SUSAN'S HEART HISTORY 1/09/96

Susan Hattie Steinsapir

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1/9/96 (Susan)

Tuesday night, near Midnight

Say hey!

This morning, I saw a very robust young man being cheerfully greeted by the staff. When he walked past my room, I asked him in for a momemt. I asked him if he'd had a heart transplant. He said it was a year ago. He's in blooming good health now. He looked just great and healthy and athletic. I was overwhelmed and started crying. I asked him what he had looked like before. When he had been admitted, he was 260 pounds. I told him that I was waiting and that I'd almost gotten one last night. He told me that I shouldn't worry: this is the best place in the world. I told him about the net and all of my friends who are writing, that I felt I was being supported on a wave of love. He agreed, that it takes your friends to get you through this. He reminded me that it's a big responsibility to get a heart. I'm really looking forward to the day when I can be healthy again and give back some of the love I've recieved.

Andreas brought a big sack of bagels and creams for the staff this morning: they loved it. Cream cheese, lax, and so on. For hours, you saw nurses walking around with a bagel in their hand.

It's been a good day: quiet. I slept most of it, after all of the excitement of last night. The neck catheter was removed and that got rid of a lot of tubes. Ray arrived with our car and clothes. Andreas is finally wearing a different shirt. He and Ray went out to a Persian restaurant: I was so jealous.

It's midnight, I'm very sleepy now, good night to everyone...

Yours,

Susan


1/9/96 (Susan)

Well, they couldn't keep Hattie down: Here's her food review from her hospital bed at the UCLA Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) where she's awaiting her heart transplant.)

Say hey, yall!!

Well, the food *is* better at UCLA than Kaiser. Presentation is better, with meals in little ceramic dishes set in trays. Portions are still standard sized (just what the dietician orders!) and Kaiser and UCLA use the same type of rubber eagle, for example. I ordered a fruit plate and the amount and presentation, quaility and freshness of fruit was very acceptable. There were whole, large, and sweet strawberries, pineapple, and red grapes. Lunch tdday was the aforementioned rubber eagle sided with rice and a nice mushroom sauce, with perhaps some wine in it. I ate a few bites of the rice and gravy. I didnt eat the salad. Andreas finished my meal and had no complaints.

In terms of ambiance, well, its like eating in a busy truck stop but the staff are very nice. Dietary aides do *not* introduce themselves; so one isnt bothered by that "Hi, Im Tiffaniey (with a dot over the "I") and Ill be your server tonight."

Im on a CCU diet but Im trying to reduce the amount of protein and potassium I eat because my kidneys are dicey. CCU diet is low fat, low salt, restricted calories.

Dinner tonight was lasagna with peas, a salