Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Two weeks post transplant. Ups and Downs.

The week in pictures (and lots of info)
Swallow xray video

To bring you up to date, I thought I would post an update with some of the things that have happened this past week.  Keith was assessed with a swallow test a week ago to see how he was swallowing (after having been  intubated for a week, and on a trach tube after that, it was imperative that he was swallowing food, and it was going down the right tube!  All looked pretty good, except for a few bits that weren't making it to the right spot, so he was put on "similar consistencies" for food choices.  No nuts for this guy for a while!

On Friday, February 8th, the skies opened up and covered the city with white.    It was beautiful to watch, but came at a time when Keith really needed me close.  Keith was 10 days post transplant, and really beginning to feel the pain of his incisions and staples.  Medications were still being adjusted, and gaps in pain meds really left him uncomfortable - no wait, in tons of pain.   My car was in pain too, as you can see, and THAT was lots of fun to deal with at the end of a long day.  (I can complain too, right?)  

On Friday evening, a nurse came up to Keith and I in the hallway and said "I've been reading your blog!"  to which Keith smiled in his new "I'm kind of a rock star now" way, and chatted with her. Her name was Roxanne, and she wanted to come by the following day with a couple of her students and change his chest dressings.  Bring it on.  What a great girl and she and two students (one from DeVry and one from Sheridan) took great care with Keith and got his dressings all cleaned up.  The nurses here are awesome.  

Sunday was an exciting day.  Keith said goodbye to his trach tube in the morning.  Dr. Leanne Singer did the honors, and later in the morning Keith's nurse Christine tidied up the trach site and covered it up with a bandage.  This was crucial because it was visiting day!  Keith was pretty excited when lunchtime came around, and we decided to head down to the food court and grab a corned beef sandwich from Druxy's.  HUGE joy on his face as he ate the first "non-hospital" food in weeks.  

Later on Sunday afternoon Keith finally had the opportunity to see his kids who he has not seen for over 4 weeks.  They were overjoyed to see him and have a lovely long chat in the atrium here.  Bobblehead Yoda and Darth Vader were gifts, along with some great handmade Get Well cards.  I know that it was wonderful for Keith to finally see his kids after all of this, and to give them all big hugs. 
They are so appreciative to have their Dad back, appreciative of the incredible gift that he has been given, and that they get to enjoy.  It is times like this that we truly remember the circumstances surrounding this gift.  The thanks extends beyond Keith, and I, it is a whole family and friend network who are thankful each and every moment for the gift that he has received.  
On Monday, Feb 11th, Keith experienced some issues with an elevated heart rate, reduced oxygen and was feeling feverish (although did not have a temperature).  The doctors did an x-ray and EKG and determined that it was possible he had an infection, which they are treating with a broad spectrum antibiotic.  By today he was feeling slightly better, although the pain of the incision site is still strong.  Medications manage this for the most part.  He was out for a 6 minute walk test today, and walked 325 metres.  I'd say he nailed it!

 Lungs for Keith to Breathe
The Facebook page continues to grow, and be a place where we can share the daily goings on for Keith.  While I try to post as often as I can, Keith's rehab is the priority right now and I cannot always post there.

What is amazing, is the number of people who have messaged me privately to ask how Keith is doing, and offer help.  Many of these people are students who have been touched by Keith's story, transplant patients both pre and post who remember how it was for them, and people who are moved by the importance of organ donation.  People who never thought about it before, but having heard Keith's and so many others stories, are moved to make a difference.
As we continue this journey, we will continue to ask everyone a favour - the next person you are talking with, whether it is the teacher at your child's school, your parent or relative, or a stranger you are helping on the street, - please remember that there are thousands of people waiting for organs in your province - your country.  Even a simple conversation about how you have been moved by this story and are trying to raise awareness about the importance of double checking beadonor.ca in Ontario to see if you are registered.  We CAN make a difference and raise the numbers of people registered.  If you tell one person each day, who tells one person, more people will have the conversation and we will continue to spread the word.


  1. My sister-in-law got her new lungs in August and is back at home now, although still has some complications. I can understand all the set backs, but stay strong!

  2. The only pain I seemed to have was severe back pain. The nurses there are amazing, very friendly and helpful, I had one nurse that use to come in when she was heading down to tims and see if I wanted anything in the evening when I couldnt make it down. Or the nurses would come in when the had some free time to just sit and chat, when I was in I was there monday till friday on my own as all my family and friends were up north, so I thank the nurses for keeping me company. Its great to see Keith moving along so good. I remember the first day I could make it down to the food court for some Hero Burger. It was like I was in heavon. Hope to meet you guys if your still there at the end of Feb.