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 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.

June 21, 2018

Today Pixar came to the Ronald McDonald House. They’re showing The Incredibles 2 in the activity room. I watched The Incredibles 2 with Angela and Noah. Angela and I watched The Incredibles on Sunday to be prepared for the sequel (see June 17, 2018). Noah is my friend being treated for stomach cancer.

Angela had to leave halfway through the movie for her therapy, so it was just me an Noah. The activity director gave us a pixar bag with a pixar hat inside. After the movie, I waited in line to get a picture drawn by Pixar artists. I choose to get a drawing of Remy from Ratatouille.

June 23, 2018

Dad visited me today. Julia, my sister, also came. We decided to eat ramen at Downtown Palo Alto. Despite the ramen being good, I couldn’t eat it all. In the car I drank an entire protein shake so I felt nauseous.

These are my daily requirements:

  • Exercise at least 10 minutes walking on the treadmill
  • Ride at least 1 hour on the gym bike
  • Walk 10,000 steps (tracked by my Fitbit)
  • Eat a salad or another vegetable dish
  • Drink a protein shake

I set these requirements for myself after transplant so I can recover faster. I need to drink protein shakes because my doctor recommended me to eat more protein. I have a tube inside of me that I used before my heart transplant. Through the tube I would insert nutrient shakes (Nutren 2.0). After my heart transplant, I have an appetite so I can eat my entire day’s calories. If I stop using my tube for 6 months, I can have it removed.

My Dad drove us to California Avenue. California Avenue is where the Palo Alto farmers market is held. My Mom and I went to that farmer’s market and it seemed pretty cool (see June 3, 2018). California Avenue also has a Caltrain station. Caltrain is a public transport train in Palo Alto.

After we explored California Avenue, we dropped off Julia at the Stanford Mall. The Stanford Mall is across the Ronald McDonald House. She wanted to buy clothes at Urban Outfitters.

My Dad and I went to a bookstore in Menlo Park. Menlo Park is a city right next to Palo Alto. The bookstore is Kepler’s Books. We also bought drinks from a nearby cafe, Cafe Borrone.

When we went back to the Ronald McDonald, we met with Julia. We both went to Downtown Mountain View for dinner. Mountain View is farther away from Palo Alto, but their downtown is nice. Mountain View is the headquarters for Google, so you see a lot of young employees in Downtown Mountain View. We ate at an Indian restaurant.

June 28, 2018

Julia, my sister, came to visit me today. We decided to watch a movie at the Stanford theater. The Stanford theater is a movie theater at Downtown Palo Alto that shows classic movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

We also asked Noah and his family to come with us. Noah is a 10-year-old boy also at the Ronald McDonald house. He has stomach cancer and is being treated with an experimental drug. Noah was pretty tired and his dad stayed with him, so his mom came.

Downtown Palo Alto is a reasonable distance from the Ronald McDonald House. Since I do need exercise everyday, it’s good that I’m walking. However, a patient without energy might not be able to walk the distance. Now that my heart pounding is less noticeable, it’s much easier for me.

At Downtown Palo Alto we ate at Lemonade, a health food restaurant. My sister also eats at lemonade at LA, so she likes the food there.

We watched Christmas in July. Christmas in July is about a guy being tricked by his co workers of winning a slogan contest. However, the owner of the company gives him the prize, without realizing he’s not the actual winner. When Christmas in July ended, we stayed for another move, The Gay Divorcee. The Gay Divorcee is about a women desperately trying to get a divorce, and she fakes cheating. Halfway through I got lost because there was so much singing and dancing and black and white.

My dad picked Julia from the movie theater. Otherwise, Julia would’ve had to stay the night with us at the Ronald McDonald House.

Noah’s mom liked the movies. She said it was nice that there’s so much fun stuff to do at Stanford.

July 3, 2018

Today is Kayano’s 15th birthday! Kayano is a patient at Stanford, who’s also my next door neighbor at Ronald McDonald. Kayano has kidney failure and he needs to be put on dialysis until he’s healthy enough to be put on the kidney transplant list. Kayano is having less and less energy, so he needs his kidney transplant soon.

We went to Redwood City Downtown to watch a movie. Kayano doesn’t eat food, but he still buys popcorn. He licks the popcorn. After we watched the movie, Kayano’s mom wanted to get birthday decorations at Safeway. As we drove along El Camino Real, Kayano’s mom told us she never knew that Stanford had so many attractions. She thought Stanford was in the middle of nowhere.

