Transplant House Update 2

January 25, 2020

Hello everyone, I figured I’d update you on how things are going for me to far.

Generally, things are steadily getting better. It’s getting easier to walk, easier to get in and out of bed, easier to shower, and I’m having more bowel movements. There’s still pain, especially when doing certain activities like sitting at weird angles or even walking (but like I said, it’s getting better). Tylenol is helping a lot, though. I’m still taking a few regular medications, one for heartburn and a stool softener, but I’m also optionally taking 2 more stool softeners I was prescribed and Tylenol as needed (which, thankfully, isn’t too often; maybe 2 times a day vs. every 6 hours).

I also wanted to share an experience I had recently. About a year ago, way before I started the process of becoming a living organ donor, my wife and I bought tickets to a concert for one of our favorite artists on January 23, 2020. We were living in Delaware at the time, and the show was in Wilmington, about 20 minutes away. When we moved to Virginia, we still wanted to go, so we said we’d find a way to still go. So, when I was going to have surgery in Philly around the time of the concert, it seemed like it was going to work out since Wilmington isn’t that far away. In December I called the venue and asked if they would be able to provide a seat for me. They said they have an ADA seating section and they would save a seat for my wife and me, with the understanding that she would need to give up her seat if someone else needed it. I also asked one of the donor coordinators if it was even possible for me to go just 8 days after surgery. She said it would be difficult, and that the car ride would be the hardest part. She said it would also be difficult to sit in one place for that long, and to be prepared to need to leave part-way through. She also said to decide that morning if I felt well enough to make the car ride and to sit for that long.

When the morning of the 23rd came, I was feeling well enough to make the trip. Jill drove us down early for dinner at one of our favorite sandwich shops in Delaware. As it turns out, the coordinator was right: the drive was the worst part. Bumps can really hurt, and even going around curves, because I’m not allowed to use my core muscles to keep myself stable. I had to use my arms propped against the door and the armrest to keep myself stable. It got pretty tiring after a while.

Courtney Barnett The artist we saw: Courtney Barnett

We arrived at the venue a bit early, so we sat at the bar in the venue for a bit and had some water. Once they let us in, we followed the directions we had been given previously and took the elevator to the balcony level. There, they had some padded chairs set up for ADA seating. Thankfully it was a small venue so we still weren’t too far from the stage despite being in the highest seats there. I took one Tylenol before the show just in case. Besides needing to get up and walk around a bit between the opening act and the main act, I was pretty comfortable throughout the show. There were bouts of discomfort here and there, but adjusting a bit helped. I was a bit sore and we were both pretty tired by the time we got back to the Transplant House after the show. We both went to sleep pretty quickly.

In the end, I was glad we were able to go to the concert. The pain and discomfort were well worth it. I am hoping, however, that I’m feeling a bit better before our 3-4 hour drive home soon. Our trip to Wilmington was a bit of a trial run, and it showed me that it will definitely be a tiring experience. Either way, as nice as the Transplant House is, I’m excited to go back home soon.


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