Junr 25, 2012
I celebrated my two and a half year’s anniversary at my recent check up at the mother ship, UCSF Med Center. It was great to be in San Francisco again and at UCSF except the number of people who I know and recall from my surgery and six week stay are all but gone. The only one left is Anne Fukano, the post transplant coordinator and Cecilia Rifkin, the pre-transplant `coordinator.
The great surgeon who ran the program and did my transplant, Dr. Charles Hoopes is long gone to the University of Kentucky. The fellow who took care of me in the hospital and who was part of the post transplant team, Dr. David Majure, is gone from the program. Now when I go to clinic, I get 15 minutes with the pharmacist who is new; 30 minutes with a physician’s assistant or PA who is not a doctor, ten minutes with Anne Fukano and maybe 15 minutes with one of the cardiologists who have handled my post transplant care. It took about the same time it took me drive to San Francisco.
It is the state of the new care protocol of major hospitals. UCSF in fact has been behind the curve and is now just setting up hospital wide a system similar to other hospital systems such as Sutter and Kaiser. It is called UCSFMychart just like my Sutter Hospital’s mysutteronline.com. I now have two pass words to remember. It was crazy the day I was there because it was only the second day the entire USCF staff were using it. Everything is typed into the computer and there is little face to face contact like the good old days where the nurse and doctor made a little eye contact while they asked questions. It is designed to save paper and hence save the overall cost of providing care. It is meant to give the patient total access to their information online. At the end of the session, I got a five page print out of all activity that day. One step forward and two backward.
I now require less doctor to patient contact. My issues t are not transplant related other than a few like the neuropathy. I am on my way to Three years this December 18th and my life is almost back to normal complete with all those middle aged issues. It is now feet problems, weight issues, hip issues not rejection issues. This is not to say my doctors and I are not ever vigilant watching for rejection.
My biggest issue is adjusting to the status of normality. My identity was my work for thirty years. My work was my life. The transplant became my identity and that lasted for almost two and a half years or up to the present. I am now what? A retired state worker or a former heart transplant recipient. Right now I am nothing.
I must refocus. This blog has to adjust as well.
Life is good!.