One Year Later 💗 What I’ve Learned

Today is my first heartiversary with Idaho! If you don’t know Idaho, you can meet him here: https://esereport.com/2020/08/21/idaho-finds-a-home-%f0%9f%92%97/.

To commemorate this special day, I want to share what I’ve learned over the past 365 days.

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What I’ve Learned*

EDDIE GARCIA

Heart Transplant Recipient, 57, San Jose, California

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Organ donors are the perfect example of God’s love. May He bless Idaho’s family.

“And these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13 

Love is a tricky thing and a word with many meanings. The best kind of love is agape (God’s love), an ancient Greek word that means giving of yourself for the sake of others.

Sandra, Marisa, and Erica are the loves of my life. They’re my heroes too.

Eating bad food, pushing myself to the limit, working hard, playing hard, partying hard, and thriving on stress was fun, but NOT a very healthy way to live.

A lot of guys my age think that they don’t need to get an annual physical or go to the doctor when something doesn’t feel right. Staying on top of things and following doctors’ orders are better than being in the ICU.

Doctors speak in Doctor. Keep asking questions until you really understand what they’re saying, then do what they tell you to do. They’re smarter than you and everyone around you.

Argentine poet and philosopher Jorge Luis Borges wrote that “the future is inevitable and precise, but it may not occur. God lurks in the gaps.” Ain’t that the truth!

I’m not afraid to die. The way I see it: The worst case scenario is also the best case scenario. Death is a ticket to heaven.

“It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ~ Matthew 4:7

I think I tried to test Him one time too many. The lesson is clear. Don’t mess with God.

Heart transplant is not a cure, it’s a way to keep living longer.  Meds, doc appointments, blood tests, and biopsies are for a lifetime.

No, I cant eat and drink anything I want.

Transplant surgeons literally cut your heart out to make room for in a new one. It’s a total shock to your body, like being hit by a speeding 18-wheel tractor-trailer truck.

ICU Delirium sucks. It’s a brain dysfunction in critically sick patients that causes confusion and weird hallucinations based on reality. 

I hope you never have to meet Rich Ha or John McArthur. If you do, just know that you’re in great hands.

You know what also sucks. Having a tube shoved down your throat to keep you alive or seeing a loved one go through that.

People who refuse to wear masks and won’t get the Covid vaccine because “the government can’t tell me what to do” are just plain dumb. Sorry not sorry.  

Heart transplant recovery messes with your mind, body, and spirit. It’s no different than the daily grind of life, just way more intense. 

It’s so important – actually critical – to develop relationships with healthcare providers. The amazing and skilled heart transplant and cardiac care teams at Kaiser Santa Clara Medical Center are like family.

Sharlene Madanes and Sarah Parnow are superstars!

Unhealthy core beliefs that go unrecognized and unchecked can cause lasting damage if not confronted. When your inner Boo Voice exploits your core beliefs, pain and suffering are right around the corner.

Living and working at full speed because “there are places to go, people to see, things to do” was one of my mottos. I damn near worked myself to death. 

Transplant recovery and my Boo Voice almost talked me into doing that again. Almost…

Mental health gets a bad rap. It’s one of society’s core beliefs that belongs in the dustbin of history.

The 1st Noble Truth of Buddhism is that life is full of suffering and unhappiness. The 2nd Noble Truth states that desire, attachment, and selfishness cause suffering and unhappiness. 

I know that I’ll never be the same. I miss the hustle and bustle of the executive suite, the rough and tumble of political battles, and the thrill of center stage. But then, I kinda don’t miss it. 

“Nothing is permanent. Everything is subject to change. Being is always becoming.” ~ Buddha

I confronted my Boo Voice and finally acknowledged to myself that I made a meaningful contribution to this world and still have a little more to give.

I was in a line the other day that wrapped around the building to get my second Covid vaccine. A woman jumped out of her car fumbling with her smartphone and rushing to the front door of the clinic only to be told to get in line. I started to judge her in my mind because she looked so silly, but that used to be me at one time.

“Let’s take it nice and easy…nice and easy gets it done every time.” ~ Frank Sinatra, Nice N Easy, 1960

It soothes the soul to go for a walk just to go for a walk.

To my fellow 40 and 50 somethings: Don’t be fuddy duddys. Listen to your kids’ music. You can thank me later.

Aristotle, Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Siddhartha Gautama, St. Paul the Apostle, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mohandas Gandhi, Jean-Paul Sartre, and C.S. Lewis were smart motherfuckers!

Taking a long hot shower without a Left Ventricular Assist Device is pure pleasure.

Nothing is more important than right now.

I’m still a dreamer and hopeless romantic who sees silver linings through rose colored glasses.

I’m still money from the free throw line!

“It ain’t over till it’s over.” ~ Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame Baseball Player and Manager

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*The format of today’s post is inspired by a popular column in Esquire Magazine. Cal Fussman’s interview of Muhammed Ali is my all-time favorite. Check it out: https://www.esquire.com/sports/interviews/a1948/esq0104-jan-fighters/#:~:text=God%20will%20not%20place%20a,%2C%20it%20doesn’t%20hurt

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