The weekend was relatively quiet. The transplant team finally managed to get Anya’s pain under control. Anya still hasn’t been able to get much sleep, even though she’s in a private room. People have been coming in and out at all hours of the day and night checking on her. Some warranted and some just trying to make sure that she doesn’t get any sleep at all.
Anya’s doing pretty good. They finally removed her two remaining chest tubes yesterday, so hopefully the healing process can begin now. Anya showed me her staples this morning and I cringed. Here’s a drawing of the clamshell incision:
Anya has staples all along the clamshell at the bottom. I wanted to instagram a real picture of the staples, but she was not as enthusiastic about the idea.
The respiratory team has started to wean Anya off of the ventilator again. Sunday, she did about 3 hours. Monday, she did about 4-5 hours. Her oxygen saturation levels and heart rate have been great while on the trach collar. Rebuilding those diaphragm muscles are going to take some time, since she was on the ventilator for so long pre-transplant.
Yesterday, she walked for the first time in about 5 days. I think she walked about 50 feet. She did great. As a matter of fact, she started to breathe a little bit better during and after the walk. Today, she walked 120 feet with no problems.
So, one concern that the transplant team raised this morning was that her diaphragm looked “elevated” on the x-rays, which could mean a lot of things, but the main concern is that there is some paralysis of the diaphragm due to the two surgeries. Anya is pretty certain that she does not have any paralysis and no one really knows for sure, but I think we’ll know more in the next several days. The discrepancy in the x-ray could be something as simple as a bloated stomach which she’s been complaining about for several days now. They’re going to do some more tests and we should know for sure soon.
The plan for the next several days is to continue with her rehab routine (walk every day, leg exercises in her bed, sitting up in a chair, etc.), then move her over to Kindred by the end of the week. The social worker seems to think that we could be moving either today or tomorrow, but I think Anya wants to stay in the ICU for a few more days just because the nurse to patient ratio is 1:2 in the ICU and 1:6 at Kindred. Not to mention that 95% of the nurses in the ICU at Houston Methodist are top notch.