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 waiting for the "phone call" is difficult, but we know our medical team is looking for the perfect match. We have confidence in them and find comfort in it.
Click on the link below to read an article about a new technology for heart transplant at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.