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Archive for July, 2012

If you are reading this post, I have been called by the hospital. They said to come get my new heart. So that is exactly what I am doing.

Denise and I are on our way to the hospital to get my new heart. I want to thank all of you for the support you’ve given me AND Denise over these past years. More than twenty years ago the Air Force doctor told me that I would not survive without a heart transplant. Another doctor tried to tell us a similar story in 1995. Again in 1998, a doctor cautioned that without a transplant, I would die. Then, in 2002, the scenario played out yet again. The doctors were nearly right in 2006. I was on the transplant program, and then not. Left in hospice to die…well, as you can see, I did not. Now, here in 2012, I am on my way to finally have the heart transplant surgery. Wouldn’t it be funny (in a sick sort of way) if I made it all the way to the hospital only to be run over by a bus at the hospital’s entrance. Makes me chuckle just thinking about it.

This is both the end of the journey – and the beginning of a journey. It is the end of the journey to have a new heart. A journey I have traveled for over twenty years is finally over.  (Take a deep breath) The beginning of a new journey is on the horizon. I have the rare opportunity to continue to live my life, despite the fact that nature is telling me I should die. It will be a tough year ahead of us. I say us because both Denise and I will tackle the trials that lie ahead. For me…I want to stay alive and get stronger with each day my eyes are open. I want to honor the gift I am getting this day by living the best I can. As for Denise…my personal guardian angel.  She will be nursing me, driving me around, waiting in rooms as I get biopsy after biopsy and the nearly inevitable hospital stay. Tons of doctors appointments. Many trips to pharmacies and – well, I will fill you in right here as we move forward after surgery.

As we drive to the hospital, my mind once again turns to the family of someone who has just passed away. Through their grief, they have seen clear to let me have their loved one’s heart. Thank you so much. From all of my family, please find peace knowing your loved one’s heart is keeping a pretty nice guy alive. Alive to share your parted loved one’s story of my donor’s kindness, and the courage of his or her family.

If you find yourself not really knowing what the heck is going on, you can catch up. Pick up a copy of “Death:Living To Talk About It” here.    http://www.brianhayden.com/  My book is available in Paper back, Kindle and Nook.

This memoir is the story of a man struggling with heart failure, and the trials he and his family endured for many years. It is the story which proves that know matter what -you do not give up. There IS hope.

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I used to think that having one week without drama was a realistic goal. I am now ready to concede to the reality that a guy waiting for a new heart will never have a week without drama. And this week just proves my point. Lets start from the beginning. Beginning of my blog week that is.

June 29th : As you may remember, I have been watching for swelling in my left leg – a symptom of DVT.  This issue continues to come and go, and come and go. I truly do not know what is going on. I am putting this issue into the boring pile. It will no more trigger a “drama” event.

July 2nd: My blood pressure continues to hinder my daily activity level. It hovers around 80/50. The doctor said not to worry about it as long as it does not drop below 80. I knew the side effects would be part of the bargain, so. .  .   . low blood pressure will no longer trigger a “drama” event.

July 4th: Happy fourth of July. Let me start this day by asking you a question. How hard do you think it might be to get a home health nurse all riled up? The answer: Not hard at all.  Wednesday, my nurse came to change the bandage for the picc line. She does this every week and today was no different, except about half way through, I became unresponsive.

According to Vocabulary.com: 

If someone can’t or won’t respond, we call them unresponsive. Depending on the context, a person’s unresponsiveness can be just a bummer or a life-threatening condition.

Take this word piece by piece. Un- means “not,” as usual. A response is a reaction to something. And -ive is a suffix that means “state of being.” Taken together, these parts add up to “the state of being not responsive.” When your boyfriend just sits and stares rather than talking about what’s bothering him, he’s being unresponsive. Medically speaking, when a person is called unresponsive, it means they’re at least unconscious, and possibly dead or dying.

So you can see, when my nurse considered me “unresponsive”, her heart started to race. This is similar to the problem I described to you a few weeks back. My heart went into an arrhythmia, and apparently this time I became unconscious, if only for a few seconds. My nurse got all serious. I told her that this happens to some degree nearly everyday. Most of the time there is know body around when it happens. Is that like the falling tree analogy? If there is know body to see the tree fall, or to hear the tree fall, does it make noise when it falls? The analogy in this case: if there is know body to respond to, can I really be “unresponsive”?

I even talked this over with Dr Kwan on my last visit. He interrogated my defibrillator and saw no arrhythmias. Although the machine only records events over 150 beats per minute. Dr Kwan felt comfortable in his understanding of the problem, and sent me on my way.  My nurse is not so sure. She is calling Dr Kwan today, July 4th to tell him what happened. That will almost certainly trigger a call later this afternoon with instructions to come by his office tomorrow.

The episodes continue though, and when there is someone to witness the event it can be a little dramatic. I think. I cannot tell you for sure because I was kind of “out”. The judgement: I will continue to consider “unresponsive” episodes drama.

So for now, at least for this week I have by definition side steeped most of the drama this past week. While drama is fun on television, let’s hope for you and me that the television is where drama will stay!

Every week, please join me in saying a prayer for the donors and their families. If you do not believe in prayer, perhaps you could send good thoughts and vibes their way. 

Watch for the new book coming to you in October 2012! Also, look for my Anthology of short stories and poems. A totally fictional, sometimes irreverent look at the world. My target release date  for this book is September 10, 2012. Oh, one last bit of news.  A new book; “Memoirs of the Cold War” is progressing nicely and should be released in the fall of 2013 and a management book dealing with strategic and tactical planning for small businesses is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2013.

If you find yourself not really knowing what the heck is going on, you can catch up. Pick up a copy of “Death:Living To Talk About It” here.    http://www.brianhayden.com/  My book is available in Paper back, Kindle and Nook.

Take some time to go back in the blog..one month…six months…a year or more. My life is spilled all over the last 190 blog entries. I invite you in and check it out.

This memoir is the story of a man struggling with heart failure, and the trials he and his family endured for many years. It is the story which proves that no matter what you do not give up. There IS hope.

               

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