It’s about 30 hours since a new liver was put inside me – I’m writing this post Tuesday night. Things were a little crazy. I’m going to be very brief in this post, but we’re so happy things are going well. Both of us are in a little pain from the stitches and liver mid-sections, so it makes it hard to breathe. Monday night we stayed in the Post anesthetic Care Unit, but were not within eyesight of each other. It kind of seemed high-school dance-ish when the nurses wheeled Logan’s bed over to me to say hi. It was this first time I’d seen her after surgery. We were both very loopy, delirious and don’t remember much of it. And, although Monday night was relatively quiet, I cat-napped a little and I’m sure Logan didn’t get much sleep either. Yesterday we were trying to catch up on some zzzzz and recover. Logan was the first to make a leap in recovery and moved from the bed to a chair. I’m told by my the nurse that the same thing will happen to me tonight. Logan started drinking liquids, and will likely start solid foods shortly once the intestines come out of shock. I’m still “eating” blood transfusions, plasma, platelets and saline they’re injecting into my arms.
As was stated in an earlier post, the first 24 hours are critical for the graft. Logan’s liver, although perfect in every way, is on the small side for my body. They have been monitoring all fluids entering and leaving my body and periodically monitoring blood levels. I’m told they spiked initially, as expected, and are now on the downward trend like they expect to see. The doctor’s seem pleased with Logan and my progress, and Logan’s liver graft inside of me. There’s a lot more monitoring that will go on to ensure the graft is tracking alongside their expectations, and Logan and I start to participate in our own healing by working the ab muscles they cut through and getting back to eating solid foods and protein to help the liver grow back to 100%.
It’s amazing to be part of this process – these surgeons are the best of the best, and work at the hospital that has done the most live donor transplants in the United States. We are their experiments; a group of 5 or more doctors crowd around the bottom of the bed and talk about us like we aren’t there. At the end of their intellectual discussion, they allow us to ask any questions and treat us like patients again. It’s a surreal experience – the surgeries and the outpouring of support we’ve seen.