I never thought that Randy’s lung transplant would be easy, or that there wouldn’t be health issues afterward. One tries to stay prepared, but there really is not a way to do that. Randy and I were looking forward to a healthy, happy year, but as I have often said, the unexpected is the norm in Transplant World.
Walking into the new UT Southwestern Clement’s University Hospital I felt a sense of deja vu. It’s a new building…state of the art, beautiful, and contemporary compared to the old St. Paul’s building where Randy had his transplant, and where we spent so many days, weeks and months, but somehow it seems very familiar.
Randy has contracted a virus, known as CMV (Cetomegalovirus). It is not uncommon in solid organ transplant patients, and most take an antiviral medication to prevent CMV. Cytomegalovirus is related to the viruses that cause chickenpox, herpes simplex and mononucleosis. Once infected with CMV, the virus remains in the body, but it’s not always active. CMV may go through periods during which it lies dormant and then reactivates. If you’re healthy, it mainly stays dormant. Most adults have antibodies for CMV, up to 85% have had CMV as a kid. There is no worry of contracting the virus except through exposure to body fluids, not by casual contact.
Randy’s medication was reduced 3 weeks ago, and a week later he was experiencing fever and chills. If you follow this blog you know that after 4 or 5 days of this, Randy went to the clinic and had tests done. He showed no virus at that time, and his lungs were, and still are, clear. It was a week later that the doctors decided to put him in the hospital for more tests. They’ve checked him for everything, and so far, the only problem is CMV. But CMV can be a big problem.
He was started on a treatment the other night, and once again, last night. We have been told that it can take a few treatments before results begin to show, but after the first treatment, Randy’s viral count more than doubled. The doctor is “nervous”, and if she is nervous, I am very concerned. They have sent off a viral sample to Mayo in order to see if Randy is resistant to the medication. If he is, they will need to change treatment. The important thing is to get this virus under control so it doesn’t damage his organs. In the meantime, he continues to run fevers.
We will have the results of the test from Mayo tomorrow. Fingers crossed he is not resistant. In the meantime, it is best that no one but family visit him. His immune system is so cratered that he is extremely vulnerable right now.
For my part, I am going to have to take better care of myself. Stay hydrated, get exercise. I want to go to yoga…but I cannot go to a studio, who knows what bacterias I could pick up? I will need to stay away from public places and environments prone to bacteria of any kind. I need to eat healthy and not give in to the impulse to just grab whatever junk is available.
Tomorrow will find me with Randy at the hospital. I will keep the blog up to date. Prayers and positive energy are welcome!