Heart Transplant and YOU

| October 7, 2011 | 2 Comments

For me, the heart transplant recovery has been arduous but gratifying.  A blessing really.  In some earlier posts, I mentioned a seminar on the psychological aspects of transplantation held at Columbia Pres.

The stories were interesting. In all honesty, I never thought these kinds of stories would happen to me.  I am not sure they have, but something is up.  What I do know is that I am a lot healthier than when I left Tampa. The Albany Medical Center Hospital saved my life on two occasions. This eventually motivated me to get some body weight back and try to build some muscle.  I hope Dr. Hoffman will be pleased.

At first, my workouts were mild.  Each week they seemed to intensify.  Even to the point that after a good two-hour workout, I would try to walk the 3.6 miles back to my beautiful home. 

Two weeks ago a young female driver was on her cell phone and suddenly veered into the walking lane. I moved quickly to the left and rolled my ankle before falling hard on my left rib cage. 

As mentioned earlier, this is the only area where I have any pain.  The pain has been elevated for two weeks. Pain is just so unyielding, don’t you think? The neurosurgeon who originally estimated a year before relief would arrive has moved that date back due to some complications this spring.

But, the gym has been my savior.  At the end of each daily workout, my adrenaline is so high I can barely write although my mind is spinning off the charts.  I have even tried singing.  Good Lord!  It is now 1:28 a.m. and I am so awake it is embarrassing.

Now that it appears I will be healthy for a long time to come, my mind is all over the globe.  I am sure that this winter will be the winter of my first ever ponytail. 

I am leaving for Tampa soon and am very anxious to get involved in the growing protest movement there. I am determined to work with veterans coming home and write at least three books, two non-fiction and one fiction.  I am taking the train to New York next week to interview some protestors.  Basically, I am pretty psyched about life.

Tonight, I watched a movie called Get Him To The Greek.  I have no idea why I laughed so hard, except that the new me thought it was quite humorous.

However, I am beginning to wonder from where this is coming. I guess I shouldn’t ponder it, but my donor is really in my thoughts these days. 

Now that the only pain medicine I take is an occasional merinol “happy pill”, which without any question is the greatest appetite inducer and pain neutralizer of them all, I am truly overjoyed with life. 

It has been a long time.

Everyday is a new surprise. I do not drink except for one social beer a week. I am not interested in golf.  My son keeps pushing but it just isn’t ringing any bells.  I am not interested in football, which I coached for eight years.

I am hooked on tennis, which I have not played in 30 years.  There are great, lighted courts within walking distance in Tampa. There is also a Little League Field, home of the 2007 World Champions, around the corner.  I have always loved baseball but now I am obsessed with it.  Too bad you Rays!  If they will have me, I intend to sign up to help the pitchers this winter.

I know I should not feel this way, but I am content with the smallness of my new life.  It does seem like it will be gaining some wingspan, but who knows? 

My obsession with this ponytail is innerving to my daughters.  My son says it will pass.  The idea of a suit, blazer and necktie seems foreign.  What’s that all about?  I bought a nice pair of penny loafers but I have no intention of wearing them. I am somehow into deck shoes.  What the heck!

I am so anxious to see my Thursday morning Bible class pals.  I finally e-mailed a couple of those good people today.

Anyway, for me, recovery from my wonderful heart transplant has certainly been about change.  I guess tonight I am just shaking my head and wondering where the next day, next week or next chapter will take me.

An author friend once told me that there are two ways to tell a story. One is by narration where the author directs and controls the flow.  The other is by telling the story through the characters.  He said that if the author told the story through the characters, it would never end up the way the author envisioned.

At this stage, that would be the way I would have to tell my story because I honestly have no idea how things will conclude. I think it is time for a bucket list.  How about you?  






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2 Comments on "Heart Transplant and YOU"

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  1. Young Tom says:

    I hope I am around in time to witness the ponytail. Thanks for the inspiration. Great to hear that you are doing so well.

  2. Dave Griffin (Brother Jesse) says:

    Hiland, sounds like you’re doing well! We’re moving to South Carolina, built a house there. Truck loads next week. Hi to your lovely wife.
    If you get a chance, send me an email. Stop at our house near Myrtle Beach if you can.

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