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Author pic #2 for siteI am so profoundly touched at the continued support,  and the number of visits that this blog has, and is enjoying. You …amaze me!  And although i will no longer be posting in this blog, I will keep it running for future readers to glance at the life and trials heart disease.

Please consider this a personal invitation to join me at my new website and blog.   Follow this link to my website.   http://brianhayden.net/  The blog is easy to find. Come over and subscribe to the blog through the NetworkedBlogs button, located on the bottom right side of the blog. Do this and I will send you a free e-book.  Five Short Stories and Twelve Poems is receiving wonderful reviews. If you have a Computer Kindle reader, I will send you a Kindle file of that book. If not, you may download a reader on Amazon. Or, I will send you a PDF of the book.  Leave a message under the “contact me” page and tell which version you want, along with an e-mail address.

Thank you again. and I hope I see you at my new website and blog.

Road at Sunset     book cover    short stories final

 

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I left the hospital after 10 days. It was great getting back home. I thought I would be more active, but it only took a moment to realize I would have many more days of healing before normal activity would return.

For one thing, I still required my chest pillow. A chest pillow is used as a brace – of sorts. When a person has any open chest surgery, the sternum is broken. Now if it were an arm or a leg, the broken bone is stabilized with a cast. Obviously, with the sternum that is not possible. Instead, patients use a chest pillow. Not all the time, but I use it if I must cough or sneeze. I pull the pillow tightly against my chest, as if I were giving it a hug, with my arms wrapped tightly around it. The pillow is my constant companion for the next three weeks.  Even turning from side to side in bed is painful.  In the first days home I went through lots of pain medicine. Probably 10 to 12 tablets of Hydro-Codone each day.

Aside from my chest healing, I came home from the hospital with a lymph leak adjacent to my groin. You may recall me mentioning that during the surgery, they had to use an alternate site to hook up the bypass machine. Instead of going through my chest, they needed to go through my groin. While that was a life saving alternative, the procedure badly damaged the Lymphatics in the region. Leaking at a regular rate of about 25 cc’s an hour, you can imagine the mess it caused. Denise was a trooper though. She got in there and changed the lymph fluid soaked bandages five or six times a day.

As the days and weeks went by, the leaking continued. You might imagine that with all the tape from the bandages having been put on and taken off repeatedly, the skin in the area began to tear. The entire area was bruised and torn up. After about a month of regular bandaging, the doctor decided to use an “ostomy bag” to capture the fluid. It hung from my thigh from a fresh drainage hole the doctor created.  Truly it was a blessing. No mess and easy to empty. We thought though, that the leak would never stop. Finally, just a couple of weeks ago, after nearly ten weeks of leaking, it stopped. Sunday night I drained it. By Monday morning the bag was still empty. What a night mare.  I am so glad that is behind us.

Now for the hard part. If you are regular readers of this blog, you will remember me discussing “de-conditioning” the months leading up to being listed. In those six months preceding the transplant I was very sick, and unable to do the slightest of exercise. By the time I was called for the transplant, I had spent a full three months almost completely sedentary. To say that I was de-conditioned would be a gross understatement. My muscles have atrophied.  I cannot easily walk anymore. The solution.  A program called “cardiac rehab”. The only issue I have: The program is at a very large Army hospital, SAMMC, (San An Tonio Military Medical Center). By the time I walked from the parking lot to their office I would be too tired to exercise.  Consequently, Denise and I needed to adjust our plan. We arranged for a physical therapist to come by my home twice a week. Between his visits, I would do the exercises he is teaching me.

Last week I had another heart biopsy. The doctor said I have zero signs of rejection. I asked him about going to the gym and he gave me his approval. This is going to go a long way towards getting back to “normal”, whatever that means.   I am being removed from the steroids, slowly, but surely. I am down from 20 mg per day to 5 mg per day. Valcyte is gone (that was a $3,000 per month drug), as well as a few other drugs. As for the anti-rejection meds…well, I will use them for the rest of my life, but for now, the blood levels are stable, so I only need blood test monthly now. Before last week, I was getting weekly tests.

The first year after a heart transplant is the scariest, but I trudged through the first three months like a champ, and my recovery is on or ahead of schedule. I am continuing to exercise regularly, and though I am still severely de-conditioned, I am improving.

As always, please say a prayer for all the donors in our world, and their families.

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 200 + 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.

The sequel to this story is “Road To Transplant”. Some of what you read in this blog is in the new book. Road To Transplant is scheduled to be released in Mid November 2012.

