Released and Afraid


“Fear is a sickness that only the victim can cure.”

Ten years ago today I was released from the hospital that saved my life.

I remember the day well. Perhaps I put on a good front as I spent the morning getting my final instructions from doctors, coordinators, nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists and many others.

I knew I would be back in four days for testing, but I was filled with fear. Mind numbing fear! There were so many rules, so many new things to fret about in regard to this new heart beating in my chest. I had a good handle on the rules, but could I do this?

I was still very a very weak, broken guy when I was helped me into the wheelchair for the ride through the hospital. The hospital that had become a place of comfort and of life to me. The wheelchair ride ended at rear door of the 2001 silver-colored Buick that would take me home.

During the hour-plus drive home, I sat in the backseat looking at the trees, the flowers, the tall weeds along the interstate that were now drenched in warmth and sunshine that was not there when I flew over the same area three weeks earlier. I was having a difficult time grasping the realities of all that had happened over the previous 28 days in total ………. there were HUGE gaps of lost time and lost memories.

I vividly remember arriving at the house, that the paramedics carried me out of four weeks earlier. I remember the afternoon sun, the birds chirping, the long, slow climb of the few front steps and into the house that looked the same, but now ….. for some reason seemed so quiet after a few weeks of seemingly constant alarms, endless commotion and a steady stream of clinical people attending to me.

After a short while in the house, I made the long, 13 step journey to the second floor. It took over five minutes to climb those stairs, all while having a death grip on the hand rail. I was finally settled into my den and had the first bit “alone time” that I had in a month ………. then fear gripped me and the tears flowed.

Sometime later that afternoon, I said a long prayer of thanks and gratitude …… I also prayed for guidance ……..

After reflecting all afternoon, by evening I knew it was time to go to work …….. NOT work at my job …….. but I needed to get busy and work on this new life. Plans for EVERYTHING …..  for meds, for the required vitals, exercise, my new diet …….

The fears started melting away …….. little by little, day by day.

Thanks to God, my amazing donor, my fantastic medical team, my family and my friends.

Released and Afraid

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About DAP

I am a heart transplant recipient and these are my stories and thoughts. My desire is to assist others pre or post heart transplant in anyway possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have a question.
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