When we got back to the Ronald McDonald House we celebrated his birthday in the community dining room. Yesterday Kayano’s mom cooked brownies. We stuck 15 candles into the brownies and Kayano blew them out. Kayano’s mom also bought ice cream at Safeway, so she served the brownies with ice cream.

July 4, 2018

Today is the Fourth of July. Since I’m staying at the Ronald McDonald House, and not at my house in Pleasanton, we don’t really know what to do. I searched the internet, and I found that there’s a fireworks show at Seaport Boulevard in Redwood City.

Redwood City is nearby Palo Alto, the home of Stanford University. Seaport Boulevard is a boulevard that’s near the water, and there’s a private yacht dock along the boulevard.

My Mom drove me to Seaport Boulevard, but then she saw how wheelchair accessible the boulevard was, so she drove back to the Ronald McDonald House to get our grandma. Our grandma also needs special care, so she stays with us at the Ronald McDonald House.

We got takeout food in Downtown Palo Alto from Jing-Jing Szechwan & Hunan Gourmet. I first tasted Jing-Jing in the hospital after transplant. I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I wanted some noodles, so a nurse suggested Jing-Jing since they had great noodles. The hospital food was great, but after awhile it gets boring.

After we got takeout, we went to Seaport Boulevard with grandma. By the time we got there, the fireworks already started and all the cars were jammed. We decided to park outside, and watch the fireworks from the sidewalk. It was a great day.

July 13, 2018

There was a music festival today at Downtown Redwood City. My sister and dad also decided to visit me today. We went to the music festival, and it was really fun. There was a lot of people and sun, so I tried to sit in a shaded non crowded area. After transplant. I’m supposed to stay out of the sun since I’m more susceptible to skin cancer. I’m also supposed to stay out of crowded spaces in case of infection.

Downtown Redwood City is about a 5-10 minute drive from the Ronald McDonald House. I usually go to Downtown Redwood City because they have a movie theater. After the music festival we watched a movie called Skyscraper. Skyscraper had amazing graphic visuals that almost made up for the plot.

July 14, 2018

Today Nicole’s dad prepared a meal for her church family. Nicole is a girl that’s been in the hospital since May. She was born with a non functioning right artery, and ever since she’s had to replace it with a mechanical one. This was her fifth open heart surgery, but after complications, she’s still in the hospital. Hopefully she gets out soon (see September 20, 2018).

Nicole’s dad is a chef. He built his first restaurant at 18, and started his own restaurant chains. However, when Nicole got sick, she asked for her dad to be with her. He sold his restaurant chains and left Los Angeles just to stay with Nicole.

Every Saturday my Dad visits me at the Ronald McDonald House. He takes me out to have fun for the entire day. Downtown Palo Alto is a walkable distance from the Ronald McDonald House, and at Downtown Palo Alto is a Caltrain station. Today we took Caltrain to Sunnyvale.

We got to the Caltrain station an hour earlier than the next departure, so we decided to get drinks at a cafe in Downtown Palo Alto. Downtown Palo Alto has a lot of restaurants to enjoy, and their own Stanford theater (see July 20, 2018). There’s a famous restaurant, Ramen Nagi, at Downtown Palo Alto (see July 17, 2018). From the Ronald McDonald House to Downtown Palo Alto is wheelchair accessible.

We took the train to Sunnyvale. There’s steps to board the train if you decide to take it. Since I have to stay at the Ronald McDonald House for 3 months, I want to make the most out of my time. I loved watching the passing scenery.

Downtown Sunnyvale isn’t as big as Downtown Palo Alto. Notwithstanding it’s still very impressive. Across the Downtown Sunnyvale Caltrain station is an impressive plaza. Downtown Sunnyvale also has a street that’s called the Historic Murphy Avenue, and it’s extremely beautiful. It reminds me of Downtown Mountain View. You can also check out that place with Caltrain.

Going from Downtown Sunnyvale we took Caltrain back to Downtown Menlo Park. At Downtown Menlo Park I bought a book from Kepler’s Books. The book I bought was The Testing, a book about an intense college competition after the apocalypse. It’s similar to The Hunger Games; teenagers fight each other for a better life.

From Downtown Menlo Park we walked back to the Ronald McDonald House. I was so glad to be back because I walked a lot. I needed to rest for a while. Last year I was in the hospital for a week for calf pain. Ever since then I take Tylenol when my calf pain flares up. Today was a strenuous day, so I took tylenol. I ate my dinner at the Ronald McDonald House.