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UW Hospital Madison August 29, 2013

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Mike's Big Adventure in Liver Transplant.
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Mike’s liver transplant, Aug. 24, 2013. He spent 2 days in ICU before being moved back upstairs to begin his recovery~20130829-005025.jpg

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Day 4, a rough one… August 28, 2013

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Mike's Big Adventure in Liver Transplant.
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I arrived at the hospital at about 11 am, Mike was just being air-lifted back to bed on the air-flow mattress, after being up in his cardio chair for a while. He was cutting up with the girls, it was a good sight to see his humour back in full swing again. 🙂

He was obviously having a good time here LOL!

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After that, he seemed to slide downhill on a fast decline, very worn out from the exertion. We had a few tense moments when he felt like a rubber band ready to snap. I had to step away and take a break for a few, so the PT girls could get a handle on things. He ended up declining any help after that, opting to rest instead. He doesn’t handle lack of sleep well, and said he felt like a Mack truck had just hit him….that’s putting it mildly~
I felt bad for him, and was glad to see that after returning from my break, he seemed to have calmed down significantly. By now he was ready for a nap, and I was too. We both took a cat nap until 1pm when our Post-op Transplant RN came to visit with us, to discuss the diabetes routine care and what we might expect upon discharge. I got to poke myself and test my own sugar: 138, just fine 🙂

Mike’s sis drove over after work and arrived around 6pm. It was yet another of what will likely be many teary reunions, and was so good to see her! We stayed until Mike showed signs of fading fast, so when he released us, we obliged. He told me “I love you…” as I was leaving. It was music to my ears!!

Naptime, Schwab Style.

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Day 3, Up and Running! August 28, 2013

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Mike's Big Adventure in Liver Transplant.
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Mike is making progress by leaps and bounds! His color is returning, the bilirubins have dropped and the yellow jaundice was faded. He looks GOOD, a sight for sore eyes!
His day was pretty busy, full of new routines, learning about diabetes that commonly occurs in post-transplant patients. The anti-rejection meds while saving his liver, also affect many other functions; we are still learning so much that takes place after transplant, my head is spinning from all the new information!
First big thing that happened, they got him out of bed! The PT lady said the prep time getting him ready to stand was longer than the actual event LOL!!
All ready to go, he stood up on wobbly legs and motioned his head toward the door in anticipation of a long walk down the hallway. But after 3 steps, it was very obvious it was going to take a lot of work to get to that point and with 3 more steps, he was done and had to sit in a chair just inches from his bed. He was so disappointed that he couldn’t do more, it was almost heart-breaking to watch. We all told him, that was a BIG STEP, the first of many, and with patience and hard work, he would do it again!

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Later that morning, two of his transplant Drs came to see him. Dr. Fernandez and Dr. Casey were all smiles as Mike thanked them and told them how grateful we are that they took this liver and saved him, when we almost didn’t get it from the first hospital, that night we got the Call. A very profound moment, one of many to come, the tears still keep coming as we recall how very blessed we are, every day a new beginning.

The next BIG event was when he was taken off ice chips and got on clear liquids on his lunch tray! When his tray came, it was laden with beef broth, Jell-O, 2 cups of cranberry juice cocktail, hot tea which we made into iced tea, and a TWIN POP!!!!

SCORE!

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Next, the Air Flow and getting out of bed into a cardiac chair. His two male nurses got an airflow mattress under Mike, blew it up in a matter of seconds and were able to simply float him into the chair and then sit him up. He loved it!
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After he was sitting up a few minutes, he requested that he get his hair washed, and clean up a bit. Justin was happy to be the Shampoo Girl!

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By Erin Schwab
You did it daddy. Today you will be given a second chance to live. I wish I was there holding your hand when they wheeled you off to surgery. I will be with you soon though. I love you to the moon and back and always will.

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Day 2, Welcome Back, Mike!! August 27, 2013

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Mike's Big Adventure in Liver Transplant.
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Day 2: Tearful Reunions!
I got to UW Madison at 10:00 and went straight to ICU, apprehensive as to what to expect when I saw Mike for the second time since his surgery.
The night before had been somewhat unnerving when I got a call around 6:30pm from his day nurse; Mike was asking for Dad’s phone number…. Immediately I began to wonder if he was back in Encephalo-Land, and sure enough I found out very soon, when I made a call to speak with him.
He was at first clear, although having a hard time speaking due to the breathing tube they had removed that morning. Still, as the conversation progressed, it became clear he still had some lingering encephalopathy lurking in the background.
He said he didn’t see me when he woke up, and got upset that I would abandon him right as he was coming out of his anesthesia. I assured him I was there, that he was very groggy, and really out of it. I explained to him how they sent me home to get some much needed rest and to also allow him to rest post-op. He seemed to calm down a bit, and went on to talk about random things that happened before the surgery. The conversation trailed off as his voice lost its oomph, and I told him to get some sleep and I would come see him the next day 🙂
He tires easily, alternating between restful and aggravated because he’s on crushed ice and crushed vitamins, UGHS! But I am no longer the Water Nazi, and soon he will be off the ice chips and onto liquids again. Cause for Celebration in order!!!!!

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WE DID IT! New Beginnings~ August 25, 2013

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Mike's Big Adventure in Liver Transplant, UW Madison.
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Yesterday Mike got a liver, and a second chance at a new life!20130829-003700.jpg<br /

His surgery went well, faster than expected. My mind is still reeling with the reality that life just changed, and for the better! There is a whole new BIG road ahead, full of unknowns, kinda scary. A new beginning full of mystery, excitement, fear of the Unknown, but most of all JOY!
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Day 1, post-op. We made it!
Mike had a comfortable night and remains heavily sedated. They removed the breathing tube, YAY!
They will continue to monitor his liver, and keep him quiet.
I shared all your wishes with him last night, speaking to him softly, so he could ‘hear’ that he is being watched over by a lot of caring people. I shared all your comments with his nurses, and they expressed their appreciation of his support group, we have a wonderful thing going for Mike
I will be taking this day in quiet reflection of WTH just happened, and get some much-needed rest. You know where to find me Love to all! XOXOXO

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asleep at the wheel….. August 7, 2013

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Random Musings.
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The ride to Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center Milwaukee is a little less than hour, 85 miles round-trip. I’ve travelled the route many times, could do it in my sleep. Recently I nearly did just that, literally.

I am desperately in need of sleep, and sure the ride to Milwaukee for another Dr appointment and labs, will be a grueling one, fighting to keep my eyes open both there, and back again. On the way home on Monday, I caught myself 3 times, closing my eyes, and drifting off into a catatonic state. Someone on the other side was walking toward me, told me to wake up and I did. That person’s image kept me alert the rest of the way home.

With 45 minutes until departure, I am caffeinated to the teeth, and may have to make an espresso as backup. If I can muster up the energy to go back downstairs and make one….

almost time to leave, catchya on the flip side…

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