Sunday, June 23, 2013

Picture of the Heart and what was done to Jason's

Here's a good picture of the heart and shows which parts of Jason's heart were replaced:

Friday June 21, 2013 - Shand's visit (First Post-Op)

Let me start by going backwards a couple of weeks so that you know what we've been through up until now.  Friday, June 7th, we went to the ER because Jason was still running a low grade fever (between 99.7 and 100.6).  The cardiologist at Shand's didn't understand why he was still running this, so he wanted us to be safe rather than sorry.  We went to Holmes Regional's ER and got them in contact with Jason's cardiologist (Dr. Moguillansky) at Shand's.  They did some x-rays and lots of bloodwork, including blood cultures to see if there were any infections.  Everything came back to okay (still low on blood, but is expected for such a major surgery).  So we went home after a couple of hours.

Then Saturday, June 15th, his heart started pounding in his chest.  He felt like his heart was going to pound out of his chest.  His vitals were normal, but if you placed your hand on his chest and felt it pounding, it didn't feel normal.  After a quick text to Jason's cardiologist, his recommendation was go to the ER.  Even the triage nurses were taking turns feeling at the Holmes Regional ER.  It turned out that his Potassium was too high which was probably causing the pounding to feel worse.  He stopped taking the Potassium supplement that was prescribed to him.  The next day I made him drink, and drink, and drink lots of water (I think he drank 6-7 bottles of water) to flush out the Potassium and bring it back down to a normal range.  As that day went on, he started to feel better and better.

The next blood work that was done showed his Potassium to be within the correct range and his INR was 2.5 (finally within range), and he was feeling better.  Still tired, but better.  Then something miraculous happened a few days later!  His fever finally broke for good on Thursday, June 20th and he felt really good that day...thank God!

So, on Friday, June 21st, we headed up to Gainesville for Jason's first cardiologist visit after leaving the hospital.  He was still fever free!  As soon as we got there, we went to radiology to get the two chest x-rays.  Then he got his blood drawn, had an EKG, and eventually had an echo.  After a little while later, the doctor came in to see him.  Everything looked good!  Sometime between the last ER visit and that day, the effusion around the heart was gone!  I believe everything got better when he flushed the one day with so much water.  I think it flushed the infusion right out of him which caused his fever to break.  His INR was still 2.5, his Potassium was 4.7, his blood was still a little low, but very slight.  Because his blood was a little low, his iron was low and his platelets were a little elevated.  Doctor told us to stop avoiding greens and to adjust the Warfarin levels around his normal eating habits.  Because the effusion is gone, he could stop the diuretic.  So the only medications he is on now is Warfarin and baby aspirin.  In another 2 months, he can drop dosages of Warfarin because his INR will be allowed to be between 1.5 and 2.5.  Then hopefully in 6 months to a year, he can be off it altogether and only be on baby aspirin and Plavix.  He also got the okay to go back to work on July 8th, which he'll be allowed to drive at that point also. 

Thank you everyone who prayed for Jason and our family!  Your prayers were definitely being answered!  Please keep praying for a continuous healing process with no more complications (not sure I can handle any more).

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 4, 2013 - Update on Jason

 So Friday night, May 30th, was stressful.  Because of the effusion around the heart, they gave him a huge dose of IV diuretic, which caused him to go low in Potassium.  This caused his PVCs  to be erratic all night and the monitor kept giving warnings.  Because I told the nurse it was doing this, they checked his blood for potassium levels and saw it was low.  They gave him potassium, but he still kept having elevated PVCs.  They rechecked his blood at 4:00 am and it was still low, so they gave him more potassium.  By morning his PVCs stayed normal. I think I got about two hours of sleep that night. The echo tech finally came around 10:30.  The tech told us she had looked at the previous echo and the effusion had gotten smaller.  This means fluid was being drawn to the heart and the diuretic was working to remove it.  It confirmed that it was not blood.  So, after the team looked at everything,  Joni came by with all his discharge papers!  Jason was ecstatic and we headed home.  We got home around 5 pm and family and friends had decorated the house with balloons, streamers and a homemade Welcome  Back Home  banner the kids had made with the Sprinkles.  It was sweet!  My mom even brought pizza over!

 He's been going to the mall each day to walk a little.  Yesterday he had his blood work done and this morning Shands called. INR is 2.4, which means it's good and he doesn't have to give himself the injections.  His potassium is 4.4, so that's good too.  So retest blood Thursday to make sure they aren't  continuing to go up.  He's definitely bruising more easily now :(  Hopefully we can lower the dose in 3 months since this valve can be on low dose Coumadin.  He will only need to maintain his INR at 1.8 - 2.8 at that point.  Then hopefully in 6 months to a year, he can be on no Coumadin and just be on aspirin and Plavix.

Saturday, June 1, 2013