A powerful journey from living with an artificial heart to a heart transplant....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Let's be real.

Alright people. It's been two hundred and sixty-nine days today. And I'm starting to loose it.

We all know that I'm always positive and I make efforts to channel my passion in the right direction. Blah, blah, blah. Right now, let's be real.

This is frustrating. I'm waiting, and waiting, and waiting..... It's time for the next phase of my life.

People often ask me. What is it like to wait?

My answer a few months back would have been - Oh it's not that bad. I keep myself busy and try not to think about it. I have picked up a few hobbies and try to focus on short term goals.

While that is all true, that's not the part I want to express today.

What's it like to wait? Well I feel great and I want my life back. I'm ready to go through it all again just so that I can get to the normal parts of life. I'm ready for the rush drive to Toronto, the catheter in my neck, the IV's, the hospital food, the open-ass gown. I'm even ready for the open heart surgery, the sternotomy, the arterial line, the drugs, the ventilator, the pain, the intense pain, the constant sleeping on my back, the nurses at 6am. I'm ready. Let's get this show on the road.

I've been told I'm close, if not at the top of the list. I was told that about 2 months ago. My list is quite different. As most of you probably know, the list depends on several things. Such as, blood type, antibodies, chest cavity size, body weight, and other factors I don't really know about. So I'm smaller than the average bear and my blood type is the most common blood type. I am more than happy to wait if someone comes in that requires an immediate transplant. I feel good and I can wait. I have to keep telling myself that's why I'm waiting. It's not because people won't register to donate or they just won't donate.... I'm thinking positive!

Attitude is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with that.

For five minutes I'm going to dwell on that 10%.

Alright I'm back. Anyone want to go for a bike ride?


  1. Andrea, it's been said we only get the challenges we can handle - that we have the experiences we do because we need to learn something from them. My guess is you're learning more and more deeply than you'd ever have bargained for a few years ago.
    Waiting sucks, if you're waiting for a particular thing. For the next bus, for the right man, for a heart transplant.
    Waiting for an outcome, in my own experience, messes with the journey to acceptance and contentment. It means we're still attached to the ubiquitous fantasy of having some control in our lives - like you say about the 10%/90% thing.
    Dangerous ill health is a hard one, because it takes us right up close and personal with our own death, and that trip is not always unbumpy.
    I guess all I want to say right now, is to encourage you not to *wait*, but just do as you do, get on with life. Because we never know when that random piece of space junk might suddenly hit u.....

  2. Hello Andrea,

    My name is Demetrios an LVAD patient. We have met in 09 when you were visiting TGH back in November. I had the implant done the time we met.

    I have learned waiting for a heart is a journey that has made me wiser and also a blessing. Today, I have my life back but with a machine working my heart.

    I look at my own experience and see the reason for living with this VAD is for me to be a teacher to others who are on the same boat as us.

    Also, we have to remember "we" are stronger then the ones that are not having challenges like us.

    I taught myself to embrace sadness when I am down and I use the positive strength I show to others who look to me for support and I bring myself to feel happy again.

    I believe the right place and the right time, we will get new hearts. I pray for you and others like us and people in general.

    Your pain is mine so hang in there and live each day full and keep happy and dare to smile when you are down.

    We have our ups and down but life would't be if we didn't have a good or bad day or else how would we learn to become stronger when the times are tough