Last Tuesday we drove to Orlando to meet with my transplant specialist and our nurse coordinator, and we learned a lot about my upcoming schedule:
My transplant officially starts on April 21st, but I have some kind of pre-transplant test or procedure in Orlando every day from 4/3 to 4/14. Gina and I are going to stay in Orlando during that time to avoid driving back and forth every day. I'll get a break from that so that I can be at home and church over Easter weekend, but then I'll be admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, 4/18. I'll be an inpatient at Florida Hospital for two weeks, then I'll be released from the hospital but staying in Orlando for the next two weeks (either at the Circle of Friends house on campus at the hospital or the Comfort Suites across the street). I'll be returning home in mid-May, but I will be restricted from mixing with other people for a month or two after that.
This week is busy because I am trying to wrap things up at school and church before I go away. I’ll be plugged in electronically for most of my time in Orlando, but this Friday will be last day on campus at school this year.
I have been referring to our pre-transplant time in Orlando as a vacation. Gina says that I’m the only one she knows who would call it that, but those two weeks will not be too difficult. We have something to do each day at the hospital or doctor’s office, but I will not be restricted otherwise, so we will have some time to enjoy Orlando since we are not going to spend hours each day commuting.
Although it will be a definite change in lifestyle for me, I have chosen to embrace my post-transplant time as a monastic-style retreat. Rather than becoming frustrated over my restrictions, I am choosing to celebrate the enforced opportunity for more prayer and study.
This is my favorite line from Tuesday's meeting: Dr. Ahmed said that he expects me to be 95% recovered by the end of the summer. I used to be a pretty productive guy, so I'd be happy with 95%. I am excited about making my comeback at school and church. I am officiating a wedding on June 11th, and I expect to start easing back into church by the end of June. I am planning to return to school in August to teach two AP courses, but my teaching schedule will be lighter next year.
I have some serious stuff coming, but my long-term prognosis is good. My doctors are optimistic, and I am also. I know that the readers of this blog have been praying for me and my family, and we are grateful.