So it has finally come time to bring Tales from the 10th floor to a close. My tales are no longer written from the 10th floor and I can’t keep up with this blog as much as I would like. However its not the end of my writing just the end of this blog. I have decided to start an even better blog known as Tales of Triumph. You can go view that blog right now at talesoftriumph.tumblr.com. That blog is going to be used to bring readers my tales of triumph as I continue to challenge myself to achieve more than any other heart transplant patient has in the past. I also will be posting many other amazing stories because it seems to me you can never hear enough stories that will inspire you to do great things in your life. Please go view it and spread the word about it as I will also share many stories about the amazingness of organ donation. So again thats talesoftriumph.tumblr.com so go check it out enjoy it and be inspired. Thank you to everyone that followed this site for so long and supported me as I blogged here and please continue to follow along on my new and improved blog.
Until next time,
So I don’t even know if anyone looks to see if I wrote anymore or if anyone would care, but decided to send out a tale, not from the 10th floor, but from my apartment in Pittsburgh where I am attending grad school at Duquesne, for those who may not have known. So in regards to the title of this post I did get high today. After transplant it was made quite clear that drugs and any more than a little bit of alcohol were not to be used. So why am I admitting it you ask? Because I got a little thing called runners high….clever I know. So let’s begin by building the back story to why I was finally hit with the runners high. First I must admit that since transplant I have been more blessed than most patients. I haven’t had a rejection (knock on wood) and was able to leave for school before most patients would be cleared to do so. Also because of my age I was able to get into working out pretty easily…that is except for running. So considering I’m 25 in a month it’s been pretty much 13 years since I tried running and 15 years since I was able to run long distance without needing to stop to keel over. When trying to get back into a workout routine my legs reminded me often that it had been 15 years especially when it came to the task of running. I was able to walk forever and use the elliptical no problem but running for me was like bambi trying to walk. Considering the lack of athletics growing up I was determined to be able to run though and it’s only fitting the one thing that in the past came hardest to me would still be the thing standing in my way. When I began my calves and I would do battle on a daily basis. It was as if they were not part of my body and were eating away at my leg. If they were part of my body then I reasoned little gremlins were trailing me as I ran and stabbing me in the leg. Regardless of how I tried to reason all I wanted was to figure out a way to win the battle and feel what it was like to run again without wanting to drink an oxygen tank. For whatever reason it seemed moving to Pittsburgh did the trick. I had been trying to increase the amount of time I could run every day. At first all I could run was 1 minute before needing to stop. Eventually I would get to 3 and 5, but then I thought I was stuck there until finally was able to run for 6 minutes then 7 and then just yesterday 8 minutes. It’s funny because anyone athletic would be like psh 8 minutes..no big deal… but to me it was. You might have noticed in a couple posts I was never too short on confidence but going to a gym full of young college folks who don’t have trouble exercising can get to you, because it’s not like I wear a shirt that says don’t judge me I just had a heart transplant. It may be a bit rude but when the chubby kid on the treadmill is running a million miles at a million mph you tend to wish better for yourself. So getting back to it the last time I ran the mile without needing to stop I was roughly 10 years old, until today that is when I ran straight through for 13 minutes and completed the mile! There it was, a high unlike any I had felt before, the feeling of knowing what once was supposed to be impossible for me to partake in again had been accomplished and I couldn’t have been happier. If the chubby kid next to me was up for it I think a dance party would have been in order. Although I don’t think I need to mention it because it should be clear, but this is all possible due to the fact that someone gave the gift of life through organ donation if that hadn’t registered yet. So go sign up you chumps at becomeadonor.org.
The full version of my documentary! Enjoy!
