The Pills

Not even all of them…

At some point in the future I’ll be able to dispense my pills by the week, but right now while we’re still tweaking dosages I don’t. I had a blood test today that I should get the results from tomorrow so I don’t want to sort my pills past Wednesday because they will likely change when the team calls with the results. Adding pills isn’t an issue but taking them out can be time consuming and a huge pain in the rear end. My bag is a little stuffed so I can’t fit everything because right now I take 23 different meds, I had to number them.

Yes, I use a binder to keep all my transplant information organized. They gave me a binder, but I like mine better, plus I added tabs! It has my schedule, med list, daily vital signs, an updated medical history, a POLST and advanced directive, current clinic notes, nutrition information, and notes. The transplant team seems to appreciate my organizational skills.

Some of these I will only take temporarily, some I may not need at all over time, but for now there are a lot to keep track of.

Seven Deadly Sins

If you don’t know what the Seven Deadly Sins are here’s a list for you:

  • Lust
  • Gluttony
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Wrath
  • Envy
  • Pride

Pride has also been referred to as Vanity, and vanity is my sin. I think we can embody all the sins in one way or another, but I think that there is one that we all identify with the most and for me that would be vanity. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t care about my weight, doing my hair before I leave the house, and my favorite store wouldn’t be Ulta. The funny thing is, I never considered myself to be vain, but the older I get the more I think I am. And with all the changes to my body since the transplant it’s become even more obvious that vanity is most certainly my thing.

The prednisone face with the bullfrog neck is driving me insane; my computer facial recognition doesn’t even know who I am! But I know it’s not permanent. I won’t be on this dose of steroids for much longer and my face will go back to normal. Really in the grand scheme of prednisone side effects having a swollen face is the least of them. Thankfully the others I’ve been able to manage as my body’s gotten use to the medication. I have to admit though; some days I feel like a walking bobble-head.

On My Own

For the first time in about four years I’m officially on my own, here in Salt Lake City. My husband had to head back home to Casper, WY today to work for a couple of weeks. Now that I’m feeling good, have been cleared to drive, and can pretty much do whatever doesn’t hurt, I’m officially able to be on my own. Talk about a strange feeling! Until a couple weeks ago it had been several years since I had even taken a shower without there being someone home, just in case. It’s amazing how things change when you can breathe.

Really that’s the biggest change, and it affects everything, is my ability to breathe. When your heart doesn’t work right it doesn’t supply enough blood to your lungs causing shortness of breathe when doing even the simplest thing, like brushing your hair.  As I get stronger, I notice that it’s being able to breathe that has had the most impact on my healing. I can exercise, climb stairs, walk through the grocery store, cook dinner, wash my hair, take a shower without a spotter…LOL! My energy level is definitely higher than it was pre-transplant, and I’m able to do more than I could thirteen weeks ago.

It’s a whole new world. Even though this journey started about four years ago it feels like an eternity since I’ve felt a little bit normal. It is odd to be able to envision some kind of normal in the future when not that long ago I didn’t think I had much more than six months, and it was going to be a hard six months. This six months isn’t easy by any means with transplant set-backs, and wanting to move faster than my body will allow, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s a future now.

I won’t be alone while my husband is away. My oldest son is coming to visit me, plus I have the friends I’ve made at cardiac rehab I see three times a week. I also have some friends in the area I’d like to visit with now that I’m feeling better.

At The Library

Young lady at the library, Salt Lake City, UT – January 5, 2019

Salt Lake City has a very obvious homeless population. During the day they congregate in different places down town. The library is a good place because the building breaks the wind in the Winter. They estimate that the city has 2,200 homeless, beds for about 1,900 of them, which means 300 people are sleeping outside this Winter. Today was actually a nice day, over 32 degrees and no wind, but we have a storm coming and I can’t help but wonder where this young lady will be sleeping tonight.

She was gracious enough to talk with me and allow me to take her photo. I found her to be so beautiful in spirit and couldn’t help but wonder what happened that she ended up on the street. I didn’t want to pry and ask her too many questions, she seemed more interested in why I would want to take her photo. So, I gave her my testimony, she allowed me to shoot a few photos, she told me to stay healthy and God Bless, I wished her the same and thanked her for her time. I pray she’s warm tonight.

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