Harvey's recovery is going very well. I was very concerned about his kidneys shutting down on Friday, but as soon as they removed the breathing tube he filled his catheter (it had something to do with internal pressures). Anyway, they removed the central lines yesterday and got him up in a chair. He tolorated this very well. His incision is healing nicely. It is 'L' shaped running vertical from his sternum to just above his belly button, then horizontal toward his love handle on the right side. He has two (J-tubes) drain lines, one on the lower left of his abdomin and the other on the lower right. These have clear plastic bulbs on the end that they use to monitor fluid drainage from the surgery. They will be removed soon as his hemoglobin is stabilizing.
He seems a little confused and cannot describe exactly what he is feeling. He is struggling to clear his mind. Once he is out of bed and moving around more his mind will clear up. Heck, he's been in bed for the last couple of months! He says, "I just wish I knew what was going on". I've probed him with questions hoping that my answers will ease his mind but he is not being very specific. The doctor said this is perfectly normal given all he has been through. He is taking pain medication on occasion, but I can tell he is trying to avoid it.
The surgeons described his old liver and it is a wonder that he was even alive. The right and left lobes were worthless due to scarring and shrinkage. His caudate lobe was the largest they had ever seen. The caudate lobe is normally the size of an egg. Harvey's was the size of a grapefruit and full of infection. See http://home.comcast.net/~WNOR/liver.htm or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray1086-liver.PNG for a better understanding of the liver anatomy.
They intend to move him to a private room on the transplant floor today. The doctor is estimating that he will not be able to leave the hospital until at least next Friday. I don't want to push it. I will keep you posted.
I see many new members in the forum (Welcome all). This experience is bitter/sweet as I realize there are so many families out there struggling to get to this point and not everyone makes it. My thoughts and prayers are with you always.