So I am fully aware that I have been M.I.A. for well over a month but like I said life can get kind of boring when you’re just sitting at home and the highlight of the day is your exercise routine. Well on August 18th I finally took part in something worthy of a blog post. Those that follow my facebook page are quite aware, but for the others it was my first trip to yankee stadium post transplant. This however, was no ordinary trip to yankee stadium as it was a day where I would be honored and organ donation would be the theme of the day. I was allowed to bring 24 people with me and enjoy the fine amenities of a new York Yankees luxury suite with all of them. Some notable people I brought along were two nurses, my transplant doctor, and another heart transplant patient. So this day would have just been special being that I got to spend time in a suite watching the greatest baseball team of all time while being with friends and family; but the Yankees being the Yankees took things to a much grander scale. Every person that walked into the stadium was given a donor card and boxes were placed all over the stadium so people could drop in their cards having signed up to be a donor. Being that this blog has been used to spread the word on the importance of organ donation it was amazing to see this being done on such a large scale. Again that would have been enough, but nope the Yankees still felt the need to do more. Like bring me down on the field and honor me as a special guest, place me on the big screen, and tell my story for the whole stadium to hear. Not to mention give me a jersey signed by the whole team, let me meet players, chill in the dugout, and bring out the lineup card…no big deal right? So from there it was time to enjoy the game up in the suite with all the people I love, but again the Yankees weren’t done. While being in there Graig Nettles decided to pay a visit to our suite and say hi to everyone and sign autographs and take pics, and then later on a member of the staff brought me up 1st base from the game we were watching. Pretty darn amazing day I would have to say. So a lot of people have asked me what was the best part about that day? Well I have had many different answers from standing with CC Sabathia during the national anthem, or fist bumping Jeter as I left through the dugout, or chillin with AROD for 5 min but none of those were actually the best part. The best part was being there knowing that one conversation I had with Joe Girardi while being hospitalized led the Yankees to have an entire day dedicated to organ donation. Along with that was being able to stand down on the field and look up at all my friends and family up in the suite and see how excited they were not only to be there but for me as well and what I was getting to participate in. One last part that really made the day special was bringing Jose the other transplant patient. I have always said that I am not the only person getting transplants and I don’t need any special treatment, although I wrote a kickass blog that led to this, I still like knowing I can help others as well. Well bringing him and then being able to present him with a ball that I got AROD and Cano to sign while I was down on the field made that day even more special than it already was. So there it is, finally a day worth blogging about and a day all about organ donation which is even better all thanks to Debbie Tymon the Senior VP of marketing for the New York Yankees that made this all possible and so amazing. So now it’s back to the usual days filled with exercise and late nights filled with television, but I am golfing again which is definitely a plus. There is a biopsy on Tuesday so hopefully the amount of steroids continues to decrease and my facial fatness will continue to subside so my younger sister can stop calling me puff pastry. I will try and post the video so you can see how awesome that day at yankee stadium really was. So until next time..Big gulps ey?…Welp cya later!
Normal life hits and along with it comes writer’s block. When you’re living a crazy hospital life that is so far from the norm it is easy to find stuff to talk about and tell the world about. However, even as I sat in the hospital I started to run out of stuff to talk about. Right about when I had my Brett Favre moment and now I sit as speechless as ever. The thing about me being speechless is that it is a very good thing. The reason I am speechless is because my life is back to its boring self and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now is my life normal? Well no it never will be, as most of you probably aren’t traveling to the hospital constantly to have a damn tiny alligator mouth bite pieces of your hearts off to be studied on a now bi-weekly basis, but when it comes down to it yea I would say it is pretty close to normal. Now most of my friends are working and so I spend my days at home and must entertain myself. Well although boring at times it still beats a hospital room any day of the week. So what is a typical day like in this post-heart transplant patient’s life? Well excluding those heart biopsy days my days are all pretty much the same unless something special comes up…like my sweet trip to Yankee Stadium coming August 18th…yeaaaa budddyyy! Anyways so a normal day is a wake up roughly around 6 am now, but then falling back to sleep till 8. At this point it is honey nut cheerios time..which rumor has it is good for your cholesterol so I am all about it. Breakfast is always followed with dessert. Yes I do have dessert with my breakfast in the form of about 10 pills or so. Then it’s time for a workout because this skinny bod needs to gain some weight in the form of muscle that I was never allowed to have my whole life. A work out comes in the form of a walk or a bike ride and then some light weight lifting to buff these puny arms up. I tried soccer again one day…totally unaware of all the muscles I used when I was 12 and last played and how they no longer react the same way, so that is a definite work in progress. After the work out comes tanning time. Some of you may say how girly of me and to you I say you sit in a hospital for 6 months, come out looking like Casper, and see if you don’t try and tan a little too. Now being in my current state they say I am more susceptible to skin cancer and I have to wear spf 30 out in the sun. Well you bet your butt I bought the kind with instant bronzer to make sure I get the same look as I have had so many summers before. During this time I also read and then move on to lunch and shower. Lunch changes day to day but mostly I turn to peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Now being that I try and keep this new heart as healthy as possible I now use low sodium organic peanut butter and obviously whole wheat bread. My suggestion is that honey is a must because low sodium stuff definitely can’t touch sodium filled things but you throw in some sweet honey and you’re good to go. I gotta say Winnie the pooh knows what’s up. The rest of the day is always up in the air maybe watch some shows or read more or facebook till I can’t anymore because I got addicted to it in the hospital…an addiction I must start working on chilling out from. But yup that’s about it. I said I had writers block but somehow I busted this thing out and this is how time is spent now in my home which is definitely not a penthouse because it’s on the first floor but it sure does beat the penthouse. And I’ll take my lackluster working out, tanning, and reading every day over my walks around the nurses’ station and begging nurses for showers every day. Until next time, which who knows when that will be…keep on keeping on.
