Tuesday, December 12th, was my first visit to the Emory Transplant Center in Decatur. My father picked me up in Athens and drove me to Emory and back. This first assessment consisted of a six minute walk test, blood tests, medical history review, and most importantly, a meeting with the medical director to talk about the path forward with lung transplantation.
This was honestly my first experience talking in person with medical professionals who not only understood the gravity and peculiarities of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, but were experienced, knowledgeable, and matter-of-fact about what needed to be done to give me a new chance at life. And this wasn’t just the medical director, but everyone I encountered and chatted with. I learned so much!
This preliminary assessment went well enough that beginning sometime in January, I will start the intense phase of evaluation during which every aspect of my current physical and mental health, finances, and support network will be evaluated. My job until then is to stay alive, stay as active as possible, and prepare my personal care team for what’s instore on the long road ahead.
Although I’m just starting out on the lung transplant journey, I’m already deeply humbled by by all those around me willing to help. What’s ahead is akin to an expedition up Mt. Everest. I’m so thankful I have so many wonderful people in my life who want to be a part of this strange and grueling adventure. Onward and upward! – g