Good morning. It’s 8am and we are sitting at a coffee shop at Robson and Davie. We are here, because for eighteen years we always come here, on this day, at this time for coffee, before we begin our annual visit at St. Paul’s. Eighteen times we have driven the same route, parked in the same spot.. sipped coffee at the same table.. We aren’t superstitious.. but today we remember.
E had all his blood work done on the big island last week. As always, I peeked at the results on ehealth and there was nothing to worry about.. but I won’t relax until I hear it from the doctor.
First stop, xray, ground floor. This would seem a pretty benign test but I remember the first time E had an X-ray, it showed his heart to be the size of a soccer ball filling his whole chest cavity. That day, oblivious, I waited outside the lab in the chair when bells started ringing and nurses began hugging me with tears in their eyes… it was a long time ago. But sitting here today, we remember.
Next stop, 4th floor echo cardio gram … The echo test reveals the ejection fraction rate and the flow. If there is maybe a leak. How much blood is actually being pumped. It is never 100% a good ejection fraction rate is maybe 79%. There was a time E was at 13%. Doctor raved about the pictures he was getting. Said it was so clear he could see the stitches attaching the new heart in place. There was a time when they invited us to examine his old dead heart… we remember.
Next stop a quick ECG.. Again, the technician raves about the picture. Eighteen years? She asks… Wow, impressive she says.. All of the testing appointments run like a clock. We never have to wait.
Upstairs to the transplant clinic. The head of Cardiology, who used to preside over every step of E’s treatment was no where to be seen. Probably off saving someone else’s life. Instead, a twelve year old Doctor came into check on him and give us the results of all of the testing. There was a time when papers were written about E’s unusual case, residents came in droves to try to guess what was wrong with him. Now he is boring, normal, regular, a perfectly healthy guy… but we remember..
As you may be guessing. E is perfectly healthy. There is no reason that we won’t be able to have twenty healthy years on the new deck, drinking wine with friends and family. All thanks to science and the generosity of a family we will never be able to thank in person. But today,
especially, we remember