Yesterday marked one month since transplant. Compared to the hospital where each month passed by as if it were a full year, this month passed by as if it were one week. I guess the saying time flies when you’re having fun really does ring true. Granted I have done more fun things in my life, but when you leave the hospital everything seems fun. On my one month anniversary fell a golf tournament in my honor. Although I didn’t get to play, when I was in the hospital I never thought I would even be there, but there I was getting to drive the course in my golf cart and watch friends and family hit the ball. That was enough for me. In one month I am already driving, walking, biking, and hiking so I know that pretty soon I will be out on that golf course right next to all my friends, showing them how to really play with skill. In this month of being home I finally got to see my girlfriend Brittany, who I had not seen since transplant and had not seen in two months. I bring this up because those that have read this blog for a while can think back to a post called penthouse dating. In that post I made dating in the penthouse seem not so bad, but let’s be real…It was beyond awful. When dating in the penthouse the most excitement that could be found was finding a high quality illegal movie on the internet to watch together. So that is what dating had become for me. Laying and watching TV, and laying and watching a movie, and laying and watching TV, and laying and watching a movie, oh and an occasional pick up of friendly’s to eat together from across the street. Now we were back to real life dating; actually it is more a type of dating that I never really experienced before anyways. We went biking and hiking together…something we sure as heck never had done together before. Then at night instead of spending the evening laid up on an uncomfortable hospital bed we spent a night at a bonfire with friends. Of course we spent one night laying and watching a movie, but in a nice new comfortable bed in my room, not some tiny horrible hospital bed. So although her visit was short, because again time flies when you’re having fun, we had totally new experiences and as mentioned in the penthouse dating post we had already been through so much this is like heaven for us. So as you can see one month out and things sure are looking up.
On another note is what has changed in one month. Well that seems to be some sort OCD I have developed, as well as dealing with the meds. Well the OCD first and foremost revolves around me and my relationship with purell. If you think about people who are obsessed with their pet and the pet has to go everywhere they go and never leave their side and you would feel like you’re the most horrible person if you leave them at home alone? Well that’s my relationship with purell. It never leaves my pocket and we rely on each other about 100 times a day. Excessive? Maybe. But that is what life has become. When showering I will add shampoo to my hand and start rubbing it all over my hands as if it is purell until it hits me this is not absorbing into my skin it should be in my hair. One day I even gave my girlfriend a kiss and then purelled my hands. Does that make any sense? Nope not one bit, but I bet my purell was happy that our relationship was so strong I turned to it even after a kiss with the girlfriend. The other side of things is me vs. my meds. It is a constant battle and it really is me vs. my steroids. Steroids that won’t let me sleep, make me hungry all the time, make me shake, but do give me the energy to take on a full day of stuff on only 4 hours of sleep. The shakes I feel give me character, but I just don’t know who came up with the idea to give patients who get shakes a liquid med that needs to get poured into a little spoon three times a day. Well let’s just say it’s like a game…a game I never lose (although I have come quite close to making a mess, I have still always prevailed). So with everything going on the good has definitely outweighed the bad, by like 27856 elephants, and with one month in the books and the rest of my life ahead I plan on prevailing over that the same way I do my damn liquid med every day. Thanks for continuing to read and don’t forget to go to donatelife.net and sign up to be an organ donor if you aren’t already one…and if your nervous about it message me and I can tell you why it is a good decision.