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

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Biopsy #6 and Global


My biopsy this past week showed no rejection. How exciting! The docs decided to lower my predisone by 5mg/day. One less pill. It's a great start!

The doc told me that I'm ahead of schedule with my pressures. I have "normal" pressures and, in fact, I should have more fluid and eat more salt! That gave me a good laugh. More salt?! They keep telling me that it's ok to have a slice of pizza or a cheeseburger once-in-a-while. It's difficult for me to get into my head. I still feel guilty eating high salt foods. Everything in moderation. That's a good rule.

I know many of you are asking about the Global 16x9 air date and I apologize for all of the changes. The date has been changed several times and now I am unaware of the official air date. Please visit www.global16x9.com to find out what they have scheduled. I will try to post the date when I know it but it may change again and I will continue to confuse all of you. It really is going to be a great show when it finally gets on the air! Thanks for your patience.

Monday, February 7, 2011


This post is to just let you know that the Global 16x9 segment will air SATURDAY FEBRUARY 19th at 7:00pm. Tune to your local provider's Global station to watch. This is different from what I have been telling everyone. I received an email from the Global staff notifying me of the date change due to the Grammy's. I apologize for the confusion. They have footage from inside the operating room, recovery after the surgery, interviews with doctors and the interview with Shaun and me. The segment they did last year was great and I expect this one to be even better!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Biopsy #5

Thursday was "Toronto Day" and we left the house at 5am.... The doc said that the pressures in my heart are great! Next we went over to clinic and then down for an echo. Typical Toronto Day.
The results from the biopsy showed Class 1A rejection. That's great! No changes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Let's get moving!

It's been a fairly quiet couple of weeks. I had a two week span between biopsies, which was a nice little break. I go back tomorrow. We all moan about the biopsies but to be honest, it's a nice comfort to verify things are under control and it's always nice to see the awesome transplant team.

I've taken the initiative to do some of my own exercising. Doctors have told me about the different expectations of exercising after a heart transplant and I'm trying to get comfortable with those sensations. I'm told that since the nerves in my heart were cut I need to retrain them to acknowledge required changes in the heart rate. I've been told that since my brain won't know when to supply adrenaline I will get really tired and then all of a sudden, the adrenaline will kick in and I will be unstoppable! Look out Rockette! (My Rocky Mountain bike I named Rockette.)

I have been getting on the treadmill for about 20 mins almost every day for the past week or so. I have also been doing some yoga on the Wii. Ok, I've been playing the games too. But it's all exercise, right?
The exercise feels really good actually. I notice unusual sensations, for example, towards the end of my 20 mins on the treadmill my hands get really, really hot. They feel like they are burning. Weird, eh? I don't push myself too hard because I haven't met with the rehab staff for advice yet. That will be next week.

Here's a little secret, I actually have a fear of treadmills.... Go ahead, laugh. I will tell you why I have this fear. When I was first diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy I was scheduled for a stress test with the local cardiologist. Remember, at this time we all didn't know much of anything about my disease. I got on the treadmill and felt fine through the whole test. When I got off the treadmill my heart rate began to increase and it reached about 350 beats per minute.

So my fear is from a real source. You have to admit, that's crazy. Now my conscious mind says that everything is different now, and it really is. I was in great shape when I was on the LVAD and now I expect it to be even better. However, I will never forget that experience.