Been A While....

It has been over a week since I posted anything.....i suppose both out of sheer lazyness and exhaustion. I have been going out a lot more here recently. I have decided that since I am going to be laid up for a few months at least, I better get my fill of going out before I go under the knife. I have been having tons of fun though hanging out with friends, making new friends, just doing things that I always told myself I was too tired to do. I am still way too tired to do these things, but i am making it.

Anyways, what this blog is about is the progression of my journey through the long process of liver transplantation. Anyways the past couple of weeks I have had more tests ran on me. This has been the case for the past four years so I am okay with them. I did find out last week that I have been approved by the transplant team to go on the transplant list . I am not currently on the list but once all of the tests are cleared and paperwork is finished i will be placed on the UNOS transplant list. Once I am on the list, things become a waiting game for real. At any moment, I could have to go to Emory and be prepped for surgery which may or may not happen. I have been warned that this game can be cruel. I could get the call for surgery, be prepped, and then the doctors turn down the liver, and there will be no surgery. I could also get down there and someone else receive the liver. Crazy situations that I hope I don't have to go through.

I have not been nervous about any of this lately. I think going out has allowed me to keep my mind off everything that is going on. It is funny how just being around friends can change your outlook on hard times. For the first time in a long time, I feel that I have people around me who actually care about me for me, even people I haven't met. For a long time, I have kept people at a distance because I was afraid of how they might take me and my condition. I have found lately that if I open up to people they will accept me as I am. I have ran from friendships in the past because of being afraid of how people look at me and my condition. I have come to terms with my condition and the fact that it is a part of me, but my condition does not define me. If people really want to get to know me, and what I have to offer, they will look past the doctor's visits and the numerous IV marks on my arm. If they don't want to get to know me that is fine as well, I do not have to be liked by everyone. I am me, take me as I am, or leave me alone. Okay, I am through ranting. I am thankful for my friends, both new and old, those close and far away. Thanks for the random phone calls, the night's out on the town, the nights sitting at the house, even the nights on AIM, and the numerous other things you do that prove your friendship.


IV Stress Test....

Friday, at Emory, I completed the strangest test I have ever been through. I knew Friday morning I was going in for a stress test. You know, run on a treadmill, get your heartrate up, EKG, blah, blah, blah.......or so I thought. I walk into the room where the test was going to be conducted and I find out they are going to give me some medication through an IV that will speed my heart up. I also find out that because I am so young they are going to have to speed my heart up....way up. My resting heart rate was about 52 beats per minute in the room and they had to get it up to 166 beats per minute. That is more than tripled! I thought, "Okay, I am an athlete. I can handle this." They gave me the medication in two minute intervals which slowly made my heart rate climb. For about 10 minutes I was fine, my heart rate was about 110 and I was thinking it wasn't so bad. At this time, I felt that i should be breathing harder because my heart was beating so fast. Another 10 minutes later, I was getting light headed and having to force myself to stay calm as my heart was literally beating out of my chest. I could feel my heartbeat in my arms, my legs, my feet, pretty much everywhere. I still wasn't breathing hard and my body was not getting the oxygen from my lungs that it was requesting, which i suppose explains some of the lightheadedness. I guess the nurses could see the concern on my face because they kept telling me it was almost over. They said that at least 25 times as they pushed more medication in me that continued to speed my heart up. After the test was over, it took about 30-45 minutes for my heart to really calm back down to normal. After about 10 minutes, my heartrate was hovering around 100 beats per minute and they let me go. I felt like I had just run a marathon and did not move an inch. My mouth was dry, I was lightheaded, and my heart was still pounding. The effects lasted for about another 30 minutes. At least that was as long as I made it before I fell asleep in the car. I was looking forward to the good jog on the treadmill but instead got speed in a syringe.

Throughout this process I am beginning to expect less and less normality. I was ready for some exercise but was in no way prepared for the workout I received.


Tests and more tests....

Been a few days since I have posted. I haven't had much to say and I am not sure that I have a ton to say tonight. I spent Thursday and Friday being worked up and over for my liver transplant evaluation. I feel like a pincushion. Blood test after blood test, stress test, pulmonary test, pee in a cup, pee in a jug, needles, needles, and more needles. That is all i remember from the last part of this week. Some good news came out of it though. I was told that I am a perfect candidate for a liver transplant. Once the paperwork is completed by my nurse coordinator, they will bring me up in some sort of meeting that will officially put me on the transplant list. Should take 3 weeks to 2 months, depending on "whatever they deem necessary." The average wait time for a liver in my region is about 3 months(so I was told) and it could go quicker than that. At the same time, it could take longer than that. I am roughly estimating transplant day at about the middle of July, give or take a month or so. Honestly, I feel calmer knowing that it is going to happen than I did when it may still be a possiblity. I found out that unless things change drastically I will not be going through the live donor process. I will be waiting on a cadaver, unless something changes drastically. This makes me more comfortable in that I dont have to ask my family to risk their life for me, although I know they would all do it in an instant. I have the utmost respect for anyone who would even consider risking their life for someone else. (Becky, that was for you.) This has been my past few days in a nutshell. I'll probably write more later when I am not so tired. Just don't feel like writing much tonight.