaching the transplant dollar goal. Once again, I thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.
Jun 27, 2017
A year goes by very quickly. At this time last year, it had been 12 days since the LVAD surgery and I was transferred to transitional care. Discharge came on July 1, 2016 (our 38th wedding anniversary) and we spent the entire month of July living within 15 minutes of the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Those days proved to be difficult needing fluid drained off of my lungs twice, a bad episode of gout and starting cardiac rehab with the most difficult physical effort I have ever experienced; doing the initial 6-minute walk.
Little by little, strength returned and I realized energy I had not experienced for more than 2 years. The LVAD has proven successful. Although I still tire easily, I am able to work 4 hours a day, needing the afternoon to rest. I no longer sleep 2 to 4 hours in the afternoon and am able to enjoy working again towards completing an acoustic guitar I began building more than 3 years ago.
I've had some setbacks with nosebleeds that have taken days to get under control, a couple of gout attacks and a lengthy battle with a headcold, but everything looks good from the standpoint of the effectiveness of the LVAD. The biggest challenge for me in this transition period before transplant is to maintain good health with diet and exercise. I need to be as strong as possible for the day when the phone rings and I'm told there is a heart. We don't know when that day will come and there are continuing medical costs during this time and during the time after transplant. Any support offered is greatly appreciated. Thank you to everyone for your support, thoughts and prayers. They mean so much to Jeri and I.
Feb 25, 2017
Winter 2017 has had its challenges...recurring head colds and a nose bleed which took 24 hours to get under control followed by 4 days of bed rest to keep it from starting up again. Sometimes the...
Jan 23, 2017
30 days on 1A status ended, so now I am back to the status of 1B. The LVAD continues to work very well. I am still working part time, 3 hours a day--15 hours a week. At this writing, I have had a...
Dec 23, 2016
At this time of year, it is good to look back and acknowledge those who have impacted your life. I wish to acknowledge and thank all of you who have greatly impacted my life by your support;...
Nov 28, 2016
Tomorrow only (Nov.29): your donations will have a greater impact than ever before!! In honor of #GivingTuesday, HelpHOPELive will cover the credit card fee for all online gifts!
Nov 18, 2016
Fred has had a setback on his journey to transplant. I took him to ER Wednesday morning with a nose bleed that wouldn't stop. He was then referred to Willmar where he underwent cauterization. It...
Nov 13, 2016
It was at this time of year in 2014 that I noticed a dramatic decrease in energy levels that were affecting everything in daily life. It caused me to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist...
Oct 07, 2016
Two weeks ago I had the 3-month follow up to the June LVAD surgery and everything looks good. My cardiologist felt I had healed enough to present me to the the transplant team to discuss my status...
Aug 29, 2016
On August 31, it will be 12 weeks since LVAD surgery. My home recovery is continuing with daily activity, many rest periods and cardiac rehab. I am already walking at a faster speed on the...
Aug 05, 2016
After 8 weeks, we are finally back home to continue recovery and get used to this new normal. Slept all night for the first time since surgery in our own bed!
Jul 27, 2016
Good news! Today marks 6 weeks since Lvad surgery! Fred is doing so much better with all that fluid off his lung! Almost 3 Liters!! He is also beginning to feel the difference the Lvad is making...
Jul 22, 2016
Another morning having fluid removed from around the left lung. This time 1.5 liters were drained bringing the total drained since surgery to 2.8 liters. Imagine a 2 liter bottle of soda and almost...
Jul 20, 2016
The gout flare-up is under control. Because the swelling has subsided, I was able to wear real shoes on Monday, the first time since June 13. Everything is healing well with the exception of more...
Jul 16, 2016
A trip to the emergency room highlighted this morning. Because I've had swelling continuously in the left ankle and some acute pain over the last few days, the LVAD Coordinator suggested to get it...
Jul 11, 2016
With fluid off the lung, I have been able to breathe easier which has allowed me to relax. I was able to easily sleep a couple of hours today and am looking forward to a restful night's sleep
Jul 11, 2016
Since surgery 4 weeks ago, Fred's breathing has been exhausting for him. Walking has been an effort. Today they removed 1.3 Liters of fluid off his left lung. The procedure went well. He felt...
Jul 08, 2016
Quick update...Fred will be admitted to the hospital Monday because of a complication. He has been short of breath and CT scan yesterday showed fluid around the lungs. He is scheduled for a...
Jul 08, 2016
This week has had its ups and downs. I started cardiac rehab on Wednesday and it was physically the hardest thing I've ever done. The evaluation to begin is a six minute walk to see how far I could...
Jul 01, 2016
What a great anniversary present!!! Fred gets discharged from the hospital today!! What a blessing to celebrate 38 years!
Jun 28, 2016
Monday was moving day to the Transitional Care Unit on the West Bank of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. It was also a milestone day because the mental fog of the previous 13 days finally...
Jun 25, 2016
I had a quiet restful night. Dr says everything looks good and I will be ready to transfer to the cardio rehab unit on Monday. Continued physical and occupational therapy over the weekend
Jun 23, 2016
Fred is doing well now but around noon yesterday Fred's heart went into an uneven rhythm and they needed to shock him to correct it. After adjusting some of his medications, his nurse said he had...
Jun 18, 2016
Yesterday Fred was moved from ICU to floor 6C after a little over 48 hours since surgery. He is less comfortable today but nurses reassure us his numbers look good. I watched a nurse change his...
Jun 17, 2016
After taking Fred off of the balloon pump and ventilator yesterday, we were able to talk to him as he came off sedation. Everything has been looking good, according to the nurses here. Fred was in...
Jun 15, 2016
According to the cardiology team, Fred's surgery went smoothly! Drs started implant surgery at 9:10 am this morning. The expected surgery time for Lvad is 5-8 hours. They were finishing up by 12:15...
Jun 12, 2016
Fred's surgery has been postponed until Wednesday. Two more days until LVAD. Family time has been precious!
Jun 05, 2016
What is a "Bridge to Transplant?
In very simple terms, it is an intervention that will carry the patient until an organ is available for transplant. Since June of 2015 my "bridge" has been the...
Jun 02, 2016
LVAD heart pump surgery is scheduled for June 13.
It has been almost a year since Fred has been on the heart transplant list at the U of M Hospital. Since last June, he has been dependent on an...
May 15, 2016
We were at the University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC) on May 13th for some pre-surgery tests. Surgery to implant an LVAD heart pump is scheduled for the week of June 13th. This pump will...
May 03, 2016
Jeri and I want to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who has responded on this website and to us personally; offering words of encouragement and support for us, emotionally, spiritually and...