A hard, emotional day for me, personally. Not ashamed to say it. Another important date in The Life & Times of David Adomako-Ansah. That will probably be the title of my book when I finally finish it. Anyways, the 16th! A very important day on the calendar for me. The whole month of April is a rough one, but we’ll get to that eventually (I sound like Ted Mosby.)
Six years ago, in 2007, things were bad. I had been admitted into hospital a couple months prior. My heart had failed me. It could no longer operate on its own. I was given a pacemaker in the hopes that I would eventually go home and live with this device that would zap me every time my heart decided to give out. Sounds fun huh? That’s what my life had come to. Why? All because of my lupus (an auto immune disease — Google it of you don’t know by now!) I was diagnosed with that disease about a year prior to me getting this defibrillator. As per usual, with my luck, things weren’t going so smoothly. This life-saving-device wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do, and I was getting weaker and weaker. I don’t want to say I was slowly dying, but that’s the reality.
Barely an adult, but fighting one of the biggest battles of my life. Here in the medical scene in Edmonton, once you reach the ripe old age of 17, you’re thrust into the adult side of things. It was a pediatric doctor who came to my rescue though. A tall German fellow named Holger Buchholz. A strict doctor who loved his patients unconditionally. But strict. Very strict.
I can vaguely remember our visit. I remember he came in with his diet coke (which he did almost every SINGLE DAY after this,) and a pedantic nurse named Jodi Conway. They talked about another device they used on patients on the pediatric side of things. Two kids named Cory and Melissa had been on the device and had been successful with it. The device was called an Excor Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device. Nobody called it that. Everyone referred to it as:
The Berlin Heart.
With my consent as well as my parents, Holger and Jodi would take me as their patient, and I would leave the adult world and enter into pediatrics. I was going from being the youngest patient in adult cardiology to the oldest patient in pediatric cardiology. Either way, I was the outcast. I didn’t care though. I just wanted a second chance at life. So I signed the dotted line and the rest of what happened after that is literally a blur.
My mom says that it’s good I don’t remember some of what happened to me. Makes me want to know even more.
The next thing I can remember is opening my eyes and seeing my dad, looking at me. I was in a hospital bed, in tons and tons of pain. I asked him,
“Did . . . did I get it yet?”
“Yes, you did!” he said. I glanced further down my bed, and saw this U-shaped container hanging out of my stomach. It was red. Automatically, I figured my blood was moving through it. It was noisy.
*Click. Click. Cli-click. Click.*
Well, that took care of the heart! . . . Or so I thought. My lupus was still active. As you already know, because I KNOW you Googled about it and did your research, there is no cure for lupus. Once it’s active, if not brought under control, things could get deadly. I was far from out of the woods. Nope, I was still deep within them. The next few months would test my strength, physically as well as mentally. Unfortunately, one of those strengths just didn’t stand a chance.
*Click. Click. Cli-click. Click*
(DEEP ANNOUNCER VOICE): WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR POOR, SICK HERO? WILL HE PERISH? WILL THEY FIND A CURE? WILL HOLGER EVER STOP DRINKING DIET COKE? TUNE IN NEXT MONTH FOR ANOTHER EXCITING BLOG POST!
*Click. Click. Cli-click. Click.*
That’s me trying to lighten the mood. Thanks for reading. Seriously though, check back next week.
Take Care & Much Love
David The Recipient