Stretch Speaks!!!!!

Hi everyone;

Putting out a quick update to help get all the news that’s fit for print out in the proper hands!

The surgery went very well.  The Dr.’s were very excited about the donor heart, and that certainly made Sue and I comfortable as well.  The old heart was ‘trash” according to one of the cardiologists involved in the transplant.  Clearly the pumps were doing all the work. They don’t provide us with any info about the donor heart outside of the blood type, so really nothing for me to share on that front.  Family has been down to visit several times and are all doing well.  I think it helps that the kids are back to a school routine, and I hope to be a more regular part of their day soon.

I am up and walking around on the ICU floor, and they are quickly removing drainage tubes from the surgery which is always a good sign.  My transfer order just got released so I can move up to a normal room when a bed becomes available.  Could be this evening, or maybe tomorrow.  In the meantime I focus on the basics, eating, sleeping, and exercising.  Not a bad little routine truth be told!  If all proceeds at this same pace, I may be home by early next week.  Really an amazing difference from the first set of surgeries which kept me in the hospital some 60 days!

I get many questions about visitors, and that is probably the biggest change I will undergo compared to the prior 4 months.  I am on heavy doses of immune suppression drugs and steroids to help my body from rejecting the new heart.  My dosage will be reduced over time, but will leave me vulnerable to the common cold and other wonderful reminders of the winter months.  Because of this weakness in my armor, I will be keeping personal visits to a minimum for some time.  So as much as I would love to visit with everyone personally, I just can’t swing that yet.  I don’t intend to live in a bubble, but for the next couple months I will need to be very careful, so if you do see me out and about, don’t be taken aback by the possible facemask and other precautions.

With regards to work, my 3 week return to the office has run its course and I will be on short-term leave once again.  I will be out October and November for sure, and we’ll see about the possibility of working from home in December.  We will address all of that in due time.  I will now be turning my attention to more pressing matters like my Halloween costume choice.  I was going to be Steve Austin, $6 Million Dollar Bionic man, but now that my pumps are gone, I only have half the costume (the bills!).  Not to worry, I’m certain I will be able to whip up another fine substitute so that I’m ready for tricks and treats.

Thanks to all of you that have reached out with a kind word, a prayer, or support for our Trust.  We truly appreciate all the kindness we have been blessed with, and look forward to paying it forward each and every day.

As I get more news, I’ll be sure to share it as quickly as possible.  Until then, thanks again and God Bless.

Jim “Stretch”


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by nancy on October 19, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Just keep doing what they tell you…Walk, exercise, etc. That will get you up and sailing forward quickly! That advice comes from personal experience..not as serious as your surgery but similar (chest cracked, etc). Know that you are in my thoughts! And that my organ donor card has been signed for a long time. It is always great to hear that someone else has done the same and that a positive effect can come out of tragedy!

    Enjoy Halloween with the kids! Don’t eat too much candy!


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