Friday, May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013 - Update 3 for Today

 So, we finally got word at 6 pm.  Jason's echo showed a mild effusion, which isn't so bad except it was larger than a couple of days ago.  They stopped his injections and started him on diuretics and lowered his Coumadin back to 6 mg.  They'll do another echo tomorrow morning and if it's the same or smaller they'll discharge him.  I've already gone to the hospitals pharmacy to fill all his prescriptions, so hopefully discharge will be quick tomorrow morning. I talked to the kids and they are okay, but I cried after talking to them. I miss them so much!  I'll probably just stay the night at the hospital tonight since I already checked out of the hotel.  I'm very disappointed as I know Jason is.  He was already to go today, already wearing his tennis shoes and shorts. I know staying is what is best for Jason, it just sucks.

May 31, 2013 - Update 2 for Today

 Still waiting for doctor :(  Just had an echo and still waiting for lab to come and draw blood that was supposed to be done at 2 pm!  This is getting a little frustrating.  So, no new news yet.

May 31, 2013 - Update 1 for Today

Jason's nurse said his INR was 1.8 this morning.  So, now we are just waiting for the doctors to come by and let us know the status on if he can leave today or not.  They also did a CBC blood draw at 3:30  this morning and then his INR blood draw at 6:30 this morning.  They also have an order to draw blood at 2:00 pm for the 24 hours after he started the Lovenox injections.  So, if that's the case, they won't discharge until those results come back at least.  The nurse was going to ask if they could do it earlier, so we'll see.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 30, 2013 - Update 2 for Today

 So Jason is off  Heparin and gave himself his first injection of Levenox.  He was so nervous!   Some volunteers came by and were inviting the patients to come do arts and crafts. I forced Jason to go so he could get out and do something different.  He really ended up enjoying that and we each ended up making a card.  Mine is the elephant card and Jason's is the dolphin card.  They turned out cute.  We got back to the room and Jason started the uncontrollable shaking again :( I had him sit and talked to him for awhile and it quickly went away.  He's excited that he is no longer hooked to anything since the Heparin drip is gone.  We walked two laps before the crafts without the pole and there was some shaking but not bad because he was holding my hand. I  think holding the pole earlier was helping him control his shakes. I might see if Parker Healthcare rents things like the pole to  help him walk with since it seems to work.  People keep asking what INR means, and I found this website:

May 30, 2013 - Update 1 for Today

INR was only 1.4 this morning, but it takes two days for it to change.  Since his dose was increased yesterday, we probably won't see the jump on INR till tomorrow.  Dr.  Diego is guessing 1.7  tomorrow.  He's going to start him on some injection that he'll have to do at home since his INR probably won't be where they want it by tomorrow, but this will allow him to go home tomorrow.  We'll have to get his blood checked first thing Monday morning at the Quest Diagnostics lab in Melbourne.  The shots will basically take the place of Heparin.  He'll have to do one in morning and one at night.  He'll have to do that until his INR is between 2 and 3.   He did 4  more laps this morning.  His sheets got changed, and he got bathed with new gown and new boxers, so he feels good now.  He ate all his breakfast before I got here and I brought him an Apple fritter, which he ate willingly :)  He also went 7 1/2  hours between Percocet doses with minimal pain.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 29, 2013 - Update 3 for Today

So, we just got back from 4 laps around the wing!  So, they're telling us he'll get out probably Friday, worse case is Saturday. Like 7 people have told us they can hear Jason's new mechanical heart valve from standing a few feet away from him. I can't hear it, but my hearing is bad. He said he could hear it last night. Weird!