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According to my daughter, I was brought back to the Surgical ICU around 2:30 am. Six hours after being brought into surgery, and twenty three years after my heart attack, the transplant was completed and I was resting comfortably in ICU with Stanley. It seemed too impersonal to call my gift “the new heart”, so I named him “Stanley”. I was listed in critical, but stable condition. Attached to some twenty bags of fluid, through about eight pumps, I lie there, not yet conscience. The transplant was called a success in that the doctor changed out the old heart for a new heart. The surgery did however have moments of peril. Later, when I talked with the surgeon, he explained that he usually begins cutting the sternum (chest plate) from the bottom up. Then, once opened, the heart bypass machine lines are connected from the top of the heart to the machine. Well, as the doctor began cutting into my chest large amounts of blood began squirting out. Apparently, my heart was so enlarged that it was pressing against the sternum. When he began cutting my chest, he cut into my heart. Here is the cross roads for the doctor. Continue cutting and try to get the lines attached before I bleed out and die, or stop and use an alternate site to hook up to the bypass machine. Quickly, the doctor chose the latter, and with a scalpel cut my upper thigh near my groin exposing the large Femoral artery and vein. It was at this location that the bypass was connected. Once that part of the surgery was under control, the balance of the procedure went without a hitch.               The intubation tube remained in my throat I think about 8 hours or so. Once removed, the nurses immediately began getting me up. At least that is what they called it.

The first five days were the hardest. Moving was painful. Hell, just lying silently was painful, but two or three times a day, they would help me out of bed and put me in that big chair. You may be wondering why I have a pillow on my chest. Well, my chest is essentially broken. Taking a deep breath hurts, so I pull the pillow tight against my chest for support. Sneezing and coughing are worse, and I must hold onto that pillow very tightly. Like most things, the pain begins to subside.  I am only hooked up to a few pumps now and a half-dozen bags of medicine. The rest I take orally now. Once again strength begins to appear. Then on day five in the surgical ICU they moved me to the step down unit.

It is here that I will be weaned off of oxygen and other IV drugs. The physical therapy team now comes by twice a day to get me up and moving. At first I walk around the room. Soon, I take my first steps out of the room and walk 100 feet. I will have to walk 200 yards before they are satisfied. That is walker assisted.  

Amazingly, after ten days in the hospital, they decided I was well enough to go home. I left with a bag of more than twenty drugs. Some anti-rejection drugs, some steroids, a host of vitamin and minerals to help support a depressed immune system and other stuff.  And if you think the trip is over, YAHOO! I am home, you would be so wrong. Lots of challenges ahead. Watch for future posts.

Join me as I say a prayer for the donor and his family.  Words of appreciation and gratitude hardly seem fitting. When I find the right words I will share them with you.

And a fond farewell and thank you to little Brian, my old heart. Though he was sick a very long time, he never stopped trying and kept me alive long enough to receive my new heart.

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 200 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.

The sequel to this story is “Road To Transplant”. Some of what you read in this blog is in the new book. Road To Transplant is scheduled to be released in Mid November 2012.

AND!!! My latest book, a light fiction, called   “Five Short Stories and Twelve Poems” is an entertaining read that is sure to keep you smiling.

NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH AMAZON in Kindle format and paperback.  http://www.amazon.com/Short-Stories-Twelve-Poems-ebook/dp/B0090A4LKQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1347556262&sr=1-1

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Last Tuesday I went to go see Dr Kwan, my transplant doctor. As you know, my energy and strength are disappearing – and fast. We began in the usual way. Check in with the money lady, making sure all insurance is still in tact. Then a moment later I was called to the back. A quick step on the scale and off to the exam room. There, the nurse did the requisite blood pressure, temperature, ekg and a lengthy history of the past month, to include a verification of all of the drugs. Once all of that is done, the nurse leaves with my six inch thick chart. A few moments later, the nurse comes back. Dr. Kwan ordered the pace maker interrogated, as well as several blood tests. Luckily, I have this picc line with the extra port. No worries about needles this trip. Or so I thought.

The nurse prepared to draw blood. Getting the syringe and the vacuum bottles aligned, she connects the syringe to the port and connects the vacuum tube. Nothing. She tries again, and again: All with the same results – namely, nothing. She pushed stuff in and it worked well. I could taste the metallic bitterness of the medicine as it enters my blood stream. She pulls the plunger on the syringe. Nothing. Apparently, I am only getting one way flow. I need to have flow both ways: In, and Out. Soon after, Dr. Kwan came in the room.

