the world of post-op/in-patient

Well, obviously by lack of my personal updates, you can tell that you are a little out of it for the first couple days post-transplant. There are some important goals for each day and things they try to accomplish with you each day to make sure you’re moving along at the right pace. Now, of course I’m stubborn and moved along too quickly, and it caught up with me HARD. So, my suggestion to anyone reading this blog for themselves and knowing what to go through, PAY ATTENTION.
Day 0 post-op is the day of your actual placement of the new liver into your body. Surgery started at 10:55pm. At 1:11 my new liver went into my body. At 1:43 they came up to get my bed. At 3:53, I was out of surgery and into recovery and at 5:57 am I was brought back to my room where my family was already eagerly awaiting. The surgery staff calls up to the room to keep the family updated during the procedure just to keep everyone calm and informed on what it happening with the patient. By the time I was actually brought back to the room, I had my ventilator removed and I was awake enough to be talking to my family. I was still pretty drugged up, and I don’t remember a lot of what all was going on, but I remember it being nice to see everyone’s face and just to know that it was over. The wait was over, the uncertainty was over, the constant worry on my parent’s minds were over, the inability to plan past next weekend, it was all finally over! Day 0 is pretty much the day that your family gets to gather over you and just be excited that it’s over while you (the patient) pretty much sleeps and listens to your phone go off all day. My family was amazing with keeping everyone up to date on exactly how I was doing. They started pulling everything out right away. By the end of day 0 I had my catheter out along with the IV in my arm. That night I went to sleep with a bulb hanging out draining fluid from my abdomen, a bag that was attached to my Ruen-y for my colonagiogram on Day 2, a multi-IV coming out of my neck. I still had my tights on and they have these really cool air socks that massage your calves.
During the night it gets to be a little crazy at the hospital! There are a bunch of beeps and bells and people coming in to measure and ask questions. IV meds that are out or lines got pinched start freaking out. It’s not ever a big deal, just makes it hard to sleep through the night.
Day 1 was a little more “exciting” if you want to say that. Day 1 was Sunday September 13th. I was SUPPOSED to be on the 50-yard line enjoying my club seats at the Bucs vs. Cowboys game, but instead I was sitting in a patient room four hours away with staples across my stomach. For most people, you’d be super excited about getting the liver and wouldn’t care about a “stupid” football game, but come on!! It was the season opener!! The tickets were the best seats in the house!! I had a brand new SWEET Romo jersey!! Ugh!
Anyhow, by the time the game came around I was unhooked from my neck IV (it was still in, but I no longer needed to receive any fluids from it), I had a bag collecting “ooze” from the openings where my tubes are coming out of my body. Once they put my ooze bag on, I was able to get into a normal shirt and some scrub pants. I threw my contacts in and felt much more able to walk around and be “on my own”. That’s one of the greatest feelings ever when you’re in the hospital. I mostly sat around in the bed while the game was on, I was a little in and out of consciousness from some meds, but I got to watch most of the game and I think I saw Jimmy, Phil and Lynne on TV. It was pretty cool!
When the game was over I got the IV taken out of my neck, which was fantastic. I put on some great fan stuff that Matt and Steph brought me up, threw my hat on and took a couple victory laps around the liver unit! This was definitely the day that I pushed myself too hard though. I tried to entertain too much and walked a little bit too far and stayed up a little bit too long. By the time everyone left I had to have IV Morphine on top of my normal pain pills. It helped to get the extra edge off as I tried to fall asleep. A couple hours later, they actually gave me an extra dose of the good stuff that I was on with my IV to really help me.
Everyone is starting to come in for the day, so I’m gonna wrap up for now. I’ll post some more updates as I get some free time. Feel free to text me today, I’m pretty much just hanging out at the hospital now, waiting for directions for discharge.

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