That’s how I would describe my body right now….uncooperative. I want to do more than it can handle in a single day and yesterday I ended up in bed all day out of sheer exhaustion. I do have a cold (all the blood work indicates I don’t have anything), and Salt Lake City has had some wicked smog that doesn’t make me feel any better. So, going on a week and half of the creeping crud and I’m hoping by Monday it will back off a bit; my nose could use a break from all the Kleenex.
How do people recover from a heart transplant? I guess I wasn’t prepared for it to be this difficult physically and mentally. My body just doesn’t want to fully cooperate and get with the program!
First it was water retention, and we’re talking a lot of water, like 40 pounds of it. That landed me in the hospital for 12 days. I was on a 24/7 diuretic drip for over a week for crying out loud. Can you imagine how many trips to the bathroom that was? Of course when I’m retaining water my kidneys and my electrolytes get thrown off.
Speaking of kidneys, those little buggers have been giving me a run for my money. One day they want to work right and the next they don’t. We’re all finally moving in the right direction but it’s taken two months to get there. It’s like every organ in my body has to reboot itself one at a time.
My pancreas even had it’s little tantrum. First it didn’t want to produce enough insulin then it made too much. That landed me in the ER under observation for 24 hours with a blood sugar reading of 40 (way too low)…I was told I should not have been walking and talking, but in a coma. So they main lined sugar into my veins and I drank more grape juice than I will ever consume again in my life. Thankfully a medication change reversed the low blood sugar and a few days later it was too high again, go figure. With some minor medication changes everything is back to normal.
The liver, lungs, and spleen, seem to have come out of this unscathed.
Now, we’re dealing with my bone marrow! Seriously…it doesn’t want to produce enough white blood cells? I’ve been here before after my stem cell transplant where I had no white blood cells for awhile. Well, it appears my bone marrow isn’t happy with the heart transplant and is currently being very uncooperative with the white blood cell production. If they drop any more there is a solution, a painful one, but it will force my marrow to produce more; I’d just like to avoid that route if I can help it. It would require taking a drug that makes your body over produce stem cells. I received it when I had my first transplant and it’s not pleasant to say the least. With my first transplant I got one dose, and was in so much pain they gave me morphine, which we found out I’m allergic to. But, in this case I would need three doses over three days….Lord help me. I told the doctors out right they better keep the pain meds flowing. Oh and the best part…NOT…they would prescribe it and I would have to give it to myself by subcutaneous injection. Oh well I already give myself B12 shots why not one more.
Really, after the bone marrow/white blood cell count thing is resolved I’m hoping there aren’t any more complications and my body will have completed it’s reboot process. I’d like some simple cooperation here! Is that too much to ask?
I haven’t even touched on the mental aspect of all this. I had always been a Zoloft and Xanax girl for my PTSD and Acute Anxiety Disorder. Actually, I had been able to manage for years without medication, it was only as I got more sick that I wasn’t able to keep it under control. Now, we have Klonopin and Prozac on board. Klonopin is still a benzodiazepine like Xanax but it lasts long and I don’t need a very large dose; same with the Prozac. So far so good. Of course neither of those medications help with the survivors guilt; there’s no drug for that. I’m still asking the question, why do I deserve a new heart? Maybe someday I’ll feel like her heart is mine, but right now it still doesn’t quite feel like it’s mine. I can’t feel it beat, which is a weird sensation because I could almost always feel mine beat no matter how fast or slow it was; this one just hums along quietly.
Another weekend and on Monday more blood work and maybe back to cardiac rehab feeling better. As long as my body will cooperate!