Hey there gang, how’s everyone doing?
Yes I know, this is my first post since late November 2020. Sorry friends, I’ve been meaning to pop in to say hi or post a quick update but I just can’t seem to figure out exactly what to say or how I want to say it.
And don’t even get me started on the time I’ve wasted trying to figure out how to use this ridiculously clunky, counterintuitive ‘new’ block editor with its cartoonish interface, that WordPress has thrust upon us.
All is relatively well here as we carefully emerge from the pandemic and cautiously decide which of the eased public health and safety restrictions to exercise.
We’re both fully vaccinated and assuming all continues to go well, we look forward to gradually returning to a more normal life in the weeks and months to come. Perhaps there’s even a road trip on the horizon later this summer.
It’s good to see that my friend Dan at No Facilities has kept Thursday Doors rolling along nicely; as I was sure he would. He has even made some cool changes and improvements that have brought in some new contributors – Bravo Dan!
As for what has been up with me, well as some of you may remember I’ve been dealing with life as a heart failure patient since 2011. I wrote about that several years ago in a post you can read here.
Since then I’ve been doing relatively well, all things considered. North American medical statistics indicate that roughly 50% of heart failure patients don’t survive beyond 5 years. Yet despite my condition, I was lucky enough to spend almost 10 years now, living pretty close to a normal life.
However, over the past 18 months my cardiac output has been gradually declining. My damaged ticker is getting tired, to the point where last fall my doctors decided that before it became too urgent, it was time to put me through the heart transplant screening protocol.
In simple terms the screening involves a long checklist of tests and procedures to determine whether or not someone is a viable candidate to receive a transplant, should the time eventually come when a transplant is necessary.
To quote one of my doctors, “We’re going to put you through more tests than a space shuttle before launch”. He wasn’t kidding, because over the past months I’ve been busy getting poked and prodded, pricked, probed, scanned and evaluated in more ways than I could have ever imagined.
Needless to say this has pretty much been my main focus these days and it was the primary reason why I felt the need to step away from the blog and hosting a regular weekly feature.
To complicate matters the entire screening process has taken much longer than it would have under normal conditions. Thanks to the incredible strain the pandemic has imposed on our healthcare system here in Quebec everything that isn’t immediately life-threatening has had to be pushed back while the system dealt with the surge of Covid patients. In fact I’m still waiting for appointments for my last few tests.
As our system and its exhausted healthcare workers slowly chip away at the backlog of non-urgent procedures, by the end of summer I expect to know for sure if I’ll be added to the transplant list.
Not to worry, I’m certainly not in any imminent danger and so far there’s been nothing to indicate I wouldn’t be a good candidate.
I’m confident that I’m in very good hands. Being followed quite closely by a terrific team of cardiologists at one the the world’s leading heart hospitals makes it much easier to quiet the mind of the inevitable recurrent worry over the unknown and helps me sleep well at night.
They’re taking such good care of me in fact that thanks to some corrective actions taken earlier this spring I’m feeling noticeably better today than I was more more than 18 months ago.
And of course the constant support and encouragement from the amazing lady I’m lucky enough to share my life with has made coping with all this uncertainty much, much easier.
All the same I still don’t expect to be returning to this blog on a regular basis any time soon.
I am however pondering starting a new blog perhaps this fall, to document my eventual transplant journey and help spread awareness for, and promote the importance of, organ donation. Watch this space for more info sometime later this year.
In the meantime I’m enjoying summer, having fun playing in the back yard vegetable garden, taking good care of myself, and occasionally taking a peek at some of your posts.
Who knows, before the end of summer I may even join you all on Dan’s site with a doors post.
Until then take care, stay safe, and if you haven’t already, please consider signing your organ donor card and should you decide to do so, don’t forget to inform your loved ones of your decision 🙂