Ok! I made it home, phew. I called the PACU right away, because they said I could, so I did. The nurse said he is doing really well. He was in a fair amount of pain coming out of surgery, but she has started to dial in his pain meds and he’s comfortable now. She will continue to tweak the dosage until he is alert enough to handle pressing the button on his own. He is alert enough to try and help with his IV lines when she comes to adjust them! He is such a good helper! The nurses adore him. She also said that he looks less and less jaundiced as the day goes by. Even since he came in at 9, she said she noticed an improvement in his color. His jaundice is a key marker for me, but I am also interested in how is his system doing. She mentioned that all his labs are looking good, the surgeons are happy, and he is being well cared for. Then she ordered me to eat something and get some sleep. I’m going to do that now.
They let us see him for a little bit! He was super groggy, and very sore. I can vouch for the throat being a mess after surgery, so dry, & they don’t let you drink water. Just little sponges that they swab your lips with. He’s in incredible good & capable hands, so me & my little liver are going to head to Manchester to rest for a while. I’ll likely call his nurse a few times tonight, so if I get any more news I’ll let everyone know. But he looked great, considering he just had his 3rd surgery in 1 month. Thanks again for all your thoughts.
The other surgeon just came out to talk to us. Derek is all closed up and they’re wheeling him into the PACU. They need to give him a chest x-Ray, make sure he’s able to make urine, etc. before we get to see him. Might be around 10:00? This surgeon confirmed that the Logan Liver looked good going in, but was a total mess coming out. She did all she could.
Oh, oh, and to put everyone’s mind at ease, I am most definitely eating. My liver doesn’t give me a choice in the matter. I’ve had half a breakfast burrito, and some crazy green juice. My portion of the liver is perhaps mourning the loss of its mate, as it has felt a little pokey proddy all morning. Nothing the other half of the breakfast burrito won’t fix.
Ok. Well. The surgeon just came and got us…surgery complete! I asked him if he was joking about 10 times. He said its much easier to do the second transplant because a lot of the work is done. Taking out my liver was like shucking an oyster apparently. Little Logan liver had nearly doubled in size, which sounds good, but it’s not. Poor thing was working overtime to deal with the flow rate. He used the analogy of the Apollo 13 pod. It was a life raft, and not long for Derek’s abdomen.
The new liver is perfect. A liver he never would have had the chance to receive. He’s getting closed up now, at least an hour or so before he’s finished. I’ll update when I get to see him. Thanks for all your well wishes. Science is prevailing!
Derek was wheeled into the OR at 5:00am. There’s lots to do before they can get down to business. Just like last time, he’ll get a central line in his neck, another near his clavicle, and finally one at his wrist. The board in the waiting room is showing his name highlighted in blue which means he’s officially in the OR. His surgeon said he doesn’t anticipate a particularly lengthy surgery because he has an existing incision, and much of the work was done 4 weeks ago.
They will need to take a close look at the collapsed hepatic artery, and there are a few options for making sure everything works and gets connected properly. Some of these options may cause the surgery to go a bit longer.
I now need to go to the cafeteria to feed my liver. It is quite angry with me currently because of the lack of sleep and the subpar PB&J I made at the nurses station last night. One shouldn’t neglect one’s growing liver. More updates as I get them.