The full version of my documentary! Enjoy!
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.
If you go back to the first blog post I ever wrote you will notice I mention that I began blogging to entertain myself while waiting for my heart transplant. Now more than 6 months later with this new heart beating strong in my chest my blog has taken on a totally different meaning. My blog aims to increase the word on the importance of organ donation and now moves to inspire others with how precious life is and how wonderful it can be; especially if you’re like me and see the beauty in the little things. Today I received a Facebook message and a card sent to my foundation that really made me see the importance of this blog, and the impact it can have, more so than I ever dreamed possible. The Facebook message read “I know you’re super humble and super thankful for all the media attention. But what is amazing is I was at speech with my son and a group of parents are in the waiting room when your story came on the news. One of the women said that her daughter had become an organ donor because of your story and literally four moms said the same thing. Their other response was if not for your story what kid in their twenties or teens would even think about organ donation. Plus they added had their children not done that and told them about it and your story, if anything heaven forbid ever happened to their child they didn’t think they would ever have chosen that for their child. Your story has brought so many different people together and under many different circumstances than you can ever know! It’s amazing! Then these two older women turn to me I guess because I was quiet and started asking me if I was a donor lol. These are the conversations people have about your story!!” To wake up and read this instantly brought a smile to my face. This has been my goal all along. This story made me finally realize the good I was doing for organ donation and that people really were out there listening and signing up. The beauty behind it was also that it was teens. It is the young people that must sign up and make the list of potential donors grow and let those see how beautiful organ donation can be. Every name on the organ donation list is a name that I hope never has any harm come to them, but if heaven forbid a tragic accident occurred it is the idea of saving many lives in your passing that makes this such a special thing. This is what allows me to live today outside hospital walls and begin getting back to a normal life, kind of like yesterday where I was allowed to drive around town only 3 weeks after transplant. The other story I would like to share is the card I received today. This card came more as a shock than even the Facebook message and showed me an impact I am having that I would have never dreamed. The card read “Hi Colby, I hope you are doing well! I wanted to tell you that you have been the good news story that I have been waiting to hear. To see your smiling face in the newspaper really warmed my heart! I taped it to my refrigerator to be my inspiration. I struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts daily. When I see the fight for life you went through, I know that I can fight for one more day. Maybe one day I will catch a break that I need and be smiling too. Until then, I’ll keep you on my fridge with your thumbs up cheering me on and know that I’m cheering you on with all my heart!” To get even just one letter such as this makes this whole blog worth it in my eyes. I can only hope an impact like this has been spread to even more of my readers. An impact that a year ago I would have loved to have had on someone’s life, but would have never imagined possible. To receive a letter such as this gives me such fulfillment I cannot put it into words. To couple it alongside the other message I received to know my story has spread the word on the importance of organ donation as well made today the day where I saw this blog truly for what it is. But you better believe the humor will be returning in other blog posts to come. Lastly, I want to leave you with a poem. I recently have been reorganizing my room since my return from the hospital and came across a little card from the funeral I attended for my friend Greg. I mentioned Greg briefly in another blog post and how he passed far before he should have, but in his passing saved 8 people through organ donation. Greg’s death has an impact on me now far stronger than I ever even thought it would. Greg passed away in May 2010 and never did I think 4 months later I would find out I would need a lifesaving heart transplant. I talk a lot from my side as the organ recipient but the poem on the back of Greg’s card shows the beauty of being a donor as well. It reads “ My Final Gift: It is now time for me to move on/Into the dark, but also the dawn. I will remain as the morning comes/As I’ve left behind a gift for someone. So another may walk, may talk, may see/Where their life was locked, I offered the key. I am a donor to someone in need/My final gift, my final deed.”
