I have been meaning to update but, needed to first gather my thoughts and slow things down a bit. So I will begin and stop procrastinating. On Monday the 15th of January I was admitted to the Groote Schuur hospital to begin a week of thorough testing. I was set up in ward D24 but my transplant clinic is in ward D22. This is the very same ward Dr Chriss Barnard used for his heart transplant success exactly 50 years ago. The lung transplant clinic has only just come online and is the first for state hospitals in South Africa.
The tests started the same day and included lung volume tests, 6 minute walk test, ecg and x-rays. The rest of the week was jammed with tests such as HRCT scan with contrast, angiogram or heart catheter, ultrasound, gastroscopy and colonoscopy, bone density test, dentist and finally a visit from the social worker. With such efficiency the tests were all concluded by Friday. The word from my Doctor before I was discharged was that all seemed good but, I would have official notice by Tuesday the following week as to my inclusion onto the transplant list or not. At this point I was still trying to process everything. Everything happened so quickly like being plucked out of a hammock on a distant tropical island and dumped into the maddening Christmas rush. Filled with excited anticipation but still having to hold onto a realistic perspective of the what it all meant. My mind was spinning the entire weekend with questions and discussions. By Monday I was fatigued just from the emotional whirlwind in my head. That same afternoon I received an email from my Doctor to confirm that I had just been placed on the list for a bilateral lung transplant.
No words can explain the extent of what this means to me. The younger generation may consider me old at 50 and the older generation will consider me young. I feel like my life is just beginning, like I have just completed school, or celebrated my 21st birthday. I am going to be an adult again. I will be able to build my life and pursue my dreams and ambitions. For nine years I have been patiently waiting for that train to arrive. The one that takes you to the light at the end of the tunnel. That place of unknown. Nine years of packing into boxes all my intentions and hopes. Suddenly without provocation or manipulation from my side, this gift of life that I thought was completely impossible taps me on the shoulder and leads me into the wildest blissful emotional rollercoaster. This is now for real. I am sitting here writing this update knowing that my phone could ring at any moment
. My mind has still not caught up with it all but, I am loving the anticipation and possibilities. I feel like an angel just turned the lights on in my head, cleared all the surfaces, unpacked the boxes while everyone pitched up for work and started redecorating. Soon I will be ready to stare out the window and feel free to walk outside and play in this party called life.
We are all so blessed.
Sending you all my best wishes for the new year. My hope for all is that your year is filled with Love, Joy but, most of all inspiration. It is my absolute belief that without inspiration we get lost and confused as human beings. We are brilliant designs which cannot be surpassed. Our greatest asset is our ability to think and to create but, without inspiration guiding us we lose direction. May everyone be blessed with inspiration, may it guide you to your passion, your joy, your sense of being and acknowledgement. Let inspiration become your eyes and ears. There is something out there for everyone of us just waiting for you to open the door and step in. Happiness is a choice. make that choice and start creating the world you want to live in and don't forget to invite your friends and family.
Love and Kindness
Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and happy holidays. May it be the most prosprous ever. Stay safe on the roads and take care. Love and Kindness.
Doug and Lana
Today was my second visit to the pulmonary rehab center. Sam, my physiotherapist took my cocky confident comments to heart and put me through the ringer. She had me working out like all those old folks that go through zumba classes in retirement homes their children dumped them in. It took one hour, which may sound like a lot but, I had very long breaks in between exercises. I felt extremely old and fragile however, the little exertion each day had made a significant difference to my ability to move about more while using less oxygen. I sleep better as well. I have been following a strict diet now for almost three weeks but have not weighed myself yet. I do not own a scale and the one my mother in law let me use is a lier. It cant be trusted. The experience has been good and worth every grunt and moan. I have another three weeks to go before I show up for my exams at least five kilograms lighter and looking like I stepped out of the ocean in a bond movie. Huge thank you to those who have contributed to the fund to date and to those who have shared.