Thursday, January 17, 2008

January 17

Joseph continues to amaze us with how well he is doing. He still tires quickly, but he wants to do stuff. He sat in his chair most of yesterday, went for walks, and ate like a 14 yr old boy. The tiredness will wear off as he fully recovers from the surgery.

Yesterday he had the first of many heart catheter procedures to assess and keep tabs on the amount of rejection his body is subjecting the heart to. They put a longish iv-type tube in his neck and insert tools to measure blood prssures in the heart and in the lungs. They also take a small sample of heart tissue to biopsy. One of the cardiologists on the transplant team didn't like the pressures, an indication of rejection, and they started him on a higher dose of steroids almost immediately. Then everyone (i.e. Me, Wendy, and Joseph) sat on pins and needles all day waiting for the biopsy results to verify the level of rejection going on. We always thought that rejection was a fact, it was just a matter of degree and treatment. We were still pretty nervous all day while we waited for word. I didn't hear anything all day until Wendy got home at about 8 pm. She had just gotten the results a few minutes before leaving for the night. There were no signs of rejection. Joseph was given a clean bill of health to move out of the ICU and into a regular room upstairs. He will still have to stay at the hospital for another biopsy or two (one each week) before he will get the all clear to come home.

I've included drawings made by the heart catheter doctor at the time he did the procedures. These are based on ultrasounds and dye injection x-rays of Joseph's heart. The new heart is basically the text-book version, the old heart, however... well you can judge for yourself. To view pictures, click here

We don't know the rules about visitors in his new room yet. It is in a protective isolation area because of the immunosuppresives and heightened risk of infection. But his health and spirits are as well as can be expected. This is all an answer to our prayers and yours in his behalf. Thanks


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