7 October (day +8)

1. Being alive
2. An end to my fevers
3. My medical team at the hospital

It’s been a week since I last posted, a week filled with challenges. My transplant day was relatively uneventful, but beginning last Saturday, I began to feel horrible. My energy level was completely sapped, I had nasty and constant lower abdominal distress, and my appetite took a nosedive. I turned away a few meals without hardly touching them. I began having fevers as well that would fade into the shadows when I took Tylenol, only to come roaring back hours later. My doctors began to suspect that there was an infection going on and, sure enough, after a battery of tests and cultures they found the culprit, a nasty little bacteria that’s hard to treat and enjoys hanging out in and around implants. That meant that my port had to go. However, unlike a PICC line which can be removed in the patient’s room, ports have to be extracted surgically, and scheduling an appointment with the trolls in the hospital dungeons is hair pulling at best. I spent a total of at least 24 hours fasting and not drinking because I knew there would be sedation. (Let me tell you, Robins do NOT fast well. No Precious, not well at all.) I finally had the damn thing pulled out yesterday afternoon, and as suspected, my temperature dropped back into my comfort zone and has stayed there since.😊

Something else happened last night that still curls my hair when I think about it. My nurse had put in a temporary IV access point while we were struggling to get me scheduled for the port removal. Last night, probably around ten, Alex (the nurse) came in for a routine vitals check. I asked him if I still needed the IV since my PICC line was fully operational. He said that it shouldn’t be a problem and promptly removed it, placing a small wad of gauze over the site and asking me to apply some pressure, which I did, but only for a short while. Alex got another small wad of gauze, added it to the one already in place, then taped it down. I thought nothing more of it and curled back up to sleep. A while later – it may have been a half hour or an hour – I awakened to a nasty, sticky, wet sensation on my right side. I flicked the light on and found that I was lying in a small pool of my own blood. Seriously, it was a scene right out of Nightmare on Elm Street. The carnage probably looked worse than it was, but it still scared the crap out of me. Alex hurried back in, got me re-bandaged with a much larger pressure bandage, then changed my bed linens since I had completely soaked a quarter of the bed. I dashed into the bathroom and hosed off the rest of the gore, popped into a fresh hospital gown, then climbed back into a fresh clean bed. I carefully chose a sleeping position that would put some additional pressure on the UV site, then closed my eyes, said a quick prayer (something along the lines of “please don’t let me bleed to death in my sleep”) and went back to sleep. The bandage is still in place, there doesn’t seem to be signs of additional bleeding, and all seems well. Whew!🙏🏻