June 7, 2018 (Sick Pt. 5)

My coughing was better today. It’s not as bad as before. I can soothe it with tea. Luckily the Ronald McDonald House provides free tea.

I made key lime pie with Angela today. Angela is my friend at the Ronald McDonald House. We followed a recipe from AllRecipes. We squeezed a lot of lemons and limes for our key lime pie. Squeezing was okay though because it was fun making the pie.

At the Ronald McDonald House there’s a community fridge where you can give food. Angela and I shared our key lime pie with the community.

June 8, 2018 (Sick Pt. 6)

My cold was completely gone when I woke up today. Thank you God.

It was on time too. I had a physical therapy appointment today. I take physical therapy because after my surgery everything is sore. I have to readjust to my new heart and become more flexible. After heart transplant, even sitting down was hard.

My physical therapist is pregnant and will be delivering in a month, so that’s pretty cool. I’ll get another physical therapist when she’s on maternity leave.

June 9, 2018

My Dad visited me today. This is the second time he’s visited. The last time he visited I spent the day with Ray instead of him (see May 26, 2018).

My heart pounding is still limiting me from doing any activity. I hate my heart pounding. One step and I instantly feel my heart beating in my ear. It feels so uncomfortable, and it makes me nauseous and physically tired.

My Dad knew this, so he asked me if I wanted to explore. He drove me along El Camino Real. El Camino Real is a long road that cuts through many cities, including Palo Alto. You can drive from San Francisco to Mountain View along El Camino Real.

From Palo Alto, we went north on El Camino Real. We passed through Menlo Park, Atherton, Redwood City, San Carlos, Belmont, San Mateo, and Burlingame. We drove through San Carlos Downtown, Belmont Downtown, and San Mateo Downtown.

In the car, I had to adjust myself every minute. It’s gotten better ever since I’ve been out of the hospital. What is?

I call it a hot & cold sensation. My body temperature adjusts rapidly due to my new heart. If I lay my back on a chair and cover myself with a blanket I immediately feel so hot I start sweating. If I sit up and take off my blanket I get so cold I start shivering. A nurse told me it was because my heart was pumping regularly, and my blood cells had normal circulation. My body had to learn how to control body heat.

When we returned to Palo Alto and I got my medication my Dad drove south to Mountain View. We ate dinner at a restaurant in Mountain View called Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot.

June 10, 2018

My church family visited me. Since today is Sunday, they came after church ended. I’m not radically Christian, but after all that has happened, I do believe miracles happened (see June 13, 2018). My church family was really supportive of my heart transplant.

I also met Joe today. Joe is the father of Nicole. Camp Taylor posted about Nicole (see June 5, 2018). Nicole is in the hospital after complications after her 5th open heart surgery (see September 20, 2018).

Joe is a chef. He had a fast casual teriyaki restaurant chain in Southern California. He built his first restaurant by hand at 18. When Nicole asked her dad to be with him, he sold his restaurant chain to have more time with his daughter. Being in the hospital is a challenge, so you need to have as much support as possible.

Joe and Nicole have place their faith on God. They’re both radical believers. Although Nicole is 8, she has a boyfriend: her pastor’s son. Nicole is loved by God, and she is supported by her church family. When Nicole was in the hospital, her church family went in a circle prayed for her.

June 11, 2018

Angela and I made chocolate chip cookies today. Angela is my friend at the Ronald McDonald House. Cooking is a good way for me to push my endurance. We both made chocolate chip cookies, but there were extra chocolate chips so Angela’s mom made some modified cookies. After our chocolate chip cookies were done baking, we shared it with the other families at the Ronald McDonald House.

Joe made lobster rolls today. Joe’s daughter, Nicole, is in the hospital after her 5th open heart surgery had complications (see September 20, 2018). As a result, her family has to stay at the Ronald McDonald House while she’s being treated.

I helped him make them. After the lobster was done cooking, he tasted them, and found out they went bad. Joe had to drive back to the store to buy shrimp for the rolls instead. It was fun making food with Joe.

June 13, 2018

My church family visited me again at the Ronald McDonald House today. I go to a Chinese church, so they’re all Chinese. They brought porridge, eggs, and pastries.

