There were times when I felt I just couldn’t go on anymore. It was a long road in the hospital and after months I became depressed and just felt like throwing in the towel. Thankfully, I had a great support team in my wife and son and so many friends coming to see me that I couldn’t let them down. I just kept finding ways to re-energize myself and continue the long and very tedious March towards a transplant.
After I received my LVAD, I found that I couldn’t read more than a few words so the plan to read the complete NY TIMES bestseller list was off the table. I told no one because I was afraid it might make me ineligible to get on the transplant list. Then after a few weeks in the rehab hospital, my now great friend & partner in this foundation came into my room and saw me attempting to read a book on Tiger Woods. He said, “ you can read ? I can’t do that yet”. I was shocked and elated when he told me that it wasn’t uncommon. I was not alone- how great is that.
After that, Bob & I and another close friend, Steve ended back in the hospital together until we received our new hearts. We were together daily, talking about everything going on with us and our families outside. This was a turning point, we all knew we had long hauls but, we also knew we had each other.
I urge anyone going through the ordeal to find other patients to share your experiences with. They are the only ones that can truly understand your state of mind. Whether they are people you meet in the hospital or in clinic, just start a dialog, exchange #s and email addresses. Through this, you will find a new purpose and maybe a lifelong friend or friends. I did and I can assure you it makes for a softer easier path.