Word from the doctors today......everything is looking good!!! That's right, cath levels improving, no change in echo, nothing funny from the holter monitoring last week, blood pressure holding steady, good looking ekg, pulmonary hypertension improving, and of course.....no rejection!!! It feels good to hear those results! The only bummer news is that we have to go through it all again next week. After next week, we'll go to every other week for a while. So, one more week, then we'll get a week off.
I've had some questions about what happens on the day of the cath and the biopsy, so I'll do some explaining. An anesthesiologist uses a breathing tube while the surgery is performed. The cardiologist then inserts a long, flexible tube into a vein in Abby's neck. The catheter is threaded to the heart and major blood vessels of the lung. It measures blood pressure and takes pictures of blood vessels and the chambers of the heart. Then they insert another little tool that removes small pieces of muscle from the inner surfaces of the heart. Thjs is the biopsy and tells whether Abby is in rejection or not. The actual surgery only takes about 1 hour, but from the time we check in until she can leave the recovery room is about 3 1/2 hours. For most people this would probably seem like a pretty big deal, but we're getting used to it now...it's pretty minor considering what we've been through. Abby doesn't worry about it at all, no stress for her, which is good. She does have to have another IV and blood drawn, which means another poke and another bruise. Her poor arms will never stop being black and blue.
Here are some things that have happened the past few days:
Something funny-Britt and I were waiting for Abby in the car. We watched her walk out the front door and then she ran to the car....RAN to the car. Oops, I don't think she's ready for that yet. I think she forgot for just a minute that she had a heart transplant only 3 weeks ago! You should have seen the look on her face when she realized what she had done. It was something I'll never forget; but I have to admit, it sure did feel good to see her running again.
Something interesting- They got the biopsy results back from Abby's old heart. Instead of restrictive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, they're now calling it hypertrophic restrictive cardiomyopathy. The reason that this matters is because now they want to do some more genetic testing on the heart. We might be able to find out a little more about what caused this. We also might find out if my kids or their kids (eventually) will have to be screened. They sent the results of today, we should hear more in about 6 weeks.
Something scary-Because of the results, I finally decided that I better get my echocardiogram. I have been putting it off since May 19th. I kept saying it was because we were too busy and in and out of the hospital so much, but honestly, it's because I was too chicken. I don't ever go to the doctor for anything, and this whole heart thing with Abby has made me a little uneasy. I feel like my heart is fine, I've never had any problems, but I'm still nervous. So, I scheduled an appointment at the University of Utah Hospital and I will be getting my echo on Thursday morning. I know the echo won't hurt or anything, Abby says they're completely relaxing, I just worry about the results. I will feel a lot of relief when Thursday is over.
Something that cracked us up-We found a song that we want to dedicate to Abby's surgeon, Dr. Kaza. If any of you have heard the song "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perry, it has some lyrics that are very fitting. It says, "Who do you think you are?? running round leaving scars, collecting your jar of hearts......" Wow, sometimes we think we are so funny. I wonder if Dr. K will think we're even half as funny as think we are.
Something that was hard for me to do-I just finished writing my letter to the donor family. I've been thinking about it for about 2 months now, and I thought I knew what to say, but actually writing it was very difficult. It was hard because I couldn't be specific at all, I didn't know if I was writing to a parent or a spouse, and there's no way to express gratitude for the gift of life. It was difficult to put into words how thankful I really was. I did write a letter that I thought was okay, and hopefully they'll want to respond so we can get a little more information on the donor, it's hard not to be curious.
Something that amazes us-We can't believe all of the people that are supporting us by buying and wearing Team Doman shirts. It's awesome, we just love it. If you still want one you can get one in St. George at Fargos. They will also be sold at Sunrise Ridge when school starts. If you're in Salt Lake you can contact me. They will also be sold at the Dash for Donation a week from Saturday at Sugarhouse Park and at the music festival that will be at Daybreak on Sept. 24th. Thank you Jeff Fargo for selling the shirts and supporting us so much! Thanks to Deedee, Whit, and Lesley for helping with shirts too! Thanks to Robb and Melissa for planning the music festival....we can't wait.
Something I loved this week-When my friend Whit invited us over for Sunday dinner! Not only did we have an amazing barbecue, but we got to visit her neighbor's assortment of animals (emus, a goat, turtles, yorkie dogs, chickens, and a zebra...that's right, a zebra!) and we played an sweet game of nertz! Thanks Whit, the change of scenery was much needed and we had a blast! Thanks for the freezer dinners you made us too, that was a perfect way to help us. You too Meri, the dinners were perfect, thanks!
Something I always want to do-Whit also bought and gave us a wall sign, that I just loved, I think it was perfect. It says, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." I hope I can always live my life as though it were full of miracles!!!