Monday, March 3, 2014

I can't believe it's been so long since I have written!

A big part for keeping this journal is to be able to look back on my "journey" and see the progress I have made.  Another reason is to give hope to new transplantees.  When I was first transplanted and even during the wait, I had absolutely no clue what life would be like after, so I hope to be able to provide some insight into what it might be like.
I feel like my life has definitely made a big turn, I feel like I am back to normal.  I still deal with some post transplant issues (mostly pain, anxiety, and fatigue) but I push through and I am going to school full time and working more than full time!
I feel like I have been able to do all of this post transplant because I wanted to so badly.  I decided that I was not going to let my health consume me, I would have a life after-hopefully resume the life I was leading before!  I did not sit around and "wait" to recuperate, I took advantage of EVERY opportunity given to me and used it to get back.
This past summer I started a "real", adult, full time job at the hospital where I got my transplant (the childrens' portion of the hospital)!  I am a real adult with benefits!  Haha.  I actually did not know if I would ever be able to get back to that level of health and hold a real job.  Also, I started back to college Fall 2012 and I will be graduating this summer with my bachelors (as long as I get all my classes.  I would have actually graduated this past summer, but I could not get my classes!)!  These two things have been my biggest accomplishments.  I am very proud of myself that I was able to do it.
Heart and health wise I am doing fair.  Almost 4 1/2 years out and I don't have ANY coronary artery disease-that is HUGE!  I also have not had rejection in about 2.5 years!  For me that has been amazing!  Getting on the right medication has been huge-I still have to get monthly blood work, so my dosages of some medications change often.  Because I had so much rejection, it has caused slight damage to my heart.  I actually have Restrictive Cardiomyopathy (diastolic dysfunction) again-the disease that took my first heart.  Its not at a crazy stage, and I can still do quite a bit, so I am not very worried about that.
I do have some other smaller stuff going on, but a big thing I have right now is anxiety.  I feel like it is so taboo to talk about mental health at all and it is hard to talk about.  I never had the anxiety before transplant, but now I have it all the time.  It is very hard for me to deal with-I would give anything to get rid of it.  It can be all consuming.  Hopefully, one day, very soon, it will just disappear.