We are finally getting some answers!
In the past two days he has lost over 16lbs of fluid, and in all he has lost over 20lbs of fluid! With this excess fluid out of his body, his kidney function continues to improve daily, and all of the symptoms of heart failure that he was initially hospitalized for are lessening considerably. There is still too much excess fluid in his body and much of the focus right now is continuing to get the fluid off.
We had a very helpful conversation with a couple of doctors today and while we don't have all of the answers, we have much more information than we did earlier.
At this point, the doctors are strongly leaning away from a diagnosis of rejection, even though we are still waiting on the 2nd and 3rd AMR test results to come back. It is still possible that either test will be positive, or that the plasmapheresis will find an antibody that they cannot test for, but the doctors do not feel like this is likely.
The most likely cause of all of this is Cardiorenal Syndrome, which essentially means that dysfuntion in his heart is what caused his kidneys to fail. Due to a lot of factors that the doctor explained about Greg's transplanted heart, and the condition that caused his old heart to fail, Greg's heart has trouble maintaining a proper fluid balance in his body. What likely happened was that over time, fluid accumulated around his heart, effecting its ability to pump blood to other organs, including the kidney and for whatever reason, last week it got to the tipping point and he went into heart and kidney failure.
Before Greg leaves the hospital, the doctors' goal is to remove all the excess fluid so that they can get baseline information to use to keep this fluid accumulation problem in check in the future, preventing a scenario like this one from happening again. They anticipate that we will be here at least until Monday as they work on getting the fluid off, weaning Greg off IV diuretics and other IV medications, finishing plasmapheresis, and doing another right heart catherization to measure his heart function when he is "dry".
We are praying that all of these procedures and tests go as smoothly as the doctor outlined them today, and that Greg will be able to go home next week! We are hopeful that the information they have learned through this awful ordeal will lead to much better data-driven care of his heart in the future.
Please continue praying for us - we are all tired and very much want to be home! And please pray for Greg as he continues to feel poorly from all of the procedures and medications he is on, as well as the effects of the excess fluid that is still causing problems in his kidneys. Please pray that the diuretics would do their job and that he would feel better and better as the week goes on.
We are so grateful for how much better Greg is doing overall and the way that his kidneys have responded so positively to the diuretics! It is a huge relief to see him doing so much better than he was last week! Over the past two days he's been able to walk a short distance in the halls, and play with Paul a little bit during his visits. It is so good to see him getting out of bed and breathing easier!
Thank you for your prayers!