Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 5

Well my oldest is still a little sick but doing much better. Lois and I are trying to avoid it.
Today we are heading to Paradise for Thanksgiving. It will be a nice drive.
I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to everybody and may you all have a wonderful new year.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 2

It snowed last night. At 4:30 in the evening the clouds hung over the valley like a thick blanket and the mountain tops of the Wasatch front were all but buried in them. It looked so beautiful. I wanted to go for a drive in the mountains.


I took the girls to see New Moon and it really is nothing more than a love story in every sense. Oddly enough I never have cared for vampire movies. I am a science-fiction/horror flick nut, but I have always passed on the old Dracula movies. I remember seeing all the b/w Bela Lugosi movies and I think they kind of creeped me out. And I never did care for Anne Rampling.
I liked New Moon, although this Pattinson guy and Stewart aren't very good actors. I'm pretty sure Stewart plays that same role in everything she does. And just when I thought Pattinson couldn't get any weirder he goes and pulls his shirt off. I think she should have stuck with the wolfman. 
I actually like the Cullen's clan. The blonde not so much. I think Ashley Greene steals the movie just by being in it.


I am off work for the next 10 days. This is day 2 and I have a sick daughter with a temperature of 101. I'm almost afraid to go near her for fear of catching something. I guess I could use some long handled prongs to slide her water and toast and stuff. I should get me some masks for times like these.



That is all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Prime Time Shows Organ Transplants

I've been watching the new TV series called Three Rivers since the show first aired. It is a medical drama that centers around a fictional organ transplant clinic in Pittsburgh, Penn. I think my excitement about the show is that I hope its focus will shine some light on the subject of medical transplants and increase donor awareness.
For a brief moment on Sunday nights, the cameras will allow people to glimpse characters who are in need of a heart transplant. Or maybe it will be a lung, or a liver. Maybe one night the story will raise opinions about the moral and ethical debates of giving an organ to a reformed drug addict. Maybe it's about 'who is getting an organ first' when there is a slip up in the system and one Transplant Center thinks it's theirs when it's already been offered to another. Or maybe it's just about a clock counting backwards and a life running out of time.
The stories for the most part remain true to nature. They capture the end result of the horrific accident that sends an ambulance screaming towards Three Rivers emergency room. There is the girl who keels over at her gymnastic meet because she's too sick to stand from a damaged liver and the innocent little boy who gets crushed at the fair. There are also the friends and families involved and you get a sense of how it must be to have your loved ones hanging on to dear life while dear life is being ripped away from them.
I suppose in a way it doesn't really matter how they got there. It's really about what comes next and how they're going to get out of it. Will they make it out?

Carol Barbee is the producer/writer for this new series and she spent time researching for Three Rivers at The Cleveland Clinic with Dr. Gonzalo Gonzalez-Stawinski. His professional career as a surgeon carries a list of credits that include cardiac surgery, heart transplants and coronary artery bypass graft surgery, to name a few. Dr. Robert Kormos, who is co-director of heart transplantation at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), also provided input for the writers of the show. And perhaps one of the coolest things I thought that happened at the Three Rivers set was a visit by Thomas E. Starzl. Starzl has been called "the father of modern transplantation." He performed the first human liver transplants and is considered one of the pioneers of transplants.

I like the show because it offers a certain view into something I'm trying to understand. While I'm sure a big part of it is my connection to the transplant world, I am also hoping to be educated. Maybe a show like this will raise awareness for organ donations.
In July of this year there were more than 102,000 men, women and children waiting for an organ transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). On average there are about 18 people who die each day waiting for an organ transplant. This isn't a very large number, considering that there about 100 more who die each day in auto accidents. But it is a death toll just the same, and when added to another and another, one begins to realize lives can be saved.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

keeping up

I am starting to wear thin. My good days are slowly being overtaken by my bad. 
DeCoster was right (Deliver My Liver) when he wrote back to me almost a year ago and said, "I hope you are able to keep your wit and perspective through the times coming."
Even before I understood exactly what he was talking about, I had an idea that my life was going to change immensely. I just didn't know how much until months later.
I didn't know that walking from over there to here would be so much of a chore, or that bending down to pick up something would be so demanding. I didn't know that my legs would go numb from sitting too long if I didn't move or that I would experience a tingling sensation in my circulation as it traveled from one limb to another stretching all the way out into my fingertips. I didn't know that a pounding heart and gasping breath would leave me immobile on those rare occasions when I wanted to run, play, swing.

Later when my body began to change I would quietly turn and study the mirror. That's new. That's new. and, What the hell is that? Those things became my new mantra.
Now I just take cursory looks and tell myself that one day this will all be over. One day I will see my waistline without having to look in the mirror. I will be able to bend and tie my shoes. One day I will be able to take a flight of stairs without stopping for a breather. One day maybe I won't need promethazine or zolpidem or beta blockers. One day I might sleep normally and wake up with the rest of the world.
For now all I can do is imagine what comes next. Will I get confused? Tangled? Distraught? Most assuredly. Already I am.
My friends say, "Hang in there, buddy."
I say, "I am."

It is strange to be in this place. Watching it all fall apart. Once in a while I have to absorb it. Process it. Dwell on what comes next. 
And that is okay.
That is okay.