Two weeks ago we were spending one last night at home before the transplant. Jon & Elena were doing the same before Jon gave Mike the most incredible gift. Tomorrow... Mike and Jon are going to spend the afternoon together and they'll both be conscious this time!!
So, what is happening with Mike now that he has had this amazing shot at being healthy? A LOT. Where do we start? Medications? Lifestyle changes? Follow ups?
Medications: Mike takes approximately 50 pills a day. 15 types of medications. He also weighs himself and takes his temperature once a day, takes his blood pressure twice a day, and keeps track of how much he pees... Luckily he is really good at tracking all this!
Lifestyle changes: You might have guessed that a priority is keeping things CLEAN. Transplant patients, especially in the first few months, are very immunosuppressed. Mike could easily get sick and be sicker than the rest of us. Though we've been told we don't need to live in a bubble, it's hard not to go overboard and clean EVERYTHING! I now have hand sanitizer in every corner of our home, auto, my office, and....everywhere. I do a lot of laundry. All food also has to be either washed and/or thoroughly cooked, and well-considered - Mike still has some dietary restrictions, but far fewer than he did two weeks ago. I usually take public transportation to work, but I've avoided it as much as possible. It's flu season... the holidays are coming up... It's a little bit tricky, but WORTH IT!
Follow up: Mike has appointments one or two days a week - sometimes two a day - and he has labs done twice a week, all for at least six weeks post-transplant. We've never been more glad to live near some of the best hospitals in the world! People who don't live nearby have to find a way to make the repeated trips and it can't be easy. Once again, we are lucky.
Mike still has sporadic pain from an old hernia repair that was close to the 9" incision They pumped him full of fluids and that's mostly gone - he was as heavy as 311 lbs in the hospital and looked like a watermelon when he came home! He's weaker than he was before due to limited activity, but he no longer feels SICK!
So, here's to Mike & Jon's big day out tomorrow! Two weeks into a new lease on life!
Ever grateful, Samantha & Mike