May 13, 2019 – Retainer

Today I got my retainer. 

And it hurts. It’s a cold hunk of plastic pressing against my teeth. Not only did it hurt, but it also made me gag.

Geez, how uncomfortable can this retainer be?

I have the urge to take it out, constantly. It also makes me speak funny, so that’ll be great in school.

They told me how to take care of my retainer. First, I have to wear the retainer all the time and only take it out for eating or brushing my teeth/flossing. Secondly, I have to clean the retainer in a solution with a pill.

I don’t think I can wear this retainer all the time. 

May 16, 2019 – Retainer

Yeah, so I’m still not wearing my retainer. 

I’ve decided to wear it during the night.

It’s just, wearing it during the day is so hard. I talk so funny with it on. I tried to do class discussions  in English with it on, but it didn’t work out.

Also, I can’t rinse my retainer at school. Before I put it in its case, I have to rinse my retainer. And I have to take out my retainer every time before I eat. So it’s such a hassle.

May 17, 2019 – The Sequel

Victoria came to discuss “Justin’s Hearty Recipes 2.0”. Or “Justin’s Hearty Recipes: The Sequel”.

First, she congratulated me on the release. She promised to bring the Palo Alto Weekly newspaper of me, but she forgot.

Then we talked about the sequel.

She had some great new ideas. Of course, I can’t share them with you, but they’re awesome.

She advised me not to put “Justin’s Hearty Recipes” on Amazon because no one would buy it. It’d be a rip off to have people pay about $15 for 10 Recipes. 

The entire cookbook is right here, on my blog. Click here 👉Justin’s Hearty Recipes👈

May 21, 2019

It’s approaching the last day of school with only two weeks left, and that means yearbooks will be distributed soon. Suprise, yearbooks will be distributed tomorrow!

In case you don’t know, I’m going to be featured in the yearbook. Someone came to interview me on January 10, 2019 and take a picture of me on January 21, 2019. I have an entire two pages of a spread to myself, which is quite unique.

I know I should feel excited, but I’m feeling a bit nervous.

What am I supposed to expect? I’ll probrably recieve positive feedback from everyone, which is great, but then what?

I don’t want to be known as THAT heart transplant kid. I’m not just that heart transplant kid, I have more to offer.

Does this add to my personality or become my personality?

Throughout the year I haven’t been shouting it out on the rooftops but also not outright denying it. When someone asks me about it, I’ll tell them about it.

My biomedical class know about it (October 12, 2018), the Pink Dot Club knows about it (January 22, 2019), my last year Honors English class knows about it, and a random classmate even knows about it (January 25, 2019).

This time it’s different. It’s not that I haven’t had a lot of people look at my story before, but these people at school know me.

I’m so strange. I can handle telling random strangers about my heart transplant, but I can’t bear to tell people I know.

The truth always come out, but I don’t know why I want to hide what I am.

When I came in nobody knew my name. When I come out everybody will know my name.

Is this a good thing?

Last Day of School – May 31, 2019

Today was the last day of school, and it couldn’t have gone better. I officially survived my sophomore year (10th grade) of High School!

I did fine academically this year, which is unexpected. Another thing surprising is how well I adjusted back into life.

This school year was different from all the other school years because of my heart transplant. A year ago, I was picking brochures for my online High School. I was preparing to start my sophomore year online.

I think my most significant accomplishment of this year was my success. I not only survived, but I also thrived.

In a year, I started a blog, released a cookbook, and developed healthy habits that’ll guide me for the rest of my life.

If I can do all of that within a year, who knows what will occur during the next year?

I have dreams, but for the first time, my dreams seem attainable. I’m so close to my goals that I can feel my fingertips barely grazing them.

As my English teacher said, “I’m expecting great things from you.”

This is only the beginning. The beginning of what? I don’t know. Whatever IT is, it’s going to be great.

Look out world, Justin Wang is coming!

August 12, 2019 – First Day of School

11th grade!

It’s the year in high school that colleges look at. Everyone around me is doing crazy stuff, while I’m here just taking it easy.

On one hand, I’m glad to be back in school because school is awesome, but on the other hand, I was lying and school sucks. 

High school sucks (honestly). I’m not going to name any names, but there are some fake people and I can’t stand them. 