We talked for a while. He asked the usual questions, and I told him about getting tired and weak quicker lately. I told him of the restrictions to my life I am now facing. After a brief and deliberate pause, he told me that the symptoms I am experiencing are side effects of the Milrinone (the stuff going into the picc line), and the Amiodorone, the stuff I have been avoiding for years. He talked some more and went over the numbers coming from my heart. He told us that, while my heart is very sick, the numbers are now stable, and the other organs are still doing fine. Then he discussed my options.

Dr Kwan said that treating advanced heart failure is a bit of a balancing act. Not enough drug, and my heart gets worse. Too much medicine and I get unfavorable symptoms. Nearly all of the symptoms I have are unfixable, except if I opt for the VAD – Ventricular Assist Device. I have declined this option before. It is called a “Heart-Mate II”. (check it out on-line) Dick Chaney used one before his transplant. It is a last resort measure to stay alive while waiting for a new heart. It is extreme surgery, very dangerous and I do not want it. Dr Kwan then asked which side effect is worse: dizzy from low blood pressure, or arrhythmia’s?  He could adjust one or the other. Not both. That was easy. I can accept the symptoms of low blood pressure happily if that meant avoiding arrhythmia’s. Having chosen my own poison (so to speak, he increased my Toprolol to 100 mg’s). If you will recall, I was at that dose a month ago, but the symptoms of low blood pressure were troubling, so he lowered the dose. I will suck it up and accept the symptoms. In addition, he ordered some medicine called “Cath-flow”. I do not know what it is, but it should help the “in and out” flow problem I am experiencing. The home health nurse will administer that next week.

Oh, that was the good news. Of course a visit with Dr Kwan would not be a visit with Dr Kwan unless there was some of the other. I have been on the Milrinone for more than seven months. That is the medicine being pumped in me 24/7 through the picc line. The cautionary tale that came with the medicine was this: (paraphrasing) – This medicine should not be used more than a year. Longer use may be harmful to other organs. In other words, the longer I use this stuff, the worse it will become for my liver, kidneys and other parts. On that time line, I have only four and a half months to find a heart and get off of the Milrinone.

Now for the not-so-good part. There is an increase in the number of people needing hearts this year, while the number of donors is decreasing. What does that mean? Dr Kwan would not speculate, except to say that the average wait time is six months. Could be longer – could be less. There really is no way to know or predict. He added, that the number of transplants nation-wide is less this year. There are just not enough donors. I do not know what the solution is for that problem. I was listed the week of Valentines day. That puts me at just over four months, but just under eight months on the Milrinone clock.

Last evening I took my blood pressure. 82/52. I knew there was a reason for the way that I felt. Then I stopped for a moment and smiled. I like this symptom much more than the threat of being shocked. Oh yea. No complaints here. Just smiles.

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 also October 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.

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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Please do not be upset, but I must say, that more and more I believe my time here with you is quickly drawing to a conclusion. Though it is only three months since being listed, with each passing day I feel more and more that the heart transplant will not come in time.  Adding to the list of things I can no longer do: washing my hair. It is just too difficult now to keep my arms over my heads for more than just a moment. Walking, even the shortest distance within my home is sometimes a struggle, and I fear before long that walking too will be added to the list of things I cannot do.

Adding to the problem, my arrythmias are back, and more frequent than in years. Almost daily, I find myself sitting; my hand over my chest; my head back, trying to calm myself and ease the heart beats. I am scared as hell of being shocked again. Oh, I know that getting shocked saves my life, but it hurts like hell and I would rather not be shocked. For those of you not familiar with my history, since having a defibrillator implanted in 1990, I have been shocked 16 times. Too many times by any measure.

In last week”s blog , I mentioned that the home health nurse said that I might be close to having to go to the hospital while I wait for the transplant. She will be here in the morning, and I am anxious to hear what she says. I am measurable weaker than I was a weak ago.

Well, she was here this morning and she re-stated what she had said last weak, adding, “you have a really sick heart dude.”

On the bright side, the blood work done last week showed that I am not retaining too much fluid, my liver function tests were perfect, and my kidney’s are functioning well. She said that if someone looked at these test results, and did not know anything else about me, they would conclude I were healthy. That is when she followed with that you are sick dude comment.

NOTICE: I am not in imminent danger of dying. I said since starting the blog that I would share with you how I felt and what was going on in my mind. For the last couple of weeks I did feel like this. I fell that way still, this morning as I prepare to publish the blog.

This is going to be short this week. I will finish by telling you that I have pulled out my walker. It is a metallic dark blue, with a seat and two-wheel brakes! Try not to be too jealous. The nurse also suggested that I increase the use of oxygen from once in a while and when I sleep to, well, pretty much all of the time. I have an appointment with Dr Kwan on the 19th. With luck, I will find out more about being put in the hospital until the heart comes, or any other tid bit of information I can grab a hold of.

