May 22, 2018

I had my first psychology appointment today.

At the hospital, I was miserable and pretty sad, so I was looking forward to my psychology appointment.

I’m required to go to psychology because they think as a teenager I’ll screw up. Turns out a lot of teenagers die after transplant because they refused to take their medications. That’s dumbbbb.

I mean, really? I know you need to fit in, but I wouldn’t risk death. Your life depends on this medication.

For my first psychology appointment I was asked to make a timeline of my life, then write down my goals for 10 years from now.

Okay, when I was 2 I was rushed to the hospital because I was vomiting. It took 2 weeks for the doctors to diagnose me with hypereosinophilic syndrome. My heart was damaged so I needed my first open heart surgery. Then April 10, 2018, I was put on the heart transplant list. On April 27, 2018, I had my heart transplant.

My goals In 10 years: running triathlons, graduated from University, and living with my partner (whoever they are). Oh yeah and a nice job that pays me a 6 digit salary. That’s the good life.

We then talked about adjusting back to “normality”. If someone asks me, “Where were you during the school year?” I’ll just answer “I had some business to take care of.” If they keep pressuring me, then I’ll say “I was visiting my family in China.”

I don’t want to be weird. I don’t know how people would react if I said if I was in the hospital.

I think it’ll be hard for me to go back to school and pretend none of this ever happened. I don’t think I can go back to my old mindset where all I worried about was my grades. I guess what my Mom said was right, “It’s better to live in ignorance than in fear.”

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.

December 7, 2018

I had a doctor’s appointment at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital today.

We left Pleasanton at 8 AM. We arrived at Stanford just in time for my 9:45 AM appointment. We checked vitals first, then I had my echo done. An echo is short for an echocardiogram, which is a test that takes pictures of your heart. It’s like an ultrasound for the heart.

After the echo, we went to the clinic. The clinic is the part of the appointment when you talk to your doctors. Everything is great. My sneezing is okay. I don’t think I’m sick.

My Prograf levels are also great. The level is 6.3, and my goal is between 6 and 8. I’m taking 1 mg of Prograf in the morning and 0.5 mg of Prograf in the evening.

In translation, my immunosuppressants are doing their job well. My immunosuppressants also have a range, and that range tells us how much immunosuppressants are presents in my body right now. My blood is checked regularly because we want that range to fluctuate.

I also noticed that I haven’t had leg pain for a while now. Leg pain refers to when I have pain in my calves. Before my heart transplant, my leg pain was so bad that I had to stay at home for a month.

My psychiatrist also came in. If you remember, in the Ronald McDonald House I had a psychiatrist that I had to meet with every Friday for 5 weeks (see May 22, 2018). Well, that psychiatrist graduated, so I have a new one. Anyways, I told her that everything has gotten better since the first day of school.

The doctors said I could go to transplant camp over the summer. If you remember the transplant reunion (see August 11, 2018), a girl mentioned transplant camp.

Anyways, after my appointment, I ate at the hospital cafeteria. The hospital also opened their gift shop and I bought a jacket there. Afterwards, I went home.