To say my life has been a whirlwind since having a transplant would be an understatement. I was escorted throughout my hometown by police cruisers and a fire engine and arrived home to find my entire neighborhood decorated and waiting for me at my house along with tons of friends and family. If that wasn’t enough the next morning I wake up to my face on the front page of at least 4 separate newspapers. Front page of four separate newspapers? To say I was shocked again is just an understatement. When I see it all I think to myself why me? Who am I? What is with my popularity? And let’s not forget to top it off with me being a news story on almost every news station while we’re at it. So let’s get back to something that has been said time and time again. Do I think I deserve this? No. But again it falls back to my support system. I just don’t think it could be better. If there was a competition of a transplant patient that was given the most support ever through their trying journey I would win every single time. There is no way I could lose with the likes of Have a Heart for Colby and Team Colby. Saying I am truly blessed can be added to the understatements of this blog post. So another special thank you to the support system and another thank you to the news crews that follow my story because although I don’t find myself more special than any other transplant patient I find it special that my story has brought organ donation to the forefront in CT news and soon to be national news this weekend when, that’s right folks, Tales from the 10th Floor hits CNN.
Now more importantly is the fact that I am home. No IV pole, no toilet in a cabinet, no nurses wanting to stare at my ass, and showers on a daily basis. Being at home is the first honeymoon I will take in my life. Being here has felt so perfect it is indescribable. Many transplant patients talk of it being weird if not eerie. Not this guy. It felt superb, calming, and oh so needed. My house had been redone due to insane ice damage it took the winter before I went into the penthouse so to come home to that just added to the surprises I got to partake in. What is important about me being home is the little things in life that I will say most of you probably take for granted. Whether it is a home cooked meal, the showers in the morning, the being able to go in your room and shut out the rest of the world for a little while, or of course the HD TV that I missed so dearly. The biggest and best part about being home though….a walk to CVS with my mother. Yes that is all. Just a measly little walk to CVS with mi madre to get a blood pressure cuff. To you nothing. To me…everything. There is a hill on the way to CVS, a hill that I used to have to stop multiple times on to get to the top. Did I stop this time? You bet but only at the top! To explain the difference between then and now is kind of hard to do unless you lived it, but I will do my best to show you the difference in the eyes of a heart transplant recipient. Old Colby during that walk would have lost his vision, his hearing, and felt like his whole body was shutting down starting with his heart. The scariest feeling anyone could ever imagine. New Colby takes that same walk and gets to the top with an insane heart beat and it hits me what all you have been feeling your whole life. Your heart is pounding but it is not about to give out like I always felt; it feels like it is bringing the rest of my body back to life, my aching muscles and lungs springing back to bring me further along that walk that normally would have ended right then and there. The feeling of joy is one most of you will never understand but it something that you may have never known you were blessed with and now something I share with you. This blog was written over multiple days and a second walk just took place. A walk that normally would have needed multiple breaks and long breaks at that. Well todays walk there was not one break. Not to mention I was wearing the first ever pair of sneakers ever bought in my life specifically for working out and just that purchase made my heart leap for joy. To say little things make me happy now is, sorry to beat a dead horse, but again a complete understatement. From the drive to buy the sneakers, then to getting the sneakers, then to taking the walk you would have guessed I was a 10 year old at Disney world. I hope my events such as this give you all the realization about how amazing such little things can be in life and again how it was the gift of an organ that got me here. Being home feels so perfect and every day is a blessing. Now to lay around and watch HD tv for the night…things never felt so good.
Final in Hospital Installment. Goodbye Penthouse…Hello Home!!
