UF-Shands 5 day evaluation for possible double lung transplant


Mariella and I drove to Gainesville last Sunday. We are staying at Hotel Eleo on the UF campus. ADA accessible room due to the wheelchair. It is really nice place. All O2 devices hooked up. Great dinner at hotel restaurant, alfresco. Early up this morning, of Day 1, for labs, bone density scan, CT of chest with SAFE radioactive contrast and VQ scan. This also involved SAFE radioactive mist inhaled and injected.

The rest of the morning was spent with the transplant social worker then lunch and the transplant psychologist. A very nice man, who did not seem to find any obvious neuroses. The transplant pulmonologist was happy with our progress since last visit with dental, eye and dermatology clearance. Labs at home before coming were done, as well. He also helped with directing us to a high flow oximizer nasal cannula for pulmonary rehab and walking at home. We had dinner with another transplant candidate and his wife from Lake Wales and spoke of our experiences. It was great. Cardiac cath, Tuesday morning.

The procedure showed that all my coronary arteries were fine and the heart pressures were all fine, as well. The cardiology fellow stated there were no contraindications from this cardiac standpoint for lung transplant. It was great news. Postoperative recovery was uneventful.

Look who is here?

Nap and early dinner. View from the restaurant.

Gastric emptying test to start Day 3. Don’t ask, you do not want to know but I am going to tell you anyway! More radioactive stuff in an egg sandwich with strawberry jam and a glass of water, then, repetitive x rays at first then, 1,2 and 4 hours apart. Got to spend the 2 hour interval across the street in the Wilmot Gardens. Very lovely!

Photo credits of five pictures below, Mariella Smith

It is Donate Life, organ transplant group,

The last x ray was done. Quick lunch. A pharmacy consultation then a swallow study with speech therapy and a sniff fluoro esophagram. Yippee! Think these tests have a radioactive component? They did! Back to the Medical Plaza next to Wilmot Gardens to start day 4.

Photo credit: Mariella Smith

The pulmonary function test went as well as could be expected by a great tech named Carlos. A nice break outside then the PT eval. It went very well. Leg strength was the important aspect of the eval. I did sit to stands without using my arms in 1/2 the required time. My leg press was 86% of my body weight. Acceptable percentage was above 80%. I walked 960 feet on 8-10 liters of O2 in 6 mins. It was my best effort. A financial consult at admissions and back to Heart and Vascular center for EKG, doppler and pressure tests. Clinic pic.

My last day! DAY 5. Echocardiogram. Dietary consult. More labs then Esophageal Manometry. Can’t wait to explain that jewel. Echo went long and I got to the dietician and lab. We had time to kill after so we went to Paynes Prairie State Park. Beautiful!

Esophageal Manometry test. I was given some Lidocaine in my nose and some to gargle with and let it numb the passages, My RN was great and down went a tube, 52 cm’s into my stomach. I was lowered to a semi recline and did swallows of Gatorade and it was imaged on a screen. I did swallows sitting up and a rapid swallow test while sitting as well. Out came the tube and on to lunch. MY LAST TEST OF THE WEEK!!! My wife has been amazing through all this. I will not anything for a week or two. Home tomorrow. If I don’t respond I am busy doing pulmonary rehab. Big peace out Tres dog