Greg had an uneventful day and night for the most part. They have been focusing on getting fluid off of him and it has been successful. As of this morning, they have removed about 7000 cc (7 liters) of fluid from his body. Unfortunately, his kidneys haven't really started working too well yet - only about 2 tsp of urine/ hour. Please pray today that they "wake up" strong and healthy. There is some concern that he might have some degree of kidney damage after all this, due to the extremely high doses of diuretics he needed to keep him alive preoperatively and the situation he is in now. It's our prayer that the damage would be very mild, and not affect his daily life, and from what we've been told, we have every reason to believe that will be the case.
His new heart is dealing with all this fluid volume very well apparently. They have had his temporary pacemaker on continuously, so I haven't seen too much of his own rhythm. They did do an EKG this morning and an echocardiogram yesterday and I'm anxious to hear from the doctor about both of those. They have had no problems maintaining very good blood pressure while removing large quantities of fluid from his body thru dialysis, so that's a good sign. He was supposed to have his first cardiac biopsy on Thursday or Friday, but from what they said, that depends on if they're able to move him to the transplant biopsy lab. He is connected to MANY big, intricate machines/ connections which make it pretty much impossible to take him anywhere. The doctor who is the head of the cardiac ICU told me this morning that since he is not showing any signs of rejection, he doesn't believe that it would be a problem to wait to do the biopsy, but that will obviously be a topic of discussion with the transplant team.
His lungs seem to be functioning well and are not congested, which is a huge praise. Today, they are planning to attempt weaning him off the ventilator again and that is where we need HUGE prayers. They will have to stop giving him all the sedation in order for him to be awake enough to breathe on his own and that time in between being sedated and getting the breathing tube/ ventilator off is a really frightening time to him. Please pray that it goes smoothly and quickly and that he is able to breathe well on his own once he is taken off. This is a huge area that we need prayer for today.
A praise for today is that his "gut" seems to be waking up a little and they are hearing what's called bowel sounds, meaning that the tube feeding he is receiving is actually moving through his stomach/ intestinal tract, allowing him to receive some much needed nutrition. He has not really had anything of substance to eat since last Wednesday and this is so important to aide in his healing. The fact that he is on high dose steroids makes it harder to heal as well, so nutrition is really important.
I'd also ask for prayer for Smitty today as he travels back down to be with me. It will be SO good to have him here again. Plans are being made for Tim and Nate to be brought back down again this weekend too. Please keep them in your prayers - they both have difficult academic weeks this week and with all this travel and constant worry about Greg, I'm sure it's hard to concentrate.
Elise and I are doing OK - we have gotten some sleep the past two nights while Greg was sedated so heavily, so that helps. Her mom, Rosemary, has been here all week too which is so nice for Elise. Today feels like it will have some challenges so please just pray that we are strong and optimistic and that we can remember the sweet feelings of blessing from Thursday. The same God who orchestrated all of that is in charge of today and all that it holds and we can trust that He will carry Greg and us through!
Thank you again for your sweet notes of encouragement and your prayers. You make a difference in our lives on a daily basis. I will let you know later how things are going.
With sincere appreciation and love,