Casey Jo's Lung Transplant Journey: Day 3

We were back at UPMC today for Day 3. Today, Casey Had an Echocardiogram, 6 minute walk test, seen a behavioral health specialist, and had lab work done.

The Echocardiogram was the first thing on her list. (That was one test I couldn't go back with her). 
They first put an IV in for a 'bubble' test. Then hooked her up to the machine and had the ultrasound of her heart. Through the IV they pushed sodium chloride with little bubbles and took pictures of her heart as it expelled the bubbles. All together they took about 70 pictures of her heart.

Casey Jo was very unenthused about my taking her picture for the walk test!
Then her 6 minute walk consisted of walking up and and down a hallway while having her oxygen checked every few minutes and seeing how far she went. 
The band on her head was to monitor her oxygen intake. Her fake nails made it hard for an accurate reading so headband it was!!

Walking test
Next, we saw a transplant therapist. She was very nice. We talked about Casey's mental health. She said Casey seemed to be in great mental health condition. The one problem Casey has is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life post transplant. The therapist said most people with a congenital disease do the same thing. Casey's problem is that she doesn't know how to be well. (It is the opposite problem for someone who has never been sick and needs a transplant, they don't know how to be sick)  She has been sick for so long and she knows all the things she can't do, and if she tries to do them, how awful or exhausted it makes her feel. Casey can't see the big picture. She has been sick for so long, she doesn't know what to do with her life after transplant because she has no clue what healthy feels like; so she doesn't understand what she will be healthy enough to do.

Casey getting her 25 tubes of blood drawn

The last thing on our list to do was getting her blood drawn. She has bad veins from all the IV drug use she has been subjected to. She is a very hard stick. (I know this personally because I usually become her personal phlebotomist when her home health nurses can't get any blood from her.) She had some tests that the doctors said they were going to add to it. So I asked her phlebotomist what all tests were ordered. (Just to check and make sure everything that needed to be ordered, was actually ordered. We don't want them to forget something and have to be redrawn.) -I will spare you all the details, but this girl was rude and really ticked me off. She finally told me I could ask for a copy at the front desk. (I already knew that, I have worked in lab, duhhh!) She missed Casey the first time (understandable, like I said, she has HORRIBLE veins!!!!) however, before the second stick she threw in a little attitude that was enough to bring out (What Sarah Palin calls) "The Momma Grizzly Bear" in me! Thankfully she got it on the second try. (I promise I'm not one of those annoying family members who complain about how many times their loved one got stuck. I was a phlebotomist, soon to be MLT, and I know how hard it is to get blood from a chronically ill patient. Been there done that and totally understand!) When it was all said and done, she had 25 tubes of blood drawn. 
That was all for today. Thank goodness because Casey Jo was extremely exhausted! Tomorrow is her last day of testing. Yay!!!

I just want to say thank you for all of your wonderful comments and prayers! They are working!!!

If you are not a fellow blogger, and you are trying to comment on this post below, make your comment in the comment box, and under it says "Comment as," click on the drop arrow to the right of it and select anonymous.  Just make sure you add your name in the comment so I know who commented.  All of your wonderful comments really brighten Casey's day!


  1. So glad things are going well .... Looking good Casey Jo.......

  2. Thank you Casey for allowing Jessi to blog about your transplant journey. Jessi - continue to advocate for Casey. If you aren't there with her imagine what they would try to do. Too bad if they don't like your questions. On a better note - glad day three is over! More prayers coming your way!
    Lou Fryman

    1. Thanks Lou! Trust me, I don't back down! Lol! I want to know & understand every thing they are doing to her. Thanks for all the prayers & love!!!

  3. Hey Jessie Jo (and please tell Casey Jo)! I just wanted to say I'm following you!...and God is too! :-) Love, Steph

  4. <3 You Rock it Jessie <3 Hey Casey ~ watch out for those Grizzly Bears, I hear that one is really a bad one! Love you girls, you too Kim & Rusty <3

  5. Just wanted to let you know your entire family is in my prayers.Thanks for this blog so we can keep updated. Debbie Radabaugh

    1. Thanks Debbie!!! That means so much!

  6. KC Jo - Your strength is so inspiring! Miss you so much girl and I'm thinking of you and praying for you everyday <3!!

    Love Love Love you!
    Jazzy Fizzle<3


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