Sitting in a waiting room at The Alfred hospital I’m having trouble believing that it has been just over 12 months since my heart transplant.
I’ve lost count of the number of clinics, biopsies, scans, ultrasounds, infusions, blood tests and medication changes over that time.
Until now the heart transplant unit doctors and nurses have wrapped me up in cotton wool, managing every step of my recovery. They do it for all of their patients.
The first 12 months is about adjusting to the medications necessary to prevent the heart rejecting, learning to tolerate their side effects and rebuilding, both physically and mentally.
In the next month I have another round of tests. Some of the tests I’ve never had before. If the results are fine my doctors will give me much greater freedom to ‘fly off into the world’. They won’t need to monitor me nearly so closely.
I still have a long way to go but, judging by some of the transplanted friends I see around me in the waiting room, I’m doing well.
One of the most enjoyable things since my transplant has been sitting on a blue-sky winter day soaking up the warmth of the sun.
The so-called big urgent issues of my previous working life now seem so far away, and so trivial. It’s been a hard way to discover that simple things and family matter most.