May 29, 2013 - Update 2 for Today

 So I brought Jason back some waffle fries after lunch and he downed them.  Not too long after he was able to go to the bathroom finally!  Our friend Mary came to  visit Jason and eat lunch with me.  It was a nice visit.  Dr.  Gessner  came to visit Jason yesterday and today which Jason really enjoyed.  They upped his Heparin drop a little this morning and they just gave him his daily Coumadin, which they finally upped to 7 mg from 5 mg the last three days, so hopefully his blood work will  show improvement tomorrow.  He went for another walk three times around the hall without the tremors or shortness of breath.  Amazing what a difference one day made!  He also got an order that allows him to take a shower, which he's really excited about. Faiza, Jason's nurse, got me one of the extra dinners they were serving patients so I didn't have to eat at Wendy's or Subway again.  She's very sweet!  Well, I have to go because Jason wants to do more rounds around the hallway :)

May 29, 2013 - Update 1 for Today

So Jason was finally moved out of ICU at 11pm last night.  We went on a Wendy's frosty run before he was moved with Kerri.  He downed that sucker in less than two minutes. This morning he walked around the entire wing three times without the uncontrollable shaking. Yeah! His INR was 1.2 this morning :-( So it has been 1.0 three days in a row and 4th day is 1.2. Was hoping for a little higher of a number. His Heparin level was still .19 & they want that around .25, but they haven't changed his dosing on anything. I bathed him and he brushed his teeth do he's in a much better mood today than he has been in a long time.  For lunch he wants me to bring him waffle fries :-)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013 - Update 2 for Today

So after the nausea started, about a half hour later Jason got a nose bleed and within five minutes of the nose bleed, he felt better.  He ate all his breakfast and then did his PT.  After the second lap around he got the shakes really bad again and his blood pressure shot up.  After sitting down for about five minutes the shakes subsided and his blood  pressure was still elevated, but he did not get out of breath this time.  They did an echo and EKG to check everything before releasing him to the cardio floor.  We know the tests came back fine, so we are waiting for the order to release him from the ICU.  Once that order comes,  his A-line will come out and he can go to the other floor (private room with bathroom).   He's really excited about leaving the ICU.   He's ready to leave the noisy, moaning patients!  None of the doctors can explain the shaking that happens when he does his walks????  Maybe anxiety, hopefully.

May 28, 2013 - Update 1 for Today

Last night the nurses took Jason for a walk around the halls, and he made it twice around before having his panic attack (hard time breathing and shaking really bad).  I gave him his bath last night and his bed sheets were changed, along with his EKG stickies. I left around 11 pm  last night and he was in better spirits when I left.  He was feeling good when I came in and there was talk of moving him out of ICU. I missed the doctor by about 15 minutes. I went to get breakfast, and when I got back he had his breakfast.  He suddenly got really nauseated and did not want to eat.  He tried to go to the bathroom, but had no success.  So we set the food aside for later.  His PT came by, but he told her to come back closer to lunch time.  They have him on the same dose of heparin, so the reading must be good on that dose.  His INR level is still only one, and needs to be between two and three.  This is the reading he needs normalized to leave the hospital.  Here is a picture of him walking last night.

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013 - Update 2 for Today

Well, Jason's Heparin levels are too high again, so they lowered it again.  PT came by when I was eating lunch and he walked three times around the hall without having to be wheeled back this time.  He was really excited about this!  He got the shakes again from it.  According to the PT,  Dr. Bleiweis's patients usually stay in ICU the whole time which is why he's still in ICU.  He's been getting depressed about being in the hospital and was really upset after I left last night.  Knowing that is going to make it harder for me to leave him tonight! I feel bad for him.  He's been really sweet to me by telling me what a good wife he has with the way I've been taking care of him. I love him so much and couldn't imagine my life without him!  He is my life, along with my children and family!  Keep coming with the prayers  :-)

