One month out from transplant today. Tricia continues to slowly improve. We are finally beginning to tell that she is definitely getting a little stronger...she is walking with a little more pep in her step and a bit further every day at physical therapy. Her doctors are satisfied with her progress, and her lungs continue to look good. Her bronch last week showed no signs of rejection, and she is back for another bronch today.
Tricia has had a bit of bleeding from her lungs, and she continues to bring up thick mucus. Her doctors tell us that because she was so weak, her lungs will improve more slowly than most. Her transplant and chest tube incisions are healing well. It will be another few weeks before they remove her staples and her trach.
Her appetite finally began returning a few days ago, and she is able to eat several very small meals a day. She continues to be on tube feeds, but as we've discovered the past several months, she probably won't gain any weight until she really begins eating more. Her body is still healing, using a lot of energy to do so, which means the weight will pick up once the healing process slows down as well.
Tricia will have the gastric emptying study on June 20. This test will determine if she has acid reflux which will determine if she needs a Nissen Fundoplication (what people call a "stomach wrap"). Acid reflux, which can result in acid entering and damaging the lungs, can trigger rejection. Tricia did not need this surgery after her first transplant, and it's possible her rejection was triggered by acid reflux. Most CF transplant patients at Duke need the stomach wrap. If she does need this surgery, it could delay our return home by a few more weeks.