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Dec. 1–31, 2009
Saturday, December 5th, we headed up the mountain to Big Bear. We celebrated Christmas with our friends Bobbi and John. They're in the middle of selling their place and looking for another house in Big Bear. On Monday morning we woke up to see snowflakes falling ... it was absolutely beautiful! On our way home we came down the mountain with the roads totally covered in snow! For several years I couldn't go to Big Bear because of the high altitude ... it was amazing to see the difference with my new heart. I did really well and didn't struggle with breathing like I did in the past.
Tuesday, December 8th, was the Cardiac Rehab Christmas Party at Casa de Pico in Grossmont Center. We all had a great time. We really enjoyed each others company outside of exercise class!
Saturday, December 12th, my girlfriend, Valinda and her daughter Jacque and I made several dozen Christmas cookies. It was so much fun! Once again, it had been several years since I had been able to have the energy to do this. We had lunch, sparkling cider and listened to Christmas music as we baked most of the day.
Sunday, December 13th, I saw my friend Zelma (a friend in Cardiac Rehab Class), who is a choir director at her church. They did a "Christmas Cantana." Several friends from the Cardiac class attended and we all left with the "Christmas Spirit" in our hearts!
Monday, December 14th, Larry and I met with several good friends — Joey, Allyne, & Carolyn — for our annual Christmas get together. Carolyn was getting ready for a trip to Arizona and Joey was getting ready for a 33-day cruise in January! Can't wait to hear about their trips when they come back.
Debbie and Larry celebrate
Wednesday, December 16th, I was invited to the LVAD Christmas Party. It was amazing to hear the latest news on the LVADs. The batteries are now lasting up to 15 hours and the powerbase unit and battery charger are now separate units. How exciting for the LVAD patients. It was great to see everyone and I appreciated them inviting me.
Thursday, December 17th, I had an esophagram done in the [Sharp Memorial] Outpatient Pavilion. That day, I was feeling really tired ... more than usual. I finally decided to take my temperature that afternoon only to find out that it was 102 degrees! I called Kristi, my coordinator, and she had me go to the Emergency right away. I tested positive for the "Flu A." Most people with "Flu A" have H1N1 [influenza]. They admitted me to the hospital and started me on Tamiflu treatment immediately. After several days, they released me and I continued on with my Christmas celebrations!
Sunday, December 20th, we had Larry's side of the family over for a Christmas get together. We had a blast watching our grandchildren open their gifts. Grandchildren sure make the holidays a lot of fun!
Tuesday, December 22nd, was my final biopsy for the year. That evening we had a beautiful Christmas dinner at Pam & Bob Plumbley's home in the Coronado Cays. We gathered together with a few of my cheerleading friends from high school and their husbands. Pam and Bob had their home beautifully decorated and an elegant table was set for all of us to enjoy. It was truly a magical evening.
December 23 to 25th we spent with family celebrating Christmas and enjoying each other's company. Can you believe Santa still stops by my mom's and leaves me a Christmas stocking! I love it!! However, my best Christmas gift this year was another "zero rejection"!
Monday, December 28th, I started on a new rejection drug called Rapamune. It's suppose to be more kidney friendly. We'll see if I have any side effects in the next couple of days.
Thursday, December 31st, I have my annual mammogram and a bone scan scheduled. Some of the rejection drugs can take a toll on your bones, so they have to check them periodically. Hopefully, both tests will come out okay. After the tests are done, Larry and I will leave for Garden Grove to meet with our daughter, son-in-law, his parents and our grandchildren and ring in the New Year. It's hard to believe it's already 2010!! I can't imagine what great adventures await Larry and I in the New Year.
Again, THANK YOU GOD AND MY DONOR FOR THIS INCREDIBLE GIFT OF LIFE!! Please, if you're not a donor, consider signing up at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org. This will ensure your wish to save lives will be honored. People of all ages and medical histories can be potential donors. Don't rule yourself out!
From the bottom of our hearts, Larry and I wish all of you a Happy and Blessed New Year! Follow more of Debbie's heart transplant journey.
For More Information
To learn more about the heart transplant program at Sharp Memorial Hospital, please contact the program directly by calling 858-939-3831, Monday through Friday, 7 am to 3:30 pm.
To learn more or to find a cardiologist affiliated with Sharp, please call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-824-4277) or go to Find a Doctor.