My wife reminded me the other day about an incident involving my grandson, who was 18 months old at the time, and myself, that happened soon after my transplant.
To set the stage for this story, one must know that I didn’t know that I needed, nor had a heart transplant until days after the fact when an ICU nurse told me. It really wasn’t until a few days later that I actually had this confirmed by family members. A week after my transplant I was out of the ICU and into a regular room on a nursing floor I was given my “Transplant Notebook” which is filled with all of the do’s and don’ts of transplant life. I studied this book faithfully while I was recovering in the hospital. What to eat, how to stay clean, and all of the things to avoid!
Once I got home, a mere 13 days post transplant, I would rest & recuperate in my den with my laptop. I started surfing the web on a never-ending quest for information in regard to my heart transplant. I read everything I could, especially the do’s and dont’s.
Fast forward to day number 22 post transplant. My son, his wife and grandson come home to visit me. Even though I couldn’t hold my grandson, due to my 10 pound weight restriction at that time, is was grand to see everyone.
During the weekend, I would sit in a big comfy chair with an ottoman in the living room. It was a place where I felt safe and could talk with everyone and watch my grandson running around. At one point, like all 18 month old kids, he wet his pants. His Mom removed his diaper, washed him and let him run around naked in the house. At one pint, he went behind my chair and no one in the room could see him.
A short period of time later he pops out from behind the chair and holds out his tiny clenched fist and says to me, “LOOK”!
He obviously has something in his hand so I held out my open hand to accept this “gift” he was trying to give me.
In that nano-second of time between when his little hand opened, my eyes saw what was there and falling toward my hand, and transferred that information to my brain and my mind tried to sort through all of the do’s and don’t of transplant life ……. in that nanosecond I freaked, and jumped. My wife said I had never moved that fast in my life.
In that split microcosm of time, the little surprise he had hidden in that tiny fist for me was a ca-ca, or poo-poo or …. well, you get the idea. Even though during that tiny sliver of time I couldn’t quote “chapter and verse” from the do’s and don’ts, my mind remembered some tiny nugget of information about babies ~ dirty diapers ~ and me remaining clean.
Regardless, it was a family event that will never be forgotten.
Life is good!