The rigors of a ten days in rehab prepared Madeline for life with her new lungs. Some therapy activities towards the end of Madeline’s stay included dancing to “Run Around Sue”, practicing getting in and out of cars, as well as performing household tasks such as filling pitchers and carrying them across a room and making toast. Unfortunately, Mad won’t be using the latter skills any time soon as she is still receiving nutrition solely through her feeding tube.
On Monday, February 27th, after 38 days at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Madeline was finally discharged. Early that morning, she sent the picture above of her countdown board to Jim, Colleen, and Mike. Michael noted that Madeline’s reflection on the board made it look like she was holding her hands up in victory.
Madeline’s “brother like no other” and “SIL”, Walter and Janet, arrived Tuesday for a week-long visit. As always, Jim and Mad are thrilled to have familiar faces with them in their home away from home.
Around 3 am Wednesday morning, Jim and Mad were awoken by the beeping of Madeline’s feeding tube alerting them that the tube was clogged. Despite efforts by the visiting nurse, Madeline ended up at the UPMC ER Wednesday afternoon. The ER staff was also unsuccessful in opening the line, so Mad was admitted there at about 7 that night. The following morning her transplant surgeon replaced the line and took out a few of the staples that remain from her surgery. Walter and Janet visited Thursday just before Madeline’s second discharge and were able to meet some of the transplant team.
Friday was another cause for celebration - Jim’s 69th birthday. This year, he could even have candles on his cake! Colleen happened to call just as the party was getting started and was able to join in via Mad’s cell phone.
Another cause for celebration on Friday was when the medical supply company collected the 3 10 liter oxygen concentrators that Madeline used in the house as well as the 33 oxygen tanks that Madeline used when she left the house. Prior to her transplant, the company made twice weekly visits to swap out empty tanks for full ones.
Sunday was Madeline’s first official public outing. Jim, Mad, Walter, and Janet ventured out to the Heinz History Center. Madeline has a mask that she uses while out in public, but luckily the crowds were minimal, and Mad was able to take off her mask for a few photo opportunities in the museum.
The week ahead is a busy one with appointments everyday - including the visiting nurse for her feeding tube, the transplant pulmonologist, and the transplant surgeon. While Madeline still tires easily, she is able to do many things that she hasn’t been able to do in a very long time!