This week marks a month that I have been residing in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit of Tampa General Hospital. Before I go any further, I must give credit where credit is due. The staff here is excellent. From housekeeping to dietary to nurses to doctors, everybody has been so supportive, even when I wasn’t being the most patient patient. Where do I stand as of today? I am still Status 3 waiting for the perfect heart. If I don’t receive a heart by June 12, which is the date that my status must be re-certified, I might be given a hall pass to be unplugged and leave the hospital for a little while. My doctor told me that we will cross that bridge if and when it comes around.
Apparently, spending a great deal of time in the hospital can be bad for your health. Thus, it is customary, for transplant patients like myself who are stable, to take a break every now and then. Between me, you and God, I am praying that between now and June 12 I receive a new heart and then the need for a break won’t even be a conversation. I am so ready to simply get to the healing. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of being able to feel the sunshine on my face, take a bath, cuddle with my wife on the couch, walk my dog, eat non-hospital food and go to church is very appealing. Yet, I would much rather start the work of doing all of that forever, not just for a week or so while I take a break. I need a heart transplant and once I came to terms with that reality, believe me, I have wanted to git ‘r dun sooner rather than later.
In the meantime I wait. Waiting is a pain, but I can honestly say that I haven’t been bored. The only way that I can explain this reality is that I am waiting on purpose. I don’t know when my door will be opened by my transplant coordinator signaling the beginning of the healing process. All I do know is that I am closer to that moment right now than I was yesterday. That kind of purpose cancels out any chance for boredom. I have come to terms with the fact that boredom is all in the eyes of the beholder. I have also come to terms with the fact that claiming to be bored says more about my perspective then it does about my situation. This whole heart transplant process has reminded of a powerful truth: Boredom is simply the absence of purpose.
As long as I am constantly moving toward something, even the most mundane activities will be realized as simply part of the process. And I am definitely moving toward something right now! As long as I keep my eyes on the prize boredom will never be my perspective. Frustration might rear its ugly head every now and then, but even frustration can be easily tamed by a greater purpose. So, my greater purpose right now is to stay as healthy as I can while I wait for a new heart.