Post Transplant – Days 11, 12, & 13

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:


clamshell incision for double lung transplant


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.

Photo Jan 13, 11 49 31 AM

120 feet – January 13, 2015

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.

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The start of 120 feet

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4 thoughts on “Post Transplant – Days 11, 12, & 13

  1. Wow Anya. So great to actually see your progress. I am so proud for you. I am so glad that Becky and her family are close to you. She absolutely loves and admires you and Mike and your family so much. I wish I could be there too, but I have a part time job and a full time job here at home as the dog lady. Right now, Preston, a Brussels Griffon from a puppy mill is diabetic and just had his cataracts removed at VA Tech last week. I give him his insulin shots twice daily and he still has a cone a must be watched constantly. We have to keep him separate from the other two until he is healed. We take him back to Tech this Fri. for his first recheck. But anyway, I hope and pray for your continued progress.
    Hi to Mike and your family and Love to you all,

  2. Heidi says:

    Michael- What is the best address to send something to Anya? Can I send to your apartment to make sure she gets it?

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