DECEMBER 19–Another OR Visit

So Caitlin wasn’t going to make this a Hallmark Christmas miracle, no. That’s too easy, too sentimental, and Caitlin, compassionate as she is, is not one for easy sentiment.

This is tough stuff she’s going through. She’s still in critical condition.

The lactate levels continue to rise. That indicates there is dead tissue somewhere. They need to find out where. They don’t think it’s coming from the left leg but will have Vascular look at it while they are in the OR.

They are going to make a small incision in her abdomen and visibly check the liver and the bowel. Hopefully they will see something they can remove…  in any case, they will leave the incision open and covered for a few days so they can have access to the area and see what’s what. They will also open the chest covering, clean it out, and put another cover on. (Her chest is so swollen they can’t close her up yet; this is common after transplant). They will also do a bronchoscopy (clear out the lungs), as a lot of blood got down there yesterday.

This will happen in a few hours. They are basically going to move her entire “support” system into the OR, so as not to disrupt her as much as possible.

Everyone who worked on this very high-risk surgery has been in awe of Caitlin and how rugged her tiny tiger body has proven to be. But she’s in a quite hellish place right now, I won’t lie. A photo would scare you.

We need to stick with her. We knew it would be a very rough road, post-transplant, and it certainly is proving to be. But a successful outcome is the prize: Climbing hills in San Francisco with Jess, hiking in Maine with Andrew, traveling freely with her mostly companion (me) again.

I’ll send out a post  when she goes into the OR. The incision is simple, but how much time in there will depend, of course, on what they find.

–The team

Author: kittenupdates

I am the author of CASCADE and LITTLE MATCHES: A Memoir of Grief and Light

46 thoughts on “DECEMBER 19–Another OR Visit”

  1. Sending prayers and healing energy to Caitlin…she has so many praying for her that she can lean on our energy to get her through this. Sending healing energy to you, too! xo

  2. Thank you for the update. Like everyone else – I check the blog i nearly every 10 minutes. No matter what I’m doing, I’m chanting liver – down, lactate – down, leg – up. Right now I’ll focus on the doctors, those amazing doctors, to guide them in finding the problem swiftly.

    I too am in awe of Caitlin, but I’m also k in awe of you, Nick, Andrew and Jess – her bedside angels. You have never waivered in your support and care and love.

    Caitlin was never one for the Hallmark Christmas – however – she has always been the one to help anyone down on their luck or needing a smile, a gentle touch, or a kind word. She truly is a compassionate soul.

    I will send evey prayer and thought her way.

    Much love and much light.


  3. I think I can speak for everyone that we are here for the whole O’hara Family. I can se where she get’s her tiger attitude from

  4. I am so in awe of you, Maryanne. Prayers for and love to all of you as you continue on this incredible road to health for Caitlin.

  5. Yes, we all need to stick with this incredible tiger now more than ever. So pouring on the prayers and healing light this afternoon and keeping the faith. Love to all of you!

  6. Holding you all in the light today. You are all warriors of strength and love. May this OR trip be the first step to answers and proper treatment, the best next step on her road to recovery. ❤

  7. My tiny ferocious friend…such a fighter but she (and your whole team there) deserves a day full of good news. Hoping and praying that comes very soon, and that the doctors get to the bottom of what’s causing the high lactate levels. Sending so much love to all of you.

  8. The other day Jess asked us to do something for someone in Caitlin’s honor, so today I mailed a gift card to a restaurant to someone I admire who works with animals at our local shelter. I signed it “a secret Santa”. Please let Caitlin know I am pulling for her with all I’ve got.

  9. There are still six more days until Christmas and hopefully by then her body will settle down and be functioning a bit better. Caitlin has come so far and is such a strong fighter. We all continue to pray for her. We are in awe of Caitlin and you and Nick. I can only imagine how many thousands of people who are now following the blog posts because of all the SHARING to friends and media. One of my daughter in laws ( who has never met Caitlin ) got a text from HER sister to tell her of this new post about 2 minutes before it came to ME via email!

  10. We are with you… Doug keeps telling me to tell you that she’s going to be fine – that this period is in its own way terrible… and we both are worried about you and Nick. You have to please take care of yourselves.Take little naps.Eat right. I know this part too well – no one is taking care of her care team and you need to be sure you stay healthy too. Please, please.

  11. Maryanne – your detailed descriptions and perspectives are so helpful; as if we are all asking the same questions. You answer them before signing off (such as: “this is typical” or “we need this to improve”. What I don’t understand is how you’re able to anticipate these things, so succinctly. More importantly, I am completely in awe of your ablity to portray such stamina and calmness in the face of such terrifying uncertainty. Suffice it to say, I wouldn’t want to be across from you at the poker table!! ❤

    I have an army of friends praying for you all. They inquire constantly and I hope the love and positive thoughts we send are palpable. We will not waiver. I woke up frequently thru the night last night. I lifted Caitlin ( in prayer each time, really hoping the drama with her liver & lactade levels would subside for good! But alas, as you said just now, “she is not for easy sentiment.” Tell her it’s ok for her to take the easy sentimental Christmas Fairy Tale story line! Yup. 😇😍😇.

  12. Maryanne, I can’t tell you how happy I am that they are going to take her to the OR and check out her gut. I really, really hope her LFT’s are still trending down. You have all my hopes and prayers and thoughts right now. Caitlin’s lactic acidosis has been making me crazy all day — Love, Liz

      1. It sounds like she is getting amazing, incredible care! High hopes that this trip to the OR will be one of the last!

  13. Your tiger has quite a team. The doctors and nurses are angels in disguise as they care for Caitlin in this most extraordinary way. Caitlin asked for prayers and hope. That is my foremost thought for her each waking moment. Pretty sure I have been praying in my sleep, too. Sending more light and prayers.

  14. Praying Maryanne, you are all so blessed to have each other, there is so much strength between you all. Caitlin is a fighter and I know shewill continue, she has so much love.❤️

  15. I have never met Caitlin but I really hope to one day. She is truly an incredible person. I wish you all love, peace and strength as you go this long journey and come out the other side. I am continuing to pray for Caitlin.

  16. She is an amazing tiger of a woman!!! She is very, very special person and she is going to make it and do all those things and love living! She has made it through the transplant and now it is a balancing act to heal. This has been quite a journey for her and all of you. Please remember to take good care of yourself too and try when you can to get some rest. We want nothing to happen to you so you can enjoy Catlin’s new found 2nd life with her!!!❤️❤️🙏🙏🎄Christmas miracle indeed!

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