My sternum incision has finally healed all the way – no more scabs. Now it just looks like a pink zipper running down my chest. While it was healing I put vitamin E on it… not as consistently as I should have, but I made an effort. Now that it’s healed I’m putting on Mederma. I’m proud of my battle wounds and have no qualms or hesitations about showing them when I wear a shirt, but I’m hoping the Mederma will fade out the pink zipper some. The tube says to apply 3-4 times a day for 8 weeks on new scars. That’s a lot of commitment! We’ll see how far I get before abandoning ship. Has anyone tried Mederma before? Does it work?
It still amazes me that my heart and lungs used to belong to someone else. Because everything happened so quickly I’ve read more about what I went through after the fact. I find myself every now and again looking up information on heart/lung transplants online when the mood strikes.
Here are some interesting links that I found tonight through a heart-lung transplant support group online and Google:
The two surgeons who performed my double lung and heart transplant:
Today I had my annual eye appointment with my optometrist. Well, not only do I have Posterior Vitreous Detachment but it turns out that I have the beginning stages of cataracts. Granted right now they are teeny tiny little spots, but why oh why are my eyes so old?! I asked him why it happened, and he said there is no clear reason, but it usually happens to people who are older. Apparently my eyes don’t follow the regular schedule as I now have 2 conditions that people in their 60s develop.
I was reading up on cataracts online, and one of the possibilities listed is due to UV ray exposure and that people who take steroids are more suceptible to developing cataracts. Damn the Prednisone! Even if Prednisone is not the reason, I still say Damn the Prednisone!
The good news is that according to my doctor there is a silver lining. He said that once my cataracts get bad enough to affect my vision I will have laser surgery that will not only get rid of my cataracts, but the surgery will fix my nearsightedness! 😀 When I asked him how long that will be, his response was probably sometime in my 40s. My doctor didn’t sound very worried at all, so I’m not very concerned, but I’m curious as to why my eyes are so old. I hope I don’t develop any more older people eye conditions! The other good news is that my vision has finally started to stabilize. My eyeglass and contact prescription hasn’t changed since 2006.
My other doctor’s appointments went well. My lab results from this morning came back, and my white blood cell count is back up so they’ve restarted me on a lower dosage of Valcyte, and my tac level is down so they upped my Prograf. My spiro went well, and the tech said I did just as well and even a wee bit better than my last spiro test. My clinic visit was fine, and my doctor said I was progressing along nicely. Her only concern is that I maintain my exercise level once I start working. I promised not to take the elevator at work unless I was hauling things that are not stair friendly.
It was nice being on vacation for a week, but I’m happy to be home and settling back in. Tomorrow I have labs in the morning, then clinic at 9am and then spiro right after. Then, in the afternoon I have an eye doctor’s appointment. On Friday I have an appointment with the high-risk dermatologist to have my skin checked out. Then, off to work I go on Monday! Time really has flown by quickly.
I feel better physically. It’s been easier for me to walk these past few days, but I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting stronger, or if it’s because it’s so flat in southern California. The next few days will tell. I am still tired after being out, but hopefully that endurance will keep building. My biggest concern right now is getting back into a normal sleep schedule. I’ve been going to bed around 1am and waking up around 9am. This has got to change. My goal for tonight is to go to bed by midnight. Every night I’m going to try my best to go to bed a little bit earlier until I get back to a normal routine.
My non health goal for the week is to organize my apartment. I have tons of paperwork I need to sort through and I have yarn all over the place. Must get it all done before I start work. I know once Monday hits, all organization and sorting will go out the window.
Since I’ve gotten here it seems like all I’ve been doing is eating out. We flew in on Saturday. That afternoon we feasted on tacos from the taco cart. That evening I had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. On Sunday I had lunch at Heros and ghetto Chinese take out for dinner. On Monday I had King Taco for lunch and Thai food for dinner. Yesterday I had lunch at China Point and Mediterranean food for dinner. Today I had lunch at a Mongolian BBQ place and am going out to dinner with a friend from high school. The amount of leftovers in the fridge is ridiculous. I think I could feed at least half a dozen people with it… no exaggeration. I’m sick of eating out. The catch? Eating out is way easier than cooking. And… why is that social activities almost always involve food?
My mom and I flew into Ontario airport yesterday morning and were greeted by 80 degree weather. I can’t believe it’s January and it’s so warm out! After we dropped off mom, we went to Fidel’s and set up for Carol’s birthday party.
The party was a lot of fun. We had a taco cart come and serve us tacos for 3 hours – delicious. There were taco eating contests and afterwards Taboo was played for hours. I left the party at 6:30 to met up with an old friend from high school. We had dinner and walked about Victoria Gardens catching up. When I got back around 10:30 they were still playing Taboo!
Today my sister and her friends are taking me to a Heros for lunch. I’m bracing myself for massive consumption of large quantities of food.
Today was the first day of pottery for the semester. It’s been quite some time since I’ve played with clay; I think it’s been over two years. It felt great getting back into the routine.
What I never realized before is how much of a work-out it can be… I guess I just took my lungs and my upper body strength for granted. Wedging the clay alone felt like I had just run a mile. I had to practice centering the clay on the wheel, but managed to throw three tiny little bowls. I think pottery wore me out more than yesterday’s trip to the museum! I’ll have to reserve my energy on Wednesdays to prepare for pottery. It’ll be like my version of going to the gym.
Today Elizabeth took my mom and me to the California Academy of Sciences. Her friend that works there got us in as her guests. 😀 We went at 8:30am during member hours on a Tuesday. It was great because there were hardly any people, and we didn’t have to wait for anything. My favorite exhibit in the aquarium was the sea horses, and the rain forest exhibit was pretty cool… though if you’re not a butterfly fan it would freak you out. Carol would NOT have enjoyed it.
My good news for the day: I am now sleeping without the wedge pillow. It’s more comfortable just sleeping on the contour pillow, and I don’t feel deprived of air.
I’m so sick of coughing! I think the powers that be are being sneaky and making me cough to strengthen my core muscles. My coughing feels odd. It’s not always the upper airway cough caused by the paralyzed vocal chord. Sometimes my throat just feels irritated and scratchy like i swallowed dust.. or like how it feels when you’re sick and every little thing bothers it. What really annoys me is when I can’t stop the coughing and end up gasping for breath and even worse, throwing up because of it. Did I mention how sick of coughing I am? On the flip side my voice is getting stronger and stronger which I’m taking as a good sign.
Yesterday was exactly 16 weeks since transplant. How has 4 months already passed? It seems so long ago and just yesterday at the same time. I always say that about events but in this case it really seems to ring true. Tomorrow my parents are coming up, and Carol leaves on Friday with my dad. It’s going to be odd not having her in the house. Then in a little over three weeks I’ll be back at work! It’s unbelievable. It’s so weird that just a few weeks ago I couldn’t comfortably sleep on my side. The small stuff really adds up. I was sitting on my couch today with my legs crossed knitting, and I realized that I haven’t sat in that position in a very long time because my torso didn’t like being uneven. Today I found myself slumping a little on the couch instead of sitting up straight, further evidence of sternum strength and progress. The body is so amazing.