I don’t anticipate this year to be as bad as last year. I was really cautious in 10th grade because I was so post-transplant. Now I’m one year out, and I’m much better.

Actually, I have high hopes for this year. I accomplished a lot last year: launching my blog, releasing my cookbook, and appearing on TV . Who knows what I’ll accomplish this year?

August 26, 2019 – 504 Plan

Another Monday, another school week. Ewwww.

Anyways, I had my 504 plan today. My last 504 plan was on October 4, 2018, so I was surprised that this one was so early in the school year. Also, the school didn’t inform me that my 504 plan was today?!? I just found out yesterday when my mom and I were fighting when she yelled “Y’know, why don’t you just not come to the 504 plan tomorrow!”

The reason I have a 504 plan and not an IEP is because a 504 plan is added modifications to your academics while an IEP is a completely customized education. 

As expected, not all my teachers were there. Of the group attending was my AP Psychology teacher, US History teacher, vice-principal, school nurse, and school counselor. 

So it was the same old, same old. Just the usual stuff:

  • Flexibility for missed assignments and schoolwork for days missed
  • Unlimited bathroom trips
  • Ability to change seats if students nearby are coughing or sick
  • Sunscreen applied regularly stay out of sun

Last year was the tricky year. Since I was so fresh out of transplant, I was so sensitive to diseases and getting sick. When ever someone coughed in the classroom, I would avoid them like the bubonic plague.

I don’t anticipate this year to be as tricky. I feel that it’s going to be easier, and that I have a lot more freedom.

What’s different about this year is that I have a full schedule instead of the five periods I attended last year (10th grade) and ninth grade (the grade I was in heart failure). 

Pre-transplant I could take my medications roughly in the morning and evening, but now my meds require to be timely. I take my morning meds in first period (8:45 AM), but no one minds because everyone minds their own business.

I mean, who would be like “Oh my god, he takes meds! Hahaha!” High school kids are mean, but they’re not THAT mean. I feel like the only people who would say that are people who don’t have lives.

August 26, 2019 – “Mr. Peterson”

What I love about my schedule this year is that I have the same teacher I had in ninth grade. 

I’ll call him Mr. Peterson. Mr. Peterson was my biology teacher in ninth grade, so he saw the craziness that happened that year. If you don’t know, ninth grade was when I returned into chronic heart failure.

He remembers how I sporadically missed chunks of school. I remember dragging my backpack to the ER because I was so dedicated with keeping up my grades. 

I saw the emails my school counselor sent out after I got out of surgery. Mr. Peterson said I didn’t need to take the final because I “would get an A on it anyway.” I think his email is what set off the chain of emails from my other teachers saying I didn’t need to take the final.

Right after school started last year (sophomore year/10th grade) I visited him to say hi and tell him I was healthy and okay.

Although I already completed Biology, I’m on the biomedical sciences pathway in my school so I’m taking the second course and Mr. Peterson happened to be my teacher. 

I’m excited for this year. I have a feeling it’s going to be different from the other years. 

August 29, 2019 – Filming with Ivanhoe

Today I filmed with Ivanhoe Broadcast News. Ivanhoe Broadcast News is a news station that provides medical and health news to network affiliates (ABC/NBC/CBS) around the country. The segments run 1-1.5 minutes and usually air on local stations a few months after filming takes place.

My mom cleaned up the house a few hours before they arrived. We were expecting them to arrive about 7~8 PM, but they arrived at 9 PM. I can understand, because the traffic from Palo Alto (Lucile Packard at Stanford) to Pleansanton is insane.

They set up in the living room. I watched as they pulled out the lights, reflectors, and cameras all for a simple interview. 

As usual, they had me go in front of the camera and say my name, and then they started asking me their questions.

I always make sure to emphasize how much I appreciated my donor, how important is to be an organ donor, and how easy it is to register to be a donor.

It’s so important that people register to become organ donors. The matter of the fact is, the people who sign up to be organ donors will likely never even become organ donors. You have a higher chance of getting struck by lightning than becoming an organ donor. 

My mom went after me. She had some really touching stories about myself in the hospital, and I always appreciate how much she’s done for me.

We shot b-roll (background shots) in the kitchen. My mom and I cooked my signature chow-mein recipe while they filmed. Later we shot our second b-roll in my bedroom working on my blog.

I can’t wait to see how it turns out!