LVAD... Left Ventricular Assist Device

THIS BLOG POWERED BY THE THORATEC HEARTMATE II LVAD:















PARTIAL HEART PUMP = LEFT VENTRICULAR ASSIST DEVICE = LVAD = THE HEARTMATE II



THE LVAD ALLOWED ME to go HOME and conquer my normal and newest tasks once again.



Thank you Columbia-Presbyterian... Dr Naka and his Surgery Team, LVAD Nation, Dr Bijou & Dr Bonoan, Dr Mascitelli and Dr Shulman-Marcus!!!



AND TO THE SCORES OF PHYSICIANS, NURSES, PROFESSIONALS AND PEOPLE THAT PUSHED ME ALONG THE WAY... FORWARD.



Thank You God For I Am Blessed!



If I Was An LVAD-NASCAR Race CAR

If I Was An LVAD-NASCAR Race CAR
I would look like this :-)

FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY LVAD DAILY NEWS AND INFO FEED

23 November 2010

What A Wonderful Trip It Continues To Be by Steve Dunlap

FROM TIME TO TIME, MY BLOG WILL HAVE GUEST WRITERS WITH THEIR TESTIMONIALS. BELOW IS THE VERY FIRST IN THE SERIES...


A STORY OF AN LVAD JOURNEY WRITTEN BY STEVEN DUNLAP FROM TEXAS.


What a wonderful trip it continues to be. Throughout all of the trials and tribulations connected with heart disease, it continually amazes me the directions life takes you. The fear that one has whenever they begin a journey is real. When I began my journey with chronic heart disease, there was a fear that I would not be hanging around much longer. My cardiologist had told me that he couldn’t do anything else for me.

I was expecting to live the next few months and then go on. He referred me to the transplant team at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. Before I could get there however, I ended up in the hospital and had to have a pic line and a bag of medicine hanging from my body 24 hours a day. Those of us with LVADs know what it is like to have a bag on you, but the plastic tubes of medicine going into your arm is something else. The worry and fear that the tubes might clog up, having to wait for the home health nurse to get there to change your bandage, wondering if your clothes will rip the tubs out, the list goes on.

When I was approved for the LVAD implant, the work began. I am not a small guy. Whenever I had first gotten sick, I weighed over 300 pounds. Through hospital stays and comas, I had dropped to 240 by the time the implant time had come. My fears had taken on all new meanings. Had I done enough to survive? Is my family prepared for what is to come? Am I really ready to die? I am a church going person. I believe that there is only one God. I believe he sent his son to save my eternal life. But even knowing this, I still had my doubts.

The night before one of the invasive tests, I was really doubting my inability to survive all the mess that I was getting ready to start. I was laying in the comfort of my hospital bed contemplating all my doubts. I said a small prayer, “Show me you are with me.” One of the nurses then came in to give me my “earlier than anyone should” vitals. Whenever she had finished, she began to leave the room. She asked me if I wanted the door open or closed, and I told her it did not matter. She left the room but did not shut the door all the way.

As I turned myself over, it was then that I noticed the reflection on my room’s window. There where darkness had been only a few minutes before, was a perfectly white cross. The way the light was coming from the door and the reflections fit, this white cross came into my room. A reverent “Thank you” came from my heart and peace came upon me. Ever since, there has been no fear. I trust in Him. He knows what I am supposed to do and He is guiding me in my journey. What a wonderful trip it continues to be.

Steven Dunlap Texas, USA

THANKS STEVE!
AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

Today Is My 1 Year Anniversary With The LVAD / Can Not Become A Fish And Forget About The Water


As I write this, 1 year ago today, to the moment and the second... Dr Naka and his team implanted the LVAD into my chest and grafted it to my heart. I remember this day clearly. An hour prior to surgery, I was in my hospital bed preparing for the LVAD.

The night before my wife had brought in my hair buzzer. My only request to the nurses and doctors the morning of my surgery was being able to buzz/cut my own hair. Prior to my heart attack, i would be able to buzz my hair in under 10 minutes. On November 23, 2009 with a failing heart, it took me an hour to buzz my hair. But I did it!

Extremely fatigued and out of breath from buzzing my hair, I felt proud and accomplished that I completed what I set out to do... a fresh haircut for surgery.

:-) and 15 minutes later I was taken to surgery.

This past year has been a great gift of life for me. A second opportunity to live. A second opportunity to have a quality of life that was close to the one I had before my massive heart attack.

Living with the LVAD is a major adjustment to life. However the trade-off is well worth it. Without the LVAD my heart would not be able to supply me with the energy to walk 5 feet. The LVAD has restored my stamina to the point that my walking is UNLIMITED! This is why I say to other LVAD recipients/patients that WE Can Not Become Fish That Forgets About Water.

It is somewhat easy for me to forget I have an LVAD. I do watch my diet, take all my meds, visit the Doc on a regular basis... but at times I have to remind myself to slow down and pace myself.

There are risks with the LVAD that can cause death such as strokes and infection of the exit site.
These 2 risks run through my head as reminders that I must be careful with keeping the driveline still and secured so that it doesnt move or tug on the exit site as movement of the driveline can turn into an infected exit site. The best course for anyone to avoid infections is to LISTEN to their LVAD TEAM regarding what to do and what NOT to do.

In reference to clotting and strokes, LVAD patients are on blood thinning meds such as Coumadin. Taking my scheduled daily dose of Coumadin and keeping under the correct amount of daily vitamin K intake ( such as vegetable greens... lettuce, spinach, broccoli... etc) will keep the risk of clotting at bay.

So in closing (for now) I am very grateful for this year with the LVAD and the quality of life it has retored into my daily activities and life overall!



AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...