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February 26, 2024 – Health Update

Starting on February 19th I spent an entire week at Emory undergoing the majority of medical tests needed to get me listed for lung transplantation. To give you an idea of shear volume of tests and procedures I underwent that week, here is a quick breakdown: Two different CT scans, a pulmonary function test, a bone density scan, several chest X- rays, two different barium swallow tests, Esophageal Manometry (ugh!), a heart echocardiogram, carotid ultrasound, a heart catheterization, around 40 different blood tests, and a 24 hour urine test!

The week was also filled with meetings with the transplant coordinator, the surgeon, a social worker, nutritionist, financial advisor, and pulmonary rehab physical therapist. Needless to say it was a lot for five days – especially for someone who is struggling to breathe. I was exhausted when I got home to Athens and slept for nearly three days straight.

While a lot of the results have come in and so far there doesn’t seem to be any glaring issues, I really won’t know the overall result of the long week at Emory for several more weeks at least. The transplant team there needs to go over the results from those tests (and previous tests) and take into account my meetings with the various team members there and make a decision about how to proceed.

I did learn a lot over the course of the week and I’m hopeful that I can use this new information to try to get myself as healthy as possible under these difficult circumstances to be at my best in case transplant is in the cards for me. I also have quite a few more things that need to be taken care of before I could get listed so the work never ends it seems.

From the bottom of my heart I deeply want to thank my support team for the week. There is absolutely no way I could have gotten through it all without everyone’s help, and I don’t just mean wheeling me around the hospital and making sure I was fed and had what I needed. Your attention, friendship, and love got me through it more than anything. Much love and thanks to Steve Milsap, Ian Slack, Whitnie Jacquelyn Johnson, Molly Azpell Wyner, Jeff Wyner, and Vern Bowdish. Thank you all for helping me along this insanely difficult journey!

Dr. Vincent gave me this sticker after surviving one of my least favorite procedures ever. This was the second time I’ve had it done. Ugh!!!