It's 5:00 am on Thursday, July 14th. I'm sitting in room #8 in the cicu (cardiac intensive care unit), watching Abby sleeping and breathing with her new heart. Her chest is now rising and falling like a normal person, it used to look so weird because the heart would beat funny and it would make her chest and stomach move all over the place. The machines that are suctioning from the 5 chest tubes in her body make a loud gurgling sound, it sounds like I'm boiling big pots of water on the Stove. Abby has over 10 different iv bags feeding her medicine into both hands, both arms, her neck-I don't like this one, and her feet. She still has a cannula feeding going into her nose, she tried to take it off last night, but isn't ready yet, her oxygen leven dropped to 88%. She has things on both of her legs that are squeezing them so that she doesn't get blood clots. She also has a pain button that if she needs it she can push and it will give her pain medicine. The highest number she has said her pain is on a scale of 1-10 is 1.5. Leave it too Abby to throw decimals in there. Not a 1, not a 2....but a 1.5 :) Abby's amazing nurse, Ruby, spent her whole night, since 7:00 last night just taking care of Abby. She is the best nurse ever. She even french braided her hair and washed and massaged her legs and feet. We will be sad to see the shift change at 7:00, but Ruby will be back tonight at 7:00 again, Abby will be sad to see her go. The machines and tubes and everything don't even bother me anymore, Abby has her new heart.....that's all that matters.
Yesterday was just an awesome day. She feels good, but she is having a few problems, not all is perfect. One of her lungs is having a hard time and isn't all the way full and has some gunk in it, so she's back to using what we call the "sucky machine." She has to suck on 10 times, as hard as she can, many times during the day. Her blood pressure has been high, they're giving her some meds for that. She has pulmonary hypertension so she has inhaled nitric oxide going through the cannula to help open up the blood vessels in her lungs, they were damaged because her heart wasn't pumping like it should, but they are going to try to wean her off of that today. We're still struggling through some things, but Abby finally has some color in her cheeks...I can't remember the last time she wasn't pale...it's been months. But, none of this scares me now......Abby has her new heart.
My 2 favorite comments from Abby yesterday: "I feel so good, I think I'm ready to go home today!" and "My heart feels like it's beating hard and strong, but I can still breath, it just feels good." They let Abby rest a lot yesterday, they did sit her up in her bed and let her legs dangle over the side, she thought it felt good, but it made her tired. I know that today they are going to try to get her up and moving a little. Dr. Kaza said he was going to let her rest yesterday, but today is going to be a drill sergeant!!! Abby said she couldn't wait, her heart feels so good for a change, she just wants to get up and moving. Abby didn't ask for milk anymore after the morning, she changed it to apple juice and after about 12:00 she could finally have a drink and she drank apple juice and water all day. I'm glad she hasn't asked for food, she hasn't eaten in 2 days, but she can't yet....that will happen soon. They told us that we might be able to move upstairs as soon as Saturday, this made Abby so happy because we aren't allowed to use our phones in here, and it's driving us all crazy...especially Abby. But that's okay......Abby has her new heart.
We are so humbled by all of people that have been following us and praying for Abby. It's just so hard to even wrap our heads around. We just feel so blessed to know all of you and to have your support. We can't help but wonder, "why would everyone care so much about us? we're just a little family from St. George!" Right now, I feel like I'm on a natural high.....I just feel good. Things are good, I have less worries every day. Abby spends most of the time that she's awake, just grinning, she feels incredibly blessed. Things just feel right. It's impossible to not see the Lord's hand in all of this. He is there, knows what we need, and is orchestrating all of this.....how could you not see that with everything that has happened to us the past 7 weeks?? Life is good.......Abby has her new heart.