I am working on getting Heidi set up one the blog so that she can start blogging herself to keep everyone informed as to how her recovery is going. From my perspective, she seems like she is almost 100% back to normal, but there are some major changes to her lifestyle after a major transplant. We are all very thankful for everyone’s continued support.
As a treat, here is a picture of my mother and father on her birthday at her Favorite restaurant, Casa Orinda.
I am going to start this post with a quote from someone I very much admire: Éric Abidal, A professional football (soccer) player who himself had to undergo a full liver transplant.
The good news is that Heidi and her new liver are still in great condition. The unfortunate news is that she has been suffering a bit more than usual recently. Her pain is increasing, because the doctors are tapering down her steroids, which is normal at this stage after a transplant. This unfortunately causes pain around the incision, which makes her recovery a bit more tricky. As a direct result of the increased pain, she is having more difficulty sleeping, which makes the recovery difficult.
Heidi has also been suffering from intense muscle spasms in her mid-back, which have kept her prone for the last couple of days. She is already in contact with her Nurse coordinator who recommended that she get into Kaiser urgent care for treatment. Steve was able to get her to Urgent care and they prescribed a muscle relaxer to help stop the spasms. After waiting in the pharmacy for about 15-20 minutes, the pharmacist called Heidi’s name, only to tell us that the script was flagged because the muscle relaxer would conflict with another drug that Heidi had already taken as part of her normal regiment.
So my parents left urgent care empty handed and waited for a call from the pharmacist/doctor. Luckily a few hours later, Kaiser called and they were able to give the okay for the prescription. We are now waiting to see if the medication stops the spasms. Heidi would very much like a comfortable, good, night’s sleep.
Keep sending good vibes, Heidi needs all the help she gets. Let us all hope she gets a good night’s rest tonight.
It has been a full month since the surgery, and it has been a few weeks since I have added any updates about our recovery, so I thought I would draft a quick post to inform everyone of how we are all doing. Both Heidi and Chris have had numerous visitors stopping by with get well wishes, cards, food, and flowers. There have been too many to list, so I will just say a “Thank You” to everyone who has stopped by. Some benevolent Pixarites have been kind enough to set up a Dinner Delivery calendar through an online forum called Lotsa Helping Hands. If you would like to schedule a Monday or Wednesday to drop off food and visit with us, please register for the site and select green day on the calendar.
About 2 weeks ago, Heidi and Chris had their 2nd follow-up at UCSF post-surgery, and everything is healing at a nominal rate. I have been recovering well, Blood tests show that there is still some damage to the liver, which is totally normal, but the trend is that the liver is healing quickly. I have also managed to pull apart the sutures at the top of my scar, which means there is a big hole in the center of my chest. The good news is that it is healing from the inside out, and should be fully closed within the next 2-3 weeks. I am finally off the intense pain medication and on regular tylenol as needed for pain, which is quite a relief. I can still feel some slight pains in my liver region but I have a feeling that the sensations will go away within the next few weeks.
Heidi had her JP Drain removed, as well as 62 staples. Heidi said that the 62 staples were not nearly painful/uncomfortable as the JP tube, as it was so deep inside that it felt very uncomfortable as it was being pulled out. The picture below shows the tube and staples before removal. After a few days, the drain and staples had healed, and things were back to normal. Heidi has been recovering steadily, and she is looking fantastic.
Overall, we are all doing extremely well. We have been taking walks when we have the energy. We have been eating much healthier and more than before the surgery, and most importantly, everyone’s spirits are at their peaks. As we progress, I will update everyone through the blog.
Thanks for reading!
That’s a healthy Liver!
Good news from the Parmelee Household. We are all home, resting, doing well to recover as quickly as possible. Heidi and Chris had their first round of blood tests done at Kaiser in preparation for our first post-surgery visit to UCSF on Tuesday morning. Heidi, Chris, and Kevan all took a walk around the neighborhood this afternoon, and spent some time chatting with visitors.
If you feel inclined to view the photos from the surgery, I have posted photos from both my liver donation, and my mother’s receipt of the donor liver on the following pages. Please take a look:
Parm’s Liver Donation
Heidi’s Liver Donation Received
Thank You again to everyone for their continued Love, Prayers, and Support.