Zero to 60 in Eight Months, What a Ride!


 

Today I got the results of my latest heart biopsy from Lorraine my Mayo Clinic transplant coordinator.  It is eight months since my heart transplant and the news was great. 

 

First, she told me that for the second month in a row I showed ZERO rejection.  That means my body, at least for now, is not trying to reject my new heart. 

 

Then she told me there would be no medication changes.  Everything was stable and could remain as is.  Her third piece of news was that I no longer would have a heart biopsy every month; it would now be two months between biopsies.

 

But the best news was that I am 60 percent!  “So,” you ask, “Why would anyone get excited about being 60 percent?” If you are not a heart patient, you probably would not understand. Here is the story.

 

Prior to my transplant, and for twelve years I suffered from cardiomyopathy.  The heart muscle was failing.  It was taking in more blood than it was ejecting, and had to grow larger to accommodate the extra blood.  As the heart enlarged, it got weaker and so on and so on. When the heart gets weaker so does the body.  Finally, I was in the end-stages of the disease.  The effect was that I could no longer walk 100 feet or more without stopping to rest.  

 

Here is the definition of ejection fraction (EF) according to the Mayo Clinic website: (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ejection-fraction/AN00360)

During each heartbeat cycle, the heart contracts and relaxes. When your heart contracts, it ejects blood from the two pumping chambers (ventricles). When your heart relaxes, the ventricles refill with blood. No matter how forceful the contraction, it doesn’t empty all of the blood out of a ventricle. The term “ejection fraction” (EF) refers to the percentage of blood that’s pumped out of a filled ventricle with each heartbeat. This measures the capacity at which your heart is pumping.  A normal LV ejection fraction is 55 percent to 70 percent.”

 

I am extremely happy with 60% because only 8 months ago my EF was between 15 and 20.  For all practical purposes, I was an invalid.  Now, my heart is as efficient as it was thirty years ago. I think I’ll celebrate, want to join me?   

 

Thank you donor and family, Robin my caregiver and the brilliant people at Mayo Jacksonville.

 

 

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About Bob Aronson

Bob Aronson is a former journalist, a Minnesota Governor's Press Secretary and talk show host. For nearly a quarter of a century, he led the Aronson Partnership, a Minnesota-based communications consultancy that prepared corporate and government executives for crisis situations, regulatory testimony, media interviews and Presentations. Among his clients were all three U.S. Mayo Clinic locations, 3M, general Mills, CH2M Hill, the U.S. Department of Energy and scores more. In 2007 bob had a heart transplant after suffering from idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy for 12 years. Shortly after he got his new heart he founded the now 4,300 member Facebook support group, Organ Transplant Initiative. At the same time, he established the Bob's Newheart blog where he has posted nearly 300 columns on organ donation, transplantation and other health related issues. The Viewpoint blog was started in late 2016 and bears the name of the Radio Talk show Bob did from 1966 until 1974, when he resigned to become Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich first Press secretary. Bob and his artist wife Robin, live in Jacksonville, Florida with their two dogs, Reilly and Ziggy. Bob is also a woodworker and makes all of the furnishings for Robin's art festival booth. He also makes one of a kind jewelry or "memories" boxes that he donates to select transplant patients, caregivers, donor families and others who have somehow contributed to making life easier for the ill, the elderly and the less fortunate. Bob is in the final stages of editing two full-length novels that will be available on Kindle when ready for release sometime in early 2017. One is a sci fi novel about an amazing discovery near Roswell, New Mexico and you will be surprised to find it has nothing to do with the Roswell story everyone knows. It features a woman scientist who investigates impact craters for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Dr. Rita Sylvester and her female student intern. The other book is a political thriller that introduces a new hero to the genre, Fargo Dennison.

Posted on April 23, 2008, in journaling. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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