Happy Birthday!

Posted by scottij @scottij, Dec 30, 2020

I am not prone to self promotion but I just want to shout out to…me. Today is my one year anniversary of my heart transplant. Dave, my designated name for the new heart until I hear from the donor family, and I are doing great. Our last echo showed an EF of 65%. While 2020 will become a by-word (we need to 2020 that; put that piece of crap in 2020; don't bring me any 2020 today) for me it was a year of recovery and possibility.

My thanks to the Mayo Heart Transplant Team in Phoenix, a group of dedicated professionals who knew their craft and came to know me. My thanks to friends who encouraged me and extolled the few virtues I have. Mostly thanks to my caregiver, a.k.a. She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, The Vickstress, my wife, Vicki.

There are a few problems attendant with putting a new engine in an old car. The suspension is shot, the exhaust system is clearly faulty and under stress, the tires have no tread, hell, even the upholstery is worn out. But that new two chamber, four valve engine purrs like a baby!. .

Best always,
s!
Scott Jensen

It's such a wonderful feeling, @scottij to have had a lifesaving transplant and be able to live life to the fullest again. Happy Transplantiversary to you, I hope that new heart gives you many, many years of health.
JK

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@scottij Yes Congratulations and we almost share the same week I'm 3 years on Jan 5th. So your probably having.a fun-filled day at Mayo here shortly. I'll be up there on the 19th.
Dana

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@danab I will be there on Jan 8 for extensive labs and the following Monday for time with Dr. Rosenthal to review year one. And it looks like I will be on an annual thereafter with local labs monthly.
Best always,
s!

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@scottij, Happy 1st transplant anniversary to you.
I know that your day is going to be filled with memories of what you have experienced on your journey from sickness to a new life. Do you remember the actual day of your surgery? The call? Waking up afterwards? Does anything stand out that you would be comfortable to share here?

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@rosemarya Rosemary, I am a glass for all to see through so share I shall. "The call" came on Sunday afternoon, December 29 at around 4:00 PM. The call center said that I would be shocked as I was only on the waiting list for three days and if I did not take the heart it would be wasted. As a B+ blood type there were four people in front of me and the first choice was out of town, the second accepted but was too flustered so called back to deny, and the other two gentlemen were not the best fit due to size issues and other considerations. My wife was running errands and so I called her assuring her this was not a joke (I have a tendency to kid, tease, prank; etc). Luckily she was only 10 minutes from home. After harried undisciplined packing, we made the two hour journey from the Tucson area with the intent to go into surgery immediately but on arrival at 7:00 PM we learned that the donor's family wanted one more night and that the surgery would be in the morning. I remember nothing about Monday December 30, the day of surgery, other than early morning prep and chatting up the team in the OR which is when they promptly put me to sleep.. I did wake up on Tuesday morning, December 31 and hence the Freddie Jones Band song, Tuesday Morning, is one of my jams. (Tuesday morning, never looked so good.)

I just remember the day I walked into Mayo in early November of 2019 with a death sentence over my head and leaving with a sense of hope. And then waking that Tuesday morning with the sense of hope fulfilled.

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@scottij Scott and Dave, Happy Transplantiversary! I enjoyed reading your self shout out for reaching this important milestone and your written humor. You deserve the recognition and the praise, we all know the road to recovery. My own son had received his heart transplant on April 1 and we look forward to his one year as well. The Phoenix Mayo team have been so wonderful to us. As his caregiver, I have been on the recovery road with him. I once wrote to friends that the new Sarge in charge was probably getting frustrated with the other battle weary soldiers (organs) to catch up, they're getting there! 2020 was the best of years and the worst of years, getting a transplant was the best thing to happen in the worst time. My best wishes to you all in managing this in such a scary time.

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@brenwhite

@scottij Scott and Dave, Happy Transplantiversary! I enjoyed reading your self shout out for reaching this important milestone and your written humor. You deserve the recognition and the praise, we all know the road to recovery. My own son had received his heart transplant on April 1 and we look forward to his one year as well. The Phoenix Mayo team have been so wonderful to us. As his caregiver, I have been on the recovery road with him. I once wrote to friends that the new Sarge in charge was probably getting frustrated with the other battle weary soldiers (organs) to catch up, they're getting there! 2020 was the best of years and the worst of years, getting a transplant was the best thing to happen in the worst time. My best wishes to you all in managing this in such a scary time.

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@brenwhite Brenda, Many thanks for reaching out. My best to your son and Sarge. I feel so spoiled by my Mayo experience that any other venture in the medical world is filled with frustration born of comparison. (Well at Mayo I would have my test results in two hours and not two weeks. Well at Mayo if I needed to see a specialist it would happen today. Well at Mayo…)

It sounds as if your son has been battling for a long time. I sincerely hope he has turned the corner.
Best always,
s!
Scott Jensen

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@scottij

@rosemarya Rosemary, I am a glass for all to see through so share I shall. "The call" came on Sunday afternoon, December 29 at around 4:00 PM. The call center said that I would be shocked as I was only on the waiting list for three days and if I did not take the heart it would be wasted. As a B+ blood type there were four people in front of me and the first choice was out of town, the second accepted but was too flustered so called back to deny, and the other two gentlemen were not the best fit due to size issues and other considerations. My wife was running errands and so I called her assuring her this was not a joke (I have a tendency to kid, tease, prank; etc). Luckily she was only 10 minutes from home. After harried undisciplined packing, we made the two hour journey from the Tucson area with the intent to go into surgery immediately but on arrival at 7:00 PM we learned that the donor's family wanted one more night and that the surgery would be in the morning. I remember nothing about Monday December 30, the day of surgery, other than early morning prep and chatting up the team in the OR which is when they promptly put me to sleep.. I did wake up on Tuesday morning, December 31 and hence the Freddie Jones Band song, Tuesday Morning, is one of my jams. (Tuesday morning, never looked so good.)

I just remember the day I walked into Mayo in early November of 2019 with a death sentence over my head and leaving with a sense of hope. And then waking that Tuesday morning with the sense of hope fulfilled.

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@scottij Your post reminds me a bit of my liver transplant. Mine came about 3 months sooner than anticipated. I am also blood type B+ so that could be why. We drove the hour to Boston (Mass General) in a very calm manner, as if we were just out for a ride. Even though I did not anticipate the call coming that soon I was told to be packed and ready "just in case", so I was. Like you, I remember very little from the time we got to the hospital until the next day after the surgery. I am amazed at people like @rosemarya who have a clear recollection of everything.

When my husband called my sister to tell her she thought he was kidding, That was definitely not something he would kid about.
JK

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@contentandwell

@scottij Your post reminds me a bit of my liver transplant. Mine came about 3 months sooner than anticipated. I am also blood type B+ so that could be why. We drove the hour to Boston (Mass General) in a very calm manner, as if we were just out for a ride. Even though I did not anticipate the call coming that soon I was told to be packed and ready "just in case", so I was. Like you, I remember very little from the time we got to the hospital until the next day after the surgery. I am amazed at people like @rosemarya who have a clear recollection of everything.

When my husband called my sister to tell her she thought he was kidding, That was definitely not something he would kid about.
JK

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@contentandwell JK, well I just had to reach out to a fellow B+ blood sibling. What a great blood type to remind us that our attitude will ensure our success. Be positive. Many thanks for your confidence in me.
Best always,
s!
Scott Jensen

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