November 9, 2018

Pleasanton is really smoky today. There’s a wildfire 2 hours away, and as a result the air is filled with smoke. It’s so polluted you can’t see the sun.

When my dad stepped outside today, he said “Is this air quality okay for Justin?” My mom asked me if I wanted to go to school today. I told her I wanted to, but I said I would wear a mask.

When I was staying at the Ronald McDonald House I had therapy sessions with a psychologist, WIth my therapist we discussed about wearing a mask. I told her I didn’t want to wear a mask, since it made me stick out in school. However, I know that i definitely should wear my mask today.

When I got to my class, my classmate told me she didn’t expect me to be at school today. She said that since the air was so bad, I would’ve stayed at home.

November 12, 2018

I had a swimming lesson today, but because of the smoke in the air my Mom cancelled it. I live in Pleasanton, 2 hours away from the fire in Paradise, so the air quality is bad. The swimming pool is outdoors. After my heart transplant, I’m not supposed to be in smoky places.

Instead I just walked on the treadmill. In the Ronald McDonald House I used to walk on the treadmill everyday. Today I walked for 30 minutes on 3.0 speed.

November 13, 2018

I met Amy McCarthy at the school library today.  Amy McCarthy is the library substitute I met at my High School’s club fair (see August 24, 2018). She had a kidney transplant when she was 40.

Today I have a dental appointment. My last dental appointment was February 2018 because I’m not allowed to have a dental appointment until 6 months after transplant. The dentist told me I should brush more. If there’s plaque on my teeth, the bacteria can get in my bloodstream and potentially damage my heart. Now instead of brushing 2 times a day, I’ll brush 3 times a day. It’s a small price to pay compared to the alternative.

Today I couldn’t swim outside. The smoke from the fire is still polluting Pleasanton, so I had exercise inside. I instead exercised on the treadmill:

  • 20 minutes walking on 3.0 speed
  • 20 minutes running in intervals on 4.0 speed
    • 1 minute runs with 20 second rests

I used the exercise technique my swim coach taught me (see November 8, 2018). Exercising in intervals is a great way to build up my endurance. My main focus with exercise right now is endurance instead of speed.

I walked for 20 minutes, and ran for a total of 15 minutes.

November 15, 2018

My Mom decided to pull me out of school after study hall. The air pollution is so bad from the fire nearby. I signed out by the health office, and I met the school nurse. I told her I had a heart transplant, and she instantly knew that I was Justin.

She recommended me to not come to school tomorrow. She’s not the only one; all of my classmates also told me to stay home.

I’m considering it. I miss school constantly for doctor appointments, and I know when you miss one day of school, you do twice the work of that day. That’s why I’m hesitant to skip school.

It was nice meeting the school nurse.

November 16, 2018

School was cancelled today due to the smoke. There’s a wildfire two hours away, and as a result our area’s air quality is horrible. Since my school is mainly outside, they don’t want the students contract lung problems (I doubt they will). Also, there was a petition online to close all of our schools today.

It gave me even more time to work on my UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital video (see November 15, 2018 for info)(see November 25, 2018 for videos).