Meredith, AJ’s sister, visited us for the Fourth of July after a biopsy at Mass General. You all have been so supportive anytime I have posted updates about her and I wanted to do a brief interview with her post heart transplant and after she bravely spent six months in the hospital / rehab leading up to the transplant and then recovering after the surgery.
What is the hardest part of being home and out of the hospital?
Not being able to drive which means I can’t run errands.
Best part of being home?
One word answer. :) Her fiancé, Chuck, proposed while she was in the hospital. Is that a Nicholas Sparks story, or what? Meredith went home on June 20, the day before her 28th birthday.
What kind of things do you want to do now that you are out?
Go back to visit college (Paul Smith’s College) in the Adirondacks.
Find a waterfall and sit in the water.
Go to the spa at the Marriot where Aaron (step-brother) works. It’s uber swanky in AZ.
Go on a “sister” cruise… maybe to Alaska.
Have fun at my wedding and dance. She says this as she is wearing leg braces and re-learning to walk. I love her drive... because I know she will do this. :)
Change someone’s life who is in the same place I was pre-transplant.
Worst part of being in the hospital?
Being away from everyone and then not going home with them at the end of the night. Being left behind is my worst fear.
Another bad part: having to beg to go outside. Can you imagine not being able to go outside every day? There are so many things we take for granted...
What are your restrictions for right now post-transplant?
No fresh veggies and fruit until late July.
No birds. This includes our chickens, she can’t get too close to them because birds carry a lot of bacteria. Trust me, no chickens is no big loss. :)
If I have fresh flowers I need to change the water every day.
What does your medical routine look like on a daily basis?
I am currently taking 20 pills, medicine so my new heart won’t reject itself, and I am checking my vital signs.
What is your plan for a job once you are able to work again?
Want to be able to help others. Other than that I’m not sure yet.
What are your goals now?
I am meeting goals pretty quickly but I still want to take Samantha (my Corgie) out on her own and stand for longer periods of time. I’d also like to not wear the braces because they cut off a lot of circulation in my calves.
Anything else you want to say to everyone?
I thought it was a long shot I’d actually get a heart and then I thought I’d get it faster than I did.
One of the things I’d wanted to do while sitting in the hospital was go on a Duck Tour. But it was strange being on the outside and being able to all my rooms from the water when I’d just been able to see other people taking those tours from my hospital room.
What would you tell someone who is in the same spot you were (waiting for a heart transplant in the hospital?)
It’s hard as it is to be as patient you have to be.
Keep optimistic and keep smiling. It makes everyone else smile (nurses will be nicer to you :)).
You don’t know what your body is capable of until you do it.
Meredith with her uber stylish shoes. :)
Rock 'em, Mern.