Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First day of Cardiac Rehab - please pray

Hi everyone!

Today is Greg's first day of cardiac rehab!  It's an exciting benchmark but it's also pretty intimidating for Greg and we'd really appreciate your prayers for him today.  We'll be there from 2- 5:30pm - getting a tour, and learning about the plan they have for his rehab.  After today's initial session he will be going to rehab three times each week for twelve weeks.  Not only will they be working on his strength and getting him used to the way his new heart works, they'll also be helping him work through fears he has of getting his heart rate up.  For years he wasn't allowed to or able to exercise because of the risk of having a cardiac arrest, so this is a big change and will take some time to get used to.

The last few weeks have been a roller coaster for us.  Greg went off of four of his medications (sleep aids and pain pills) that he's been on for a long time.  After he stopped them, his body went through withdrawl which made him really sick and almost landed him in the ER twice.  He's still dealing with some lingering withdrawl symptoms but he's feeling much better than he initially did.  The exciting part is that he's thinking much clearer and has a lot more energy now that he's off the medications!  It's almost like he was in a fog mentally for a long time (his psychiatrist thinks he was being over-medicated) and he's coming out of it!  The difficult part is that the sleep aids had some anti-depressant functions and he's having a tough time emotionally - really having to constantly fight to not slip into depression.  Last week he saw his therapist for the first time since the transplant and he'll be seeing him weekly from now on, so that has really helped him with the difficult transition off the medications.  Would you pray for this?  The sudden medication changes have left him emotionally fragile, and we are so reliant on the Lord to give him strength and hope.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Hey Everyone!

Today is a really special day - Greg's 26th Birthday!  We are so thankful that he is here and able to celebrate - there were many times that we didn't think he'd be alive today!  The past for years have been filled with miraculous events that brought Greg to today - we are so blessed.

Thank you for all of your prayers, encouragement, support, and love - Jesus has used you in ways you can't imagine to keep Greg (and me!) going through dark times.


P.S.  Quick update - Greg is doing well!  His Prograf level has been fairly steady so far though we are waiting to hear results from this morning's blood test.  He seems to be recuperating well from the difficulties of the last month and is regaining his strength and stamina.  Hopefully cardiac rehab will begin next week!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fantastic News

Hey Everyone,

Things keep getting better for Greg!  He had another biopsy yesterday morning and it came back as a level 1 rejection!!!  We are thrilled to hear this because we were a bit nervous with all the medication changes and problems he had this month.  With the level 1 rejection he doesn't need any treatment and they are reducing his prednisone dose again, which is always a good thing!

He's continued to feel better and better since the weekend.  He's still sleeping a lot, but it's more like 10 or 12 hours instead of 17-19 hours.  And when he's awake he's much more alert and has better stamina - able to go up the stairs to our apartment without needing to take breaks.  It seems like the incredibly high amount of Prograf in his blood was the culprit that was making him so horribly sick, weak, and exhausted.  They've continued to decrease his Prograf because it was still a little too high in his blood work from yesterday - and they'll recheck it next Tuesday.

On Thursday he has an appointment with an Ear/Nose/Throat doctor to follow-up on the dizziness and ringing in his ears.  The next goal is for him to start cardiac rehab (it was put on hold due to the Prograf issues but in a week or so his stamina should have improved enough for him to get started).

We are so grateful that the Lord brought us through this bump in the road!  Thank you for being there for us throughout it!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Prograf Level Update

Greg's coordinator just called to say that his Prograf level dropped from 36 (Wednesday morning) to 14 this morning!  No wonder he was more alert yesterday!  It's still too high but just slightly - they want it between 10-12.  So he'll continue to hold off on taking Prograf until Saturday evening, at which point he'll start on a lower dose than he was previously taking.  They will test his blood again Monday and make any necessary adjustments.

Thankfully Greg has a young, healthy, undamaged liver so his body was able to get rid of the excess Prograf quickly!  He's wiped out today and has slept the whole day so far except for going in for the blood test, but I'm interested to see how he's feeling once he wakes up.  We'll let you know how things go Monday.  Hopefully things will continue to calm down and he'll keep doing better and better!