When I began this blog I did so with the hopes of using it to escape from what felt like a prison sentence. It worked. This blog became my outlet and many people joined in to read along with my humorous and at times emotional journey. Throughout the blog I had also decided it my mission to spread the importance of organ donation as it was obviously something close to my heart (yea a little pun intended there.) One thing people enjoy about my blog is my upmost honest commentary because what you see is what you get. Being that I find myself relatively intelligent it has become quite clear it is because of this blog that I am not the normal heart transplant patient. I too am able to sit back and realize I am on the news much more so than I have ever seen a heart transplant patient before, and that includes a former vice-president. To say I love that feeling would be a lie. I am more of a private person which is also why I take to writing. However, I do not hate it for the simple reason the light it has shown on organ transplantation and the increased need for donors. What I hope everyone knows most is my excitement that my story gains for those I met also waiting for not only heart transplant but organ transplant everywhere. There are thousands out there going through exactly what I did all waiting for their perfect matched organ to arrive, and if my blog was important enough to be news worthy to get that reiterated over and over I cannot be anything but happy about that. That being said it does seem though I have had far from the normal transplant experience. Mine has become much more emotional than ever expected. I have known upwards of 8 people who have received heart transplants while I waited here and not one of them could tell you a thing about their donor. That is the way of organ donation. It is very anonymous and news of donor and recipient comes out much later after the fact. Well that instantly was not the case for my situation. How this came to be I may never know, but I must share my feelings on the subject as to why you have gotten no response from me about my donor. Organ donor and recipient is a very black and white thing, but what has occurred in my situation is a very grey area. To have the news report who my donor is, is something that no organ transplant recipient would be able to take lightly and I haven’t. It has been very hard to not think constantly about what is being said all around me. To find out who your donor is, is to receive a letter by a government agency and then and only then can you be sure of anything. That is what I sit waiting for before I can allow myself to react. It is the right thing to do in this long process that I have been a part of since September 2010. Everything I have written in these blogs is from the heart and that includes mostly a letter I wrote to my potential donor. That letter is now directed at one person and to this day I still mean every word. For now that is all I can give them. I send thanks their way every chance I get and prayers and thoughts of love to the loved ones of my donor. One day when I have a definite confirmation of my donor there will be a name and family behind those thoughts and prayers, and a lifetime of trying to live up to expectations I have set for myself to make my donor’s family proud that I received their organ. I am fully aware of who they say my donor is. I have seen the news and read the papers. The tragic loss of someone so young is horrible and even though I was going through hell I would easily trade my heart back to give that person life if I could. The truth remains though it was going to take tragic loss in order to allow my exit from the hospital as I needed a young healthy heart to move on with my life. This scenario reiterates everything I have said about organ donation. It is such a beautiful thing that it allows good to come from horrible tragedy. Every transplant donor that passes away, especially those who pass far too young die in my eyes a hero and a saint. I had a friend named Greg that passed far too young months before I ended up being listed for transplant. I believe he saved 8 lives with his organs. Greg was an amazing person and loved by many, but not perfect and not a saint as we all aren’t during our life. But you better believe I feel he died one. That is the same way I feel about my donor, and the young man that lost his life whether he is mine or not. Although all signs point to yes I implore all of you to give me the time most transplant recipients need to take this all in and receive proper knowledge of such a thing. I have received messages from people who feel that I should be doing more in honor of my donor and that is where I must give my utmost honesty. I have done all I can as of right now. I have sent my prayers and my thoughts but that is all I can do. I hope everyone can see that I have just gone through an amazingly emotional situation and am still someone very sick who must work on getting better. As for those who may have messaged me imploring I give money I feel I must be dead honest with you and let you know I do not have it. I am a broke college student that does not come from wealth. I am thousands of dollars in debt and you would not believe the cost it is to live in a penthouse for 6 months. This also does not include the insane costs of the numerous medications I need in order to keep this new heart healthy and move on living a successful and healthy life. Not to mention the relationship that makes between donor and recipient is highly inappropriate and is a horrible precedent to set moving forward with something as amazing as organ donation. I must reiterate no one thinks more about the tragedy of my potential donor and how horrible it must be for that family, but again it is all potential until I receive proper confirmation. Even if it turns out that donor is not mine he will always be a hero and a saint in my eyes for the lifesaving impact his death had on this world, because he not only donated a heart but I believe saved 4 or 5 others as well. I send my best to his family and my continued support and hope for them that they receive everything they need to make his passing as memorable as they have planned. If the day comes I receive the definite confirmation that the news was correct all along, which yes I realize they probably are, my thoughts and prayers will continue to go in their direction for the rest of my life with continued hopes that I make them proud to have their loved one’s heart beating on inside me.
