6 Month-ish Blog Update – one month late

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 πŸ™‚

About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
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77 Responses to 6 Month-ish Blog Update – one month late

  1. dennyho says:

    Norm!!! I’ve missed you and your witty posts! Very glad to read that today you’re feeling better, each healthy day is worth noting. I want to share a family member’s heart transplant journey…
    My brother-in-law was diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia in his 30’s and as the name suggests, he was not surprised. His father had the same. In his early 40’s he was placed on the heart transplant list, wore his beeper faithfully, and eventually received his new heart. I remember that day clearly, receiving a phone call from our family letting us know about this wonderful gift given anonymously by another individual who’s life journey was ending. We are all grateful for his generous donation allowing Ron to continue his life’s journey. I am happy to share that Ron lived many healthy years, over 35 more years, with very few bumps along the way. I share this story whenever I can because organ donation is so very important and along with the talented medical teams and supporting departments who serve, we all may have a second chance to tell our stories. I look forward to reading yours Norm!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry, Dan, for the difficult time you’ve had. I said a prayer, and will continue to do so, that you are added to the transplant list. I’m glad to hear that you have recently been feeling better. It’s a wonderful idea, if you are able, to start an awareness blog. I know it would be immensely helpful to many.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Vinny says:

    Loved that blog! I have heart failure too so I know the ups and downs. Keep that ticker ticking.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. cindy knoke says:

    Sending you thoughts, prayers and wishing you good luck and good health.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mama Cormier says:

    So happy to hear from you again. I hope your surgery goes well and I too, would love to see a post or two from you for Thursday Doors. I also think that writing about your journey during your heart transplant would be very helpful to others who may need a transplant in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Teresa says:

    Good to hear from you Norm and that you’re doing well. Take it easy and be safe my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. carol1945 says:

    Oh my goodness, reading both your post and people’s comments has been profound for me. Thank you so much for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linda Schaub says:

    Glad to hear you’re leading a near-normal life Norm and hopefully all the tests will most likely land you on a transplant list. Summer heat may not be fun, but it’s making that garden grow like crazy. I did sign up to be an organ donor back in 2011 – it is a worth cause.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sherry Felix says:

    So good to see you here Norm. I consider you to be one of my friends so you are often in my thoughts. I follow you on Twitter. Hope all goes well and you get fixed up right. Love Dan and post occasionally on Thursday doors.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I had just asked Dan if he had heard from you last week and you must have heard my inquiry; great to hear from you and glad that you are managing your health issues. Really sorry to hear that you were having some issues 18 months ago but that explains your sudden departure and you are right, Dan was the correct successor to carry on your creation. You’re doing the right thing by living life and enjoying everything each day brings you! Hopefully your future will keep you healthy for many years to come. Looking forward to hearing from you again; take care and stay safe!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Tara says:

    Hey, Norm. Happy to hear you’re doing well. I will check in to see if the new blog goes up. Wishing you good health and happiness always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Tara. “If” is indeed the key word. I’m finding my motivation to write wavers a lot these days but if I can get over that hump the whole thing could be therapeutic.
      In the meantime don’t forget to look us up if you do eventually make it up our way at some point. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. willowdot21 says:

    Welcome home and stay well πŸ’œπŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so sorry you’ve had such a rough go of it this past year, Norm but I’m happy you’ve got a great medical team supporting you. You’re absolutely right to do everything at your own pace and to avoid putting yourself under too much pressure. Dan has been doing an amazing job and I’m delighted that he is carrying on Thursday Doors but I’ll always be grateful to you for creating it in the first place and for the years of hosting. It gives me some structure in the week that makes me do some writing and research which then leads me to working on a book – most weeks, I’m very hit and miss with that these days. Wishing you all the best with your remaining tests and fingers crossed for that transplant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks so much Jean. I’m in really good hands which makes it much easier to maintain a positive outlook. I’m glad to hear that Thursday Doors is still a part of your weekly routine and yes, Dan is doing an impressive job, as I knew he would πŸ˜‰
      I’ll continue to pop in now and again when I can. Cheers!

      Like

  14. scooj says:

    Norm, so genuinely good to hear from you and get your news update. I sincerely hope your remaining tests go well and you get the treatment you need. You are never too far away from my thoughts, especially on Thursdays.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Almost Iowa says:

    Norm, sorry to hear about your health. Good luck and know that our best wishes are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi, Norm. Thanks so much for filling us in on what has been happening with you. I think the new blog idea is something many readers would be interested in. Please keep us posted and take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ruth says:

    Hi Norm, it’s great to hear from you again… glad you’re doing OK, and remember hospitals have doors too. Probably more interesting due to what goes on behind them than the beauitiful architecture but still… a door’s a door! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thank you Ruth. Nice to see you as well. Yes hospitals have plenty of doors too; thanks for the suggestion. Who knows, I may just start snapping some shots with my phone on my next visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Yvonne says:

    We are so fortunate to live in countries where health care is accessible to all, without losing your home/business to fund it.

    You sure will have a story and a-half to relate, and lots of people around the world will be rooting for your success in having a donor and transplant.

