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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Life as an inpatient

Things happen fast. Friday I got the news that I was accepted to the Stanford transplant program after a 'lively discussion'. It would have been interesting to be at that meeting. I know that Stanford usually doesn't do transplants on amyloid patients. After discussion with Dr Weisshaar, the Kaiser Heart Transplant director, it was decided that I should come to Santa Clara Kaiser to be admitted for inotropes and diuresis. Since my heart doesn't work well as a pump, fluid backs up throughout my body; specifically in my legs, abdomen and lungs. This affects eating and breathing, (two things that I enjoy doing). Inotropes are drugs that make the heart pump better, and in my case, relax better. This allow more blood to pump with each beat. The drug I am on is Dopamine and is give by continuous IV infusion. It is similar to epinephrine or Adrenalin. With the improved pump, more blood gets to the kidneys which can then get rid of it. This is also helped by Lasix a diuretic. The end result is that I have lost five pounds of water in 2 days.
I am feeling well and try to exercise by walking in circles in the hallway. The food is low sodium hospital food, 'nuff said'. However, Craig and Dana snuck me in a Rocky Road candy bar and Barbie brought me Ben and Jerry's Karmal Sutra ice cream. Life is good.
We are now in waiting mode, but each day brings me closer to a healthier me. I am committed to put my whole heart into this endeavour.

Thanks for all of your support.

Kevin