I believe whole heartedly that only a few things in this world can hit with such an out of body experience as a heart transplant can. In medical scenario it is quite simple of a surgery, big pieces being put back together. However, it is what surrounds such a thing that brings it to that level. Call me bias but yea you bet I feel there is more behind the transplantation of a heart than a liver or lungs or kidneys. Are those nothing? No those are huge, as is the passing of any organ from one human to another, but this is another level and in my talks with transplant families that gave up organs they feel the same way. What surrounds the idea of the heart is something mythical in a way with the way it is seen to embody love and emotion; all things that I have mentioned are quite clearly in my brain because I woke up the exact same person just with a different ticker. But still whatever it is there is that little something different, that little something more that makes it a bit bigger of a deal. I was given an amazing gift. It seems to have been said from whom I received it but because there is a natural process on how that news gets received I will wait to make my personal connection on that level, but regardless am so, so thankful for the decision that person/family made to be donors. Nothing made it more serious as to when I was told my heart was beating very poorly when taken from my body. It was something I needed and got, at what turned out to be as good as time as any would have ever been. I have had a week now to sit back and take back in the past 6 months of penthouse living and the things that got me through my time here. This may get long but the first things that occurred was a reflection on those that got me through this. There is first and foremost my family. They are my bloodline and there every step of the way. Countless visits and large amounts of food brought to me and each member with their own personal role. My dad to come talk sports. My younger sister to come make me laugh. My older sister to be the protective caring older sister. And of course my mother. Her job was to be my mother. Take my wrath and accept it and in return send love instead. Make my food and do my laundry no questions asked. Each one of my family members did their job perfectly and made me last 6 months as if it was nothing. Till the day I die I can look back on this time and know it all started with family and we sure do got one of the best and that is why I am the confident eager person I am now ready to keep trucking forward. Next are the friends and family and insane support I have gotten. Did I help myself a little by writing a sweet blog and reaching out to others, you bet, but the support was endless, huge, and needed. From the closest friends visits, to friendships that grew bigger during my time here I was surrounded by true greatness every step of the way. Something that continues now with families helping at my home, and the random act of kindness of being given a bed because I blogged about wanting one. I have been truly blessed and that’s coming from someone who didn’t always think that way. Of course a special thank you to my girlfriend. She deserves her credit as she managed to travel time and time again from PA via train, bus, car, whatever it took to stand by me at a time where it would have been so easy to leave.
6 months in a hospital though and that’s just crazy and no matter how I roll the dice my ultimate thanks falls on those that I spent the most time with: the staff. They didn’t have to be there for me the way they were; they weren’t longtime friends and family or any of that but you would have never known the difference. To form a bond under the circumstances we did is unlike anything I could ever explain. For the rest of my life I will cry remembering the day I was rolled down to the OR with an entire staff of nurses standing smiling, sending me off as I felt it then, that they were as sad to leave me as I was to leave them. They were all so excellent it would be unfair of me to name, names but I might just have to. There was the boss. And I think it was all a reflection of her and the people she hired that made that place home away from home for far too long, and made me far too comfortable being there that long. Then there were those that made me instantly a family member and welcomed me into their life whether it was bringing me food or penis shaped straws as parts of their bachelorette night I was in with these folks and we were never getting rid of each other. A special thanks must go out to Sebby, Michelle M., Brenda, Kim, Swills, Smelly, Terror, Stinkin, Nucci, Kare, Azzy, Parker, Jason, Lauren, Kellie, Jess, La Sapa, Ben, Carter, Hollywood and even those that i didn’t grow as close to just because we werent together so much you still all had the same amazing and powerful effect on me and gosh I know I shouldn’t list because I know ill forget someone and they might be hurt but these people are special, so special they are best damn nursing staff ever assembled and someone needs to let the world know. Call me Samuel L. Jackson and these are my avengers. There is just one though. And oh she was a special one and the whole damn staff knew it. I don’t know how we clicked so well and so fast but we were meant to be friends even if I never walked into that ICU. Again it is something about where you form a bond that changes things and that has to do with this friendship. I need to say Thank you steph k. I need to thank you for the rest of my life if I can. Your compassion, attitude, willingness to adapt and every other freaking quality you have made me the amazing patient that you all claim I was. I made it through this because of everyone else I listed that will never change, but when all was lost and I needed a rock, I found a damn awesome harry potter watching, sushi eating best friend rock in you. I love you and you know it as I will tell you often and it is blog worthy as well. No panties in a bunch here though folks just a deep seeded best friend love that is special…still a one woman man let’s keep that clear. Don’t want any ideas spiraling from my past confident lady killer blogs I may have posted.