    Cheers from Down Under.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Yvonne. So true about healthcare. Every procedure, every appointment, every test, every scan, every prescription refill, I thank my lucky stars to live in a country that prioritizes the lives and health of human beings over corporate profits.
      My wife and I have had the conversation a number of times that if we lived in the country next door, after 10 years of this we’d either be broke, stressed and exhausted from constantly fighting insurance companies, or much worse….
      As it stands now my biggest worry is how much it costs me for parking during hospital visits, and making sure I don’t forget to take my meds πŸ˜‰
      Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Joanne Sisco says:

    Hi Norm – how wonderful to find a blog post from you in my mailbox. Thanks for filling us in on the process you’re going through … and during the most scary and awkward time in our history.
    I’ve been a long-time registered organ donor … although as I get older, I suspect many of my organs are becoming less and less desirable from a transplant perspective 😏
    Stay well, my friend and drop in to give us updates whenever you can. A blog about your transplant journey would be a fascinating read. I’ll be there to read every word!

    Liked by 3 people

  20. lifelessons says:

    I admire your positive attitude, Norm. Good to see you in print again.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I’m so happy to hear from you, Norm. I was happy to have you “like” a recent post of mine but didn’t have a way to say hello. I’m sorry to hear what you’re going through and you can be assured of my prayers and good wishes. I hope we’ll be hearing from you again. Don’t let whatever the Habs do put too much pressure on your heart. πŸ™‚ We’re pulling for them but it’s going to be a tough series!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thank you for the positive thoughts Janet. Hockey is not really on my radar at the moment but after 16+ months of doom and gloom it’s nice to see the city have something to be enthusiastic about πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  22. slfinnell says:

    Good to read your latest! I applaud your determination to simplify and focus on self during the times we were thrown in so unexpectedly. It has not been an easy road for so many. I have had to guard my own husband during the last year and a half for his own health issues and let your wife know I’m thinking of her as well. What doesn’t kill us makes us all stronger! Or at least that’s what I’m told. lol All my best to you both as you continue on in this crazy thing called life.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. CarolynEliason says:

    Wishing you peace and continued good progress in the days ahead. It was good to hear from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Norm. Hope all goes well with all things cardio. Look forward to seeing you on Thursday Doors again in the fall. Happy Canada Day for July 1st. Cheers😎

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I can’t tell you how good it was to see you pop up in my email. Glad to know you are under the care of experienced medical staff and are close to the end of your tests so you know how to proceed forward. Prayers for you and a long future. Yes, I’ve signed the donor card, and when my Mom passed they asked, and a few things were able to be shared. I hope you will pop back a couple of times and let us know how you are doing and if you set up a different blog. Best wishes, Norm.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. JT Twissel says:

    Oh boy Norm … I have a number of friends waiting for non-emergency procedures. I feel for you all. Luckily I’ve been able to “see” you on Twitter! Wishing you all the best … hope you get great weather so you can enjoy the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. chava61 says:

    Wishing you the best of health and a long healthy life!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Good to hear from you and see that you are doing well despite your heart condition. We also published our first post since last October. We haven’t done much photography lately and didn’t have anything to publish. We are also fully vaccinated and we certainly hope to be able to start travelling soon…Take care (Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Great to hear from you! It’s absolutely amazing how far they have come with heart transplants. Certainly not routine surgery, but so much has changed since the first one in 1967. I hope you blog about your experience. Adding ones name to the donor pool is so easy but too many people don’t take that step. Stay healthy and happy, Norm… and check back in once in a while.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Alison says:

    You sound very upbeat which is amazing. Hope you continue to be well and to enjoy your garden and life’s small pleasures.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. So good to see a post from you, Norm! Thank you for the update. I am a firm believer in organ donation. I have signed all the forms (years ago, already) and let my family know to donate anything of mine that is still of use to others, when I pass. When my husband died, I was surprised to learn that some of his parts could still be donated, even though he died of cancer. When I was approached on this, of course I said yes. I believe it was his corneas and something else (sorry, have forgotten) that could be harvested.

    Deb

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Deb. It’ll be interesting to see if other provinces eventually adopt the Nova Scotia model of making everyone a donor by default and requiring people to sign a revocation of consent. I think there are some legal/constitutionality challenges going through the courts on that law, but as an eventual transplant recipient (hopefully) I sure like their proactive approach πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  32. Aimer Boyz says:

    Hi, Norm; Good to hear you’re in search good hands in Montreal. Take care of yourself πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  33. It’s great to hear from you, Norm. Thanks for inspiring us with this positive determination. Sending you every good vibe. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. tgeriatrix says:

    How good to hear from you! I still enjoy doors a lot and will be happy to see a post of you. Take care of yourself and all the best to you in the coming month. Thursday doors and all participants will welcome you back after.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. trentpmcd says:

    Hope the last few tests go smoothly. Seems like quite an ordeal, but I’m sure that if it is ever needed it will be well worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thank you Trent. Some of the tests are a bit invasive and certainly not fun, but they’ve found and fixed a few minor issues and now I’m feeling even better so it has already been worth it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  36. quiall says:

    It is so good to hear that you are well. You are in our hearts and in our prayers. I signed my donor card with my first drivers license and I have made sure to always carry a copy of it and that my family knows. One of the most important documents we should carry.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Norm is here! You sound happy and calm and enjoying life, good to hear. I wish you all the luck and health. Whenever you wish to share something with us, we are right where you left us, with Dan managing Thursday Doors in style, but we would still enjoy seeing yours again. And tomorrow Happy Canada Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thank you my friend πŸ™‚
      I’ve found that focusing on and appreciating all of the things that are good in my life has helped immensely to keep the worrying about the unknown from overcoming the calm πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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