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. If you would, say a special prayer for the friends of mine who tonight are grieving deeply. That family really deserves some peace.

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 also October 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.

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.

Read Full Post »

Waiting for a new heart took on a whole new meaning this week. We recently got word that one of the members of the heart transplant support group had passed. He was post transplant. I do not have the details, except to say that the people running the group were surprised to here that news. It is a stern reminder that heart transplants are no walk in the park. Sure people hear about them all of the time. And certainly they are safer than ever, even being characterized by some as “Routine.” Let me reiterate for you this: Survival rates the first year after transplant is 89 %. That is average, nation wide. That means that for every 100 people that get a new heart, 11 people will die. Heart transplants are anything BUT routine.

For me, the choice was simple. Either I get a new heart, or die. All other options were off of the table. SO, despite the odds (which are only a little scary) I chose transplant. I surrounded myself with a great medical team, and put my life in their capable hands. Still, after all of these years fighting heart disease and being sick, when a fellow patient dies from doing something you will be doing, it gives you reason to pause. May he and his family find the peace they so richly deserve.

As for me, my week has been mostly uneventful. After last week’s increase in Lasix, my weight began dropping. I was stable at 218 for several days. Then, two days ago my weight began to rise again. At first, just 1.2 pounds. No big deal, right. Well, maybe. But today I was an additional 2 pounds up. Combine that with loss of appetite, nausea and general weakness and now I have a problem. And I came so close to getting through the week with no drama. Oh well. Add to all of this the ongoing problem of getting weaker and weaker along with an increase in my shaking and well…I do not know. Last evening Denise and I went to dinner at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants. I like the won ton soup. When I got the soup, I could not eat it. When I held the spoon, my hand would shake so violently, I could not get the spoon to my mouth. I was not able to use the spoon to cut the won ton. With help, I just picked up the cup with both hands, brought it to my face and drank.

As far as the weakness goes, I can no longer do the simplest tasks. I always wanted to help by doing the dishes. Stand in front of the sink and do the dishes. That sounds easy. I cannot stand in one place for that long. My legs begin to shake and they are tired. I can take a shower by sitting on the stool, but I am too tired to get out, dry myself and shave. Denise helps me from the shower to the bed, where I hook up with my oxygen and rest before dressing. I HATE THIS! I am getting weaker and weaker, and I am helpless to do anything about it.

My home health nurse came this morning. As usual, we talk about how I am doing. I shared with her my frustrations and problems. While she was sympathetic, she knows that this is the road I must travel. At least for a while longer. She said that it seemed like I may end up waiting for a new heart in the hospital. She will report to Dr Kwan, and I have a regular appointment with him on June 19th. I fear that the next few weeks will redefine the nature of my existence.  Both Denise and I are afraid. We keep a positive attitude and we do as much a normal schedule as we can. We will keep hope close and we will keep the faith in both the doctors and God. Oh we will be scared, but I like to keep things in perspective.  I’m still here!

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. If you would, say a special prayer for the friends of mine who tonight are grieving deeply. That family really deserves some peace.

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 also October 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.

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.

Read Full Post »

Living on the heart transplant list is becoming more challenging every day. This past week showed me that my life rides on the balance of the smallest mistakes or problems. As you know, I had been dealing with blood pressure problems. Just a week ago, the doctors made yet another adjustment to my medicines. And, finally, by last Friday my blood pressure returned to normal. 100/60. All was well with the world, and I was actually beginning to feel better.

When Friday night arrived, Denise performed the maintenance on the picc line and changed out the bag of Milrinone. Not a problem. We had done this every other day for nearly seven months. The process went smoothly. The pouch was closed and we went on with the business of living.

Saturday was fine. I had gained a pound and a half over night, but I thought nothing of it. When dusk came, I went out back to water the herbs and the roses. We have a beautiful rose garden and herb garden. The process requires the watering person to move less than 50 steps for the entire procedure. You walk five or so steps, point the hose and water. Then, you move another five feet to the next spot and water again. You get the picture. It is simple and there is virtually no physical activity required, with the exception of walking, and pulling a garden hose around a bit.

I had spent about thirty minutes watering, and when I was done, I noticed the strangest thing. My legs would not carry me back to the house. I was completely unable to move my legs and had no strength to do any thing about it. I called for Denise. She came out and helped me back in the house. I was out of breath, and weak. My voice was disappearing too – a sure sign I was in heart failure. I rested on the couch, hooked up to my oxygen  and in a couple of hours, regained some of my strength. As soon as I could move, Denise brought me to the bedroom, and I fell quickly to sleep.

