I haven't felt like writing for a while, but I have had a change of heart. But seriously, it has been an eventful week. I got the news Friday afternoon that a heart was available for me. I got to enjoy 60 seconds of sunshine while they wheeled me to the ambulance for the 20 min ride to Stanford. I had not been outside in 2 weeks. It felt great. I guess you could say that my mood was almost giddy with excitement. I didn't even really think about the surgery or recovery. I was just thrilled to know that it was happening.
I waited in a pre-op room and eventually at 10:00 PM was taken to the OR where I met the anesthesiologist, Dr. Oaks. She was very pleasant and gave me some Versed (like quick acting valium, but causes amnesia) Soon the mask was on my face and my next memory was in the ICU. I overheard voices talking about my low bicarb (a lab reflecting acid/base balance and breathing). I opened my eyes and saw my brother Daren and his wife Rachelle smiling back at me. I gave them a thumbs up.
For years at Yale, I gave the 3rd year medical students the lecture on ventilator management and here I was on the ventilator hearing all of those terms. Assist Control, SIMV, pressure support etc... They weaned me down to a low rate and I began to fight the ventilator. It is a very uncomfortable feeling. I kept motioning for them to remove the tube. Soon after they did and my first thought was to call Barbie in San Diego, which I did. I told her I loved her with all of my new heart. My next thought was to say a prayer to thank God that I came through and felt so well.
My recovery has been swift. I feel great. I have no pain. I still have one tube in my right chest, but I am walking on my own, eating and now typing.
Words cannot do justice to this unique experience, however a few come to mind: Gratitude, comfort, peace, joy and awe. How we have been blessed. I am ready to begin the next phase of my recovery.
I want to thank everyone that has shared their love, concern, positive thoughts and prayers on my behalf. I have felt the power of that support.
Know that I am well.