Andrew Hunt - Still not ready
The first few weeks after a heart transplant can be very strange, challenging and most unlike anything one could have ever imagined despite attending information sessions and studying the often frightening Orange Manual.
Early February 2008, found me at the Alfred Hospital crying profusely all hours of the day, consumed by a pervasive sense of guilt and transfixed by the steady flow of disturbing shapes formed by steam rising from the hospital generators. With my chest and left shoulder aching, I would often see rubber hospital gloves inflating before my eyes and other strange sensory illusions. With unpleasant black diarrhea, the shakes over my entire body and frequently not sleeping for many hours at a time, I would listen to the Eagles and Steely Dan until it was time for my next biopsy.
At 3 am one night, possibly driven Prednisolone, I was determined to go for a walk down Punt Road. Luckily, this madness passed and I returned to my room instead crying until my breakfast arrived.
After arriving home in Adelaide early in May 2008, I immediately joined the gym to keep building on the hard work done under Lou Fuller’s firm guidance. I have been re-admitted to the Flinders Medical Centre on two occasions with elevated liver functions, rigors and high temperatures. However, with my gall bladder now gone, three hernias repaired and with a tooth missing - I am going pretty well.
I continue to work three days per week as a Senior Human Resources Consultant with Primary Industries and Resources SA, spend time with family, go to the gym two to three days per week and try to have short breaks away with my partner, Dana. And with an ABC Radio interview under our belt, my original story published on this web-site, a story published in the Donate Life Book and after being the Good Life gym ‘Hero’ (Summer Edition 2010), I reckon I’m still not ready for the rocking chair!
All my thanks go to all the wonderful people who have supported and cared for me since my first pacemaker in 1998, through to my heart transplant in 2008. And a very special mention goes to Dana who has been with me all these years on our journey together - I guess she really must like the Eagles and Steely Dan, after all!
Heart Transplant - 29 January 2008