Ok moving on, so finally I sit I know ill add more to this because there is never enough thanks to hand out to the doctors, other nursing staffs, all my close friends that I love so much and every other amazing person that has come to bless my life over these months and soon to be years of this journey. It was an amazing ride, one that I never wish to ride again, but I do know I am a better man now for it. I move forward now to new goals and can’t wait to let this heart keep me chugging along the path. I do have some sweet blogs that will come soon about being home and what not and now I have toxic poop or something like that so feel free to check back, because although you can take the man out of the penthouse you can’t take the penthouse out of the man.
166 days ago I entered the 10th floor ICU at Hartford Hospital a place that I soon dubbed the penthouse. Shortly after my arrival here I decided to begin a blog just for shits and giggles. I didn’t know how much I would stick with the blog or ever guess I was a good enough writer to get the accolades such as top overall blog in CT. Tonight I realized that people did read it quite a bit as it has been viewed over 20,000 times meaning that many of you through the use of my blog had been keeping up with me every step of the way. Today on day 166 though I get to write the blog post I have wanted to write since I started this page. That is right everyone today I will go down to the O.R. and will be leaving the penthouse behind, because as fate should have it, today is the day that everything came together for me to receive my oh so special gift: my new heart. I can’t really put into words what a wait like this has been like. It is definitely something you have to live through to see how taxing it is on, not so much the body, but on the mind. News like the news I was given today hits you like a ton of bricks. My situation went a little something like this: My nurse Sue walks in and says “Colby I just got off the phone with the doctor and he says he has found the perfect heart for you.” Naturally my first reaction was disbelief. I had been here for so long it never felt like this day would actually come. I asked if she was joking. It was obvious she was not and Sue does not joke, she is a straight shooter. Next came the waterfall that overcame my bottom eyelids and just let loose. So long have I waited to hear those words. After that shock and some continued crying and hugging of nursing staff I had to call my mother. I spoke two words to her: “It’s time!” That was all she needed to hear, she knew exactly what I meant. She composed herself better than expected and quickly her and my father were on their way. Next was the call to the girlfriend. Her reaction was one also to be expected of pure joy and I believe the first happy tears she has ever had in her life. It seems she knows finally we may be headed towards relationship normalcy for once. After the next calls to the sisters to let them know the deal and to say come visit I sat alone. This is when the feeling I had expected hit me. Numbness. Too many emotions at once just completely numbed the senses. I was elated, scared, sad and who knows what else all at the same time. I was able to sit and think about what this meant for me. Running, hiking, going back to school, headed towards one day being a doctor, but I would be lying if I didn’t say there were scarier thoughts that crept in. I could not sit there and not think that this meant soon my heart would be taken from me. My chest sawed open and my heart cut out to be replaced by some stranger’s. The idea left an eerie feel floating in my room. That however needed to be pushed aside. This is a scenario I have waited for since September 23, 2010 when I was first listed for transplant. It was the happiness that needed to win out and as the next few hours went on it sure did. I was excited and ready to go. If I was on a podium I would give Tim Tebow a run for his money saying how excited I am. Now I find myself writing this at 3 in the morning. When I post this I will be sure I am getting the transplant but at this moment I cannot help but worry. I have been here far too long and seen things go wrong and people’s hopes get crushed when they thought it was their time. I do not want to live through that scenario. I could sleep now but am unable to, not because I am too anxious but because I am too scared. The fear I feel now is not because of the insane surgery I am about to deal with but because I don’t want to fall asleep and then wake up and be told bad news like I encountered last time I almost got a heart. Lastly what came to mind during this rush of thoughts and emotions was the dear john doe letter I wrote on this blog to my would be donor. Again I still don’t know the donor but I know they must be relatively young to be a perfect match for me so I can’t help the sadness that hits me with the thought of him or her losing their life. I can only imagine if their mother is anything like mine what horror must be hitting her right now. I keep thinking back to my promise in that letter and how badly I want to fulfill it and that is making the donor and their loved ones proud to see that heart went to someone (me) who will make them happy to know my life was worth saving with what I accomplished in this life. At this point I know it is in my best interest to rest. When you read this I will be headed to surgery and I can’t imagine the new emotions that will hit me then as well. I thank you all for the continued support and look forward to my first post with a new heart.