May 27, 2013 - Update 1 for Today

So, I woke up late today at 7:30, but got to hospital by 8:10.  Doctor was in here and only issue right now is that his Heparin levels are too low.  They'll give him his next dose of Coumadin tonight at 6 pm.  They are still hoping they can get his Coumadin regulated by Wednesday night and he can go home in Thursday.  His INR  levels need to be between twoand three and his are currently at one.  His pain is a little high this morning because he asked for pain meds and didn't get them until an hour after he asked for them.  Since he is one of the better off patients in ICU currently, they've kind of put him on the back burner, so now I'm having to be his advocate! A little disappointing, but at least I haven't had to advocate the entire time.  He ate really good yesterday and ate all his breakfast this morning.  His other only issue is that he needs to go to the bathroom soon,  our they're gonna have to start looking at his tummy.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 26, 2013 - Update 2 for Jason

Physical Therapy came for him this morning  to walk around the hall twice. He made it around about 1 1/2  times and couldn't catch his breath.  His blood pressure also shot up,  so they got him sitting in a rolling chair.  He was upset he didn't make it around. I think his anxiety was up too from the excitement of walking and the disappointment of not being able to finish.  He's back in bed and still looks good.  He's ready for PT tomorrow!

May 26, 2013 Update 1 for today

So yesterday afternoon after Jason slept about 4  hours, he woke up looking much better. I was worried until he seemed much better.  This morning he  seemed good and we already saw Dr.  Fudge.  He's monitoring blood pressure.  It's border line whether they're going to start him on a blood pressure medicine.  They started  his Coumadin  this morning and it will take a few days to get that (INR) regulated to where he can go home.  They think he might go home Thursday.   One thing I forget to mention about the surgery  was that Jason never had to get a blood transfusion, which they told us he was going to have, so that was a pleasant surprise after the surgery! His IV line into his artery in his arm is burning  when anything is put into it.  She replaced everything and believes there was still potassium in the line which is what caused the burning.  His potassium was low last night so they tried to give it to him, but it burned so much they had to stop.  Doctor said he could take it in pill form.  So right now he's good and they're just monitoring all his levels.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 25, 2013 - Jason's 2nd Update 2 Days After Surgery

Dr. Fudge  who did Jason's Heart catheter is the on call doctor today and he came in s little while ago and pulled Jason's electrical wires from his chest (went  into his chest to his heart).  They did an echo at the same time to make sure everything was ok. Everything looked good and after checking some blood work, they started him on Heparin.  They will start him on the Coumadin tomorrow.  He is still resting.  Can't believe how exhausted he is today compared to yesterday.  Little worrisome to me, but I will pray more about this to pass.  Please continue to pay for Jason to continue to heal and improve. I  thank you all from the bottom of my heart for everyone's well wishes and prayers!

May 25, 2013 - Jason's 1st Update 2 Days After Surgery

Had the girls here today and my mom.  Ashlyn sort of started sobbing when she saw daddy. I let her know he was fine and she quickly called down.  It was sweet!  Kaylyn was her normal self,  sweet, but still sarcastic.  From being overwhelmed today,  he had a little trouble breathing and just got super tired.  He's now back in bed taking a nap. He woke up at 1 am in a lot of pain this morning, so they gave him a high dose of pain meds.  His catheter came out at 9 am along with his neck IV.  He's doing so well, and I can only pay he continues to heal at the same speed.  Praise God!  Everyone is gone now, so it's just him and I until he gets out : )

Before neck IV came out
After neck IV and catheter came ouy

Friday, May 24, 2013

May 24, 2013 - Update 4 Day After Surgery

They are going to stop his IV pain medicine at 2am,  so he can get his catheter removed.  They are also going to remove his IVs in his neck and wrist arteries tomorrow.  He's going to move out of CICU and  into a regular cardiac floor room tomorrow if everything is still looking good.  Everyone is just amazed at how well he's doing.  There's a guy there who's been there for 22 days now and just got his breathing tube out 4  days ago for the same surgery Jason's had basically.  He's a lot older though, so Jason it's very blessed to have had this surgery at his age and with his good health (other than his heart)!  The girls will be up here tomorrow so we are looking forward to seeing them.

