•Update of the week•
Erika had her second outpatient appointment today. The surgical team feels she is healing well from surgery and her incisions all look good. They removed the tape from her big incision and took the stitches out of the chest tube sites. After questioning her persistent pain, they informed her that the likely cause of her continued discomfort is the sternal plate they put in place during surgery. This is just like any other screws or plates that are put in place when a broken bone requires surgical repair and will improve with time.
Her pulmonary function test (PFTs) were down a little bit today and her chest X-ray showed a some fluid build up in her lungs. To treat this they will increase her lasix (a diuretic) for at least the next week and re-evaluate next week. The transplant team is not overly concerned about this and they are still pleased with the progress she is making.
PFTs are one of the most important tests she does and will continue to do on a regular basis for the rest of her life. She will also track her lung function at home with a sort of at-home PFT called spirometry which she does twice a day. This is super important because even if she feels fine, a decrease in these numbers can indicate either rejection or infection.