Zoe’s persistent cough is finally starting to go away. 3 and 1/2 months, 6 doctors, 4 rounds of antibiotics, 1 round of steroids, an inhaler, 2 eye drops, and 1 nasal spray later. The transplant team sent her over to see a pulmonologist a few weeks ago. He ran some tests and wanted to try a short course of steriods. If that didn’t work he wanted to schedule her for a bronchoscopy. Bronch’s are unpleasant procedures at best. The patient is awake, but under light sedation. Their nasal passages, throat, and vocal chords are sprayed with a numbing agent so that a tube with a camera (scope) can be passed into the nose, down the back of the throat, and into the lungs. The doctor can then biopsy the lungs if needed, see any growths/fungi/general yucky stuff growing, and do a saline rinse to clean the lungs out. The Pulmonologist got in contact with Dr. Boyle since he’s Zoe’s “gate keeper” about scheduling the procedure. Dr. Boyle is opposed to this procedure for Zoe. It’s unpleasant and kids can come out worse than they went in. It’s just not a good idea to introduce foreign objects into the lungs of an immuno-suppressed but otherwise healthy child. He says maybe someday down the road, but not now. He met with the transplant board and they decided to take her off her blood pressure medication instead of doing a bronch. We stopped the norvasc last Tuesday and her cough has continued to improve all week. She didn’t cough all day yesterday and only 2 or 3 times this morning. Once again, Dr. Boyle saves the day.
Zoe had her biopsy last Friday. The results were 1a and 0 again, which are as perfect as we could possibly ask for. The only way they could get better is double 0’s. She’s past another transplant milestone, the 2 year mark. She sees Dr. Boyle in April (4 months as opposed to 2) and her next biopsy in June/July (6 months as opposed to 4). She’s pretty psyched. We are blessed and grateful.
While recovering in the unit from her biopsy Zoe made a new transplant friend. His name is Lane and he is also 8 years old. Her received his new heart last month just before Christmas. According to his mom he was a pretty sick little boy before transplant and was placed on the Berlin Heart while he waited for a heart to become available. He’s had some complications with rejection so far but to look at him you wouldn’t know he had ever been sick. He’s a very lively kid and his biopsy results from Friday were improved. The kids exchanged phone numbers and Zoe is pretty happy to have another transplant friend. After losing Melanie and Aly, I think she’s been a little lonely for someone who understands what it’s like to be her.