May 24, 2013 - Update 3 for Day After Jason's Surgery

Jason ate an entire lunch and is right now getting his chest tubes out early.  Even though his blood pressure is slightly elevated they are cutting the blood pressure medicine.  They took the extra catheter out of his neck line.  They took a lot of the medicines away also which is good.  He's a model patient.  His chest x-rays are looking good too, so they aren't harping on him doing the breathing treatments or coughing exercises.

May 24, 2013 -Update 2 for Day After Jason's Surgery

 Enough said:

May 24, 2013 - Day After Jason's Surgery Update 1

Walked  in this morning and Jason was drinking a diet Pepsi  and eating breakfast.   His  blood pressure was a little  high and the cardiologist was here.  He said he was doing great and his tubes out  tomorrow.  Now they have him sitting in a chair.  He talked to the girls on the phone to help them understand their daddy is ok.  Ashlyn lost it yesterday and had a complete  meltdown. I had to calm her down.

Last night

This morning

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 23, 2013 - Update 4 Jason's Heart Surgery

So, I'm in CICU and now Jason is  becoming more aware of what's going on, which means anesthesia is finally wearing off.  He's very thirsty but isn't allowed to drink yet.  He's also itchy from the pain meds. I  explained the procedure they had to do and he seemed upset,  but I  tried to explain that it was a good thing.  right now I'm typing this on my phone so excuse me if anything ifs misspelled or grammatically incorrect  :-) I  heard from more than one nurse that he's doing extremely well for what they just did,  so that's good!  Praise God!

May 23, 2013 - Update 3 for Jason's Heart Surgery

Jason's out of surgery.  Because of the heart valve replacement  and his aorta being so thin in some areas, they ended up doing the Bentall procedure (replaced entire aorta with graft) and the valve is the On-X Mosaic which could be a lifetime heart valve.  There's also a study that just came out on it to have minimal coagulants and another study in the works to be off coagulants and just be on aspirin and Plavix.  He's already off the ventilator, which is really good and the thing he worried about the most.  His chest tubes are also only in the front and none at the sides which is less painful.  The doctor is hopeful that his recovery will be quick and everything looks really good.  The reason they had to replace the valve was it was leaking in a bad way and they couldn't get enough blood to flow through the heart to stop it, so the only option was to replace it.  His aorta was thinned out a lot in some areas really bad, so the operation was definitely needed.  They said the possibility of using the heart valve he had would be 80-90% over the next 2 years and only 50% over the next 5, so it was inevitable to replace the valve.  We are still waiting to go back and see him.  There doing chest x-ray, bloodwork, etc... which is called tucking him in.  That is all I have for now.  Please keep praying for him to recover and have no complications.

May 23, 2013 - Update 2 Jason's Heart Surgery

Just got a call that they got into his chest and the bicuspid valve was leaking worse than they thought and looked worse than they thought.  They are going to replace his valve with a mechanical valve called the On-X  This is kind of upsetting and I sort of lost it.  This was a quick decision we made right before surgery for a "what if", never actually thinking it would come to this.  Please continue to pray for him!  They will call again when they get him on the bypass machine and I will update again when we know more.

May 23, 2013 - 1st Update on Jason's Surgery

So, we had to be at Shand's Hospital (or as it's called now, UF Health) at 6:00 am.  Jason was taken back around 8:30.  They gave him happy drugs right after taking him back.  We had to talk to the surgeon and decide if they had to replace the heart valve that is leaking, which heart valve replacement procedure would we prefer.  The choice was an artificial heart valve where you'd have to be on Coumadin for the rest of his life, but it would be at low doses, or get a tissue valve replacement which has an average lifespan between 10 and 20 years.  After a long deliberation, we went with the artificial heart valve, but hopefully it won't come down to having to replace it.  They said they would call us around 11:00 when the bypass machine is started (pumping blood to vital organs while they work on the heart).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 21, 2013 - Heart Catheter Procedure

After getting up, me grabbing a bite to eat from McDonald's, we headed to the hospital.  As soon as we got there, the head nurse that had told us the surgeon had cancelled the surgery met us and gave us some news.  She told us that the surgery was most likely back on for either tomorrow or Thursday with 90% certainty.  So, we were excited again, but Jason was also overly nervous again.  Little bit of an emotional roller coaster with this, but God knows what he is doing.

