Crystal balls are better than ping pong balls! 12/28/2010
Heart and Soul – One woman’s journey through a heart transplant
Welcome to the weekly blog of a Donate Life Northwest volunteer who has graciously offered to tell the story of her journey through the organ transplant process. She will post to this blog every Monday and Wednesday so you can ride this bumpy road with her.
UPDATE! Our guest blogger is home and enjoying Christmas with her family. She is writing her own updates right now. We are excited to get her very positive status reports. She is still recovering, but is doing well. We will be sure to keep you updated on her current status as her blog is about 8 weeks behind actual time.
Well, real is really real today. Here I am in an ICU bed. And how did I get here, you ask? Actually, I drove! It's been a whirlwind week. Started last Friday from a cardiac standpoint. Got really lightheaded at Costco, not a place you would choose to pass out. Had my son drive me home. Saturday was worse. Blood pressure in the 60’s most of the afternoon so a definite couch potato day. Called into OHSU early evening and stopped one of my drugs. Sunday was better. Monday was worse again. At Thursday’s regular cardiology appointment they decided to admit me to get the BP thing under control. The plan was to use a PICC line – a central catheter used to deliver drugs over a longer period of time. And something I could go home with. They planned to start dopamine, a powerful vasoconstrictor (used for really sick people in ICU; why are they talking about using it with me again?)
Typical me plus a heavy dose of ICU jitters and stopping two of my cardiac drugs got my blood pressure up into the 90’s all night . It hasn’t been that high in years. It's now a balancing thing. Keep my blood pressure up so all my organs are healthily perfused and keep my heart rate below 100 with no chest pain or pressure. Or start the powerful drug with its arrhythmic side effect. I opt for home knowing this ping pong-like situation has only just begun - unless this is the big unless - the ultimate unless I get a new heart soon. And that is the anticipation. My physician actually said 2-3 days. I hope his crystal ball is accurate. I like crystal balls way better than ping pong ones.
The author is a heart failure patient going through the transplant listing process. She also is a nurse and former hospital administrator. She would like to thank Donate Life Northwest for permitting her to post her observations on the Donate Life Northwest website. She also wants to emphasize that all opinions and views stated in the posts are her own and not those of Donate Life Northwest.