Waiting for a Heart

Heart TransplantOn New Year’s Eve I had an LVAD device implanted to assist my heart work more efficiently. The device is more formally known as a Left Ventricular Assist Device.

I have a drive line coming out of my stomach and its attach to a mini-computer with two batteries. The whole thing weighs about six pounds. I have to shower daily and Sandy has to change the dressing daily. Everything takes twice as long.

The LVAD is doing its job because I feel great and everyone says that I look great. I’m used to it now but I’m anxious for the next stage in the process. After two tests tomorrow UVa Medical Center will put me on the transplant lists.

I’m not nervous at all to get a transplant simply because I have faith in the surgeons and cardiologists. At this point they have a 94% success rate for survival. A friend who was introduced to me by the social worker at the hospital actually had a transplant while I was there. He’s at home now and I hope to visit with him soon.

I jokingly asked for the heart of a 22-year old shot putter but they told me that they couldn’t make requests. You get what you get when your number comes up. That’s OK by me. All I want is a viable heart so that I can move on with my life.

I’m not a good ‘waiter’ and I no longer have the patience that I had 20 years ago. I guess that when you get to be 66 you understand that there are less years in front of you. You’re on the downward arc of life. I would like to spend those years healthy and happy.


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