It's about 1:15pm on Tuesday, and I just left Greg's room after getting to sit in on extensive discharge teaching from MaryBeth, who is the post-transplant coordinator. It sounds like they are planning to discharge Greg on Friday, if everything continues to go well. Isn't that amazing? :) He has been in the hospital for almost 2 solid months and now he will finally return home WITH A NEW, STRONG, HEALTHY HEART in his chest- in time to celebrate Christmas! It feels like the "play" button on their lives is finally going to get pushed again, rather than the "pause" that has controlled 2010 -- just waiting for a heart. What a liberating feeling! He brought tears to my eyes last night when he told me that he is starting to feel "curious" about things again and anxious to learn about new things. He said that for so long, he just couldn't focus and didn't want to learn anything new-- how exciting to have his mind starting to wake up again as a result of increased blood flow to his brain!
Elise and I didn't really get a chance to talk to him for too long before MaryBeth came in, but we did find out that he had a relatively good night and feels a little more rested this morning. The kidney specialist also came in and said that his kidney function is continuing to improve and that he will not need further dialysis!! The dialysis catheter in his chest will be removed! YEAH!!!
They did an EKG this morning which will probably determine if they can remove the external pacemaker wires that are still in his chest - that is looking good too! His next cardiac biopsy will be on Thursday and if it shows no/ extremely minimal rejection again, they won't do one for two weeks, but otherwise he will have a repeat in one week. His medications/ steroids will be adjusted according to the results of those biopsies.
And more good news is that so far, his blood sugars have been pretty much under control and since they are in the process of decreasing his steroids, it's possible that he won't even have to be checking his blood sugars at home, as he had initially been told that he would.
They are ordering visiting nurses to come and see him a few times a week for a week or two, to monitor his incisions and his overall condition. If needed, they can also order home physical therapy. After three months, they will do a stress test, and he will then start cardiac rehab. Until then, he is encouraged to continue to move and walk as tolerated at home. Cardiac rehab will bring more intense, monitored exercise and weight lifting to strengthen his muscles.
It sounds like alot more things become possible after that three month mark - of course all dependent on his status at that point. It's just exciting to hear how many things he WILL be able to do and so much to look forward to. SO AMAZING!!
That's it for now! Just wanted to give you today's update - as always, thank you for your prayers - know that they are being answered!
Love to you all,