Sunday morning arrived and I was feeling tired. I was weak and had zero stamina. My weight was up two pounds.  Later that morning,  Denise and I received an invitation to my daughter’s house for dinner and watch the first game of the NBA Western Conference Finals, in which the San Antonio Spurs are playing. That sounded great to us. The only issue that we needed to deal with was packing the IV medicines, along with all of the accompanying stuff.  Batteries, alcohol swabs, latex gloves,  sleeve covers, IV flushes, Milrinone and heparin. You see, that day was the day to change out the bag. When we change out the bag of Milrinone, an assortment of maintenance procedures are also required.

We arrived at my daughters home, had dinner with her lovely family and hung around talking for a while. Then the pre-game show began. Well, that was my signal to change the bag. We wanted to do it then, so we would not have to interrupt watching the game. Denise grabbed the bag with all of the stuff and began spreading it out on the table. I too had my chores to do in preparation for the procedure. Once everything was set, Denise grabbed my bag and unzipped it.

That is when we new that I was in trouble.  Immediately, we noticed that there was an error message on the pump. All that told me was the pump was not in the off position. When we went a step further, Denise pulled the flap that held the bag of medicine, and to our surprise, the bag was still full. We took a double-take on the situation. Pump was on, but there was an error message on the screen, and I had not received any Milrinone since Friday.Just to refresh your memory, the Milrinone is an “inotropic” drug. That means that it helps my heart pump blood. I need that because without it, my cardiac output number is 2.5 liters. That means I pump 2.5 liters of blood from my heart every minute. That sounds like a good number, but it is less than half of what a person needs. Based on the evidence: IV medicine still in the bag, increased weight, reduced activity level and generally feeling weak and tired, I feel confident in believing that my cardiac output level is back to poor.

First things first, I called the infusion pharmacy. I told them my problem. A nurse walked me through some steps to get the pump working again. It worked, but because it is no longer reliable, it will need to be changed out. Next, I call Dr Kwan’s office. Of course that time of night and on a three day week end, I got the answering service. I explained my problem and they patched me through to the on call nurse. I knew this person and felt confident in what she will tell me. She agreed that I was in serious heart failure. The course of action was a choice. One option: Go to the hospital. I am not in favor of that option. The next is to change the dose of Lasix in the morning with a goal of drawing more fluids off.  If I cannot get the fluid to start coming off by the next afternoon, I should call her again. Also, if all is ok, I need to see the doctor on Tuesday morning. That is the option I chose.

The next morning I was up an additional two pounds. That is five pounds plus in just a few days. I took the meds as directed and the flood gates broke open. I was darting back and forth to the bathroom like I was in a relay race. The weight and the fluid had begun to come off. By Monday afternoon, I began feeling better. On Tuesday morning I continued to lose weight, but was still up a couple of pounds. We went to the doctors. Dr. CK was there. We went through the usual routine to check in and finally the doctor comes in. We discussed what had happened over the past several days. He said that we dodged a bullet again. Not having the Milrinone;  stopping that medicine abruptly was very dangerous. He discussed my weight. He told us that at my weight, heart donors are less common. I am completely sedentary now. How can I lose weight without moving around. While he did not have a good answer to that, he did say I should do what I could to drop as much weight as possible. He told me that he and Dr Kwan had ruled out getting a donation from a female. They did not feel that a female heart would be able to adequately support me.

Before we left the doctor, Denise asked him if I would need to be hospitalized while waiting for a heart. He said not yet, but that he is seeing me every few weeks, and as soon as I show certain signs (do not know specifically what), he will hospitalize me. There is some advantage to going to the hospital, namely you are bumped up to a category 1A, the highest priority for a transplant. This, however is reserved for the sickest of the sick. Those who are in imminent danger of dying. I will be thankful that I am not quite there yet, although this past week-end, I came pretty close.

A few days ago, a family friend, a woman in her early fifties had a heart attack. They did some stuff, and, well the short story is that she bled out in her brain because of some of the medicines that were used in the course of treating the heart attack. Now, I do not all of the details, but we were told that the family would probably pull the plug this evening.

When will my turn come up? Or your turn? Who knows? Be nice to each other, enjoy the sunshine, your children, grand children and friends.  Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy your life. Do it now, because I do know this much:  tomorrow is promised to know body.

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. If you would, say a special prayer for the friends of mine who tonight are grieving deeply. That family really deserves some peace.

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 also October 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.

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.

Read Full Post »

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