I stopped going to church when I was in elementary school. I didn’t believe in God. However, last year I really needed help. My grandma prayed to God for my heart transplant. When my doctors said it was unlikely for me to get a heart, I really believed them. However I got a call two weeks later. That is a miracle by God. After surgery, I was in so much pain. It was unbearable and I felt sad. I asked the hospital preacher to pray for me. I’m not radically Christian, but I do believe God is watching over me.

My Mom took her church family to explore around the Ronald McDonald House’s surrounding area. Next to the house is a very expensive senior housing. Across the house is the Stanford Mall. Downtown Palo Alto is also a longer but walkable distance from the Ronald McDonald House.

One of the church members taught Angela and me how to cook Taiwanese chicken broth. Angela is my friend at the Ronald McDonald House. Angela’s mom really liked the recipe, although Angela may not be able to eat a lot of it. Angela can only eat a maximum of 20 grams of protein per day.

June 15, 2018

I like to cook at the Ronald McDonald House. It’s a good way to get some activity into my day and meet/talk to new people. However, since I experience heart pounding cooking is difficult.

After transplant, I have a sensation of heart pounding. It’s when I can do as little as walking across a room and my heart starts pounding. I can feel it in my chest and I feel thumping in my ears. It’s not as bad as when I was in the hospital, but it still inhibits the amount of activity I do. That’s why I want to push my activity levels every day. If I do more activity, I raise my endurance levels. That’s why I walk on the treadmill everyday and cook often.

I’m planning to cook mushroom cups with Angela. I got the recipe online. Angela is my friend I made at the Ronald McDonald House. She’s at Stanford for treatment of her liver. She can only eat 20 grams of protein per day. 20 grams of protein is nothing. An egg has 6 grams of protein, so she can only eat under 4 eggs each day.

My mom took me to Safeway for ingredients of the mushroom cups. Mushroom cups are cooked mushrooms in a cream cheese mixture stuffed into filo cups. I bought mushrooms, heavy whipping cream, and filo cups. When I came back, I cooked the filling with Angela. We diced the mushrooms and cooked it with the whipping cream. After the mixture was thickened, we saran wrapped it and stored it in my room’s refrigerator overnight.

June 16, 2018

My Mom’s friend, Joanna, visited me at the Ronald McDonald House today. Joanna was my piano teacher, and I’m friends with her son, Andrew. We went to eat at Calafia Cafe & Market A Go-Go. We went there because I saw that restaurant on a TV show called Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Update: Calafia Cafe & Market A Go-Go is permanently closed.

When Joanna and Andrew left, I made mushroom cups with Angela. We followed a recipe online. Angela is my friend at the Ronald McDonald House (see June 15, 2018 for her condition). I already made the filling for the mushroom cups yesterday, so I brought it out from our community refrigerator. I put the premade filling into the filo cups and baked it in the oven.

Angela’s family had a BBQ today. I joined in their barbeque and they liked my mushroom cups. I met Angela’s sister and her English teacher. I had a great time with them!

After the barbecue my Dad visited me at the Ronald McDonald House. Dad brought Julia, my sister, too. This is the first time after transplant that I’ve seen Julia. The reason is because UCLA doesn’t start summer break until June 10.

We went across the street to the Stanford Mall to eat dinner. We ate at Tender Greens, a restaurant that serves salad. I couldn’t eat so much since I had to walk to the Stanford Mall. Although it’s across the street from the Ronald McDonald House, that distance is enough to make my heart start pounding. When I do activity, my heart starts pounding. I can feel the thumping in my chest and ears. When heart pounding happens, I’m usually too uncomfortable or nauseous to eat.

June 17, 2018

Cosplayers came to the Ronald McDonald House. There were a lot of Star Wars characters. It’s embarrassing, but I’ve never bothered to see Star Wars until I was in the hospital. Since I had time to waste, I watched episodes 1-6.

There was Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Stormtrooper, and others I forgot. My Mom loves Star Wars.

Miss California Latina was also here today. She gave me a signed copy of her headshot, which was cool.