They took us back pretty quickly and got things going.  We decided not to have Jason do anesthesia, but do sedation instead, and what really ended up happening is the anesthesiologist just gave him the relaxation medicine, which doesn't last too long in your body.  So, he doesn't remember them shaving his leg or feeling the needle going in his leg to numb it, but he remembers the catheter going in and being wide awake and responsive.  He asked the doctor lots of questions during the procedure and watched the catheter on the monitor.  He said he felt his heart flutter every time the catheter touched it.  As soon as they brought him back to the recovery room, they came and got me and he got to eat lunch.  Before his 3 hours were up for laying down, ensuring the artery stopped bleeding, we got a call saying the surgery was a definite the next two days and about 10 minutes after that we got another call to say that it was back on for Thursday morning and we had to be there by 6:15 am. 

While in the recovery room, we asked a few of the nurses about hotels since we were going to have to make another reservation and we actually found one that was cheaper and more comfortable.  Not sure how we'll sleep tonight, but hopefully peaceful and we get to sleep in since we don't have to be at the hospital tomorrow.  We're meeting a friend for breakfast I think and a friend for lunch, so it should be an easy going day.

May 20, 2013 - Jason's Pre-ops up at Shand's Hospital and Cardiology Clinic

So, we headed up to Gainesville today for Jason's pre-ops.  The first one is at 12:30 pm at the Cardiology Clinic.  While we wait for the EKG person to come in, the heart surgeon's head R.N. came in and asked if we had been told yet.  We obviously said no, and it turned out that Jason's surgery had been cancelled for Thursday and wouldn't be rescheduled soon.  We were very upset, but were told that it was for a baby that was born and needed heart surgery.  The one thing we did try to emphasize was that our insurance was starting over July 1st and we would probably have to pay $12,000 out of pocket for all the expenses that this was going to be (we already met this out of pocket maximum for this policy year).  Also, timing-wise, there were other things to consider.  She immediately emailed the surgeon and he replied back that it had to be in June then.  But because we were already up here, they wanted Jason to continue with the heart catheterization procedure the next day, which had to be done before surgery anyways.  Also, do the other pre-op for the surgery because it is good for 30 days.  This way, if the surgery is scheduled last minute, we would be good to go!  So we went to the hospital and did the anesthesia pre-op for the surgery.

After all the pre-op stuff, we headed to the hotel and checked in along with cancelling the rest of our stay.  Jason was disappointed that it was pushed out further and we were going to have to cancel all the short term disability paperwork and start over with a new date.  But, we thought, this must be for a reason!  We went to dinner and while we were at dinner, the heart catheter doctor called and said we wouldn't be able to come in when he told us.  We thought he was going to cancel too, but just told us to come in an hour later than was planned, 8:00 am.  The hotel was pretty uncomfortable with the air conditioner that barely worked and the bed that was sort of uncomfortable.

May 17, 2013 - Disney Cruise Day 7 Castaway Cay

One of our favorite islands in the Caribbean is Castaway Cay, Disney's private island.  We took a catamaran out to snorkel, then came back and ate lunch.  Then we headed over and entered the crab race, where our crab, Krystal, won the first heat.  Unfortunately, our crab did not win in the finals, but it was fun to participate.  Next we headed over to the play area that sits in the ocean and went down the slides.  Lastly, we headed over to the snorkel area and did our own snorkel, finding the hidden Minnie, Mickey, and other neat things placed in the bottom of the ocean in that area.  This was an awesome vacation, in fact so awesome, we booked another one for next May!

Our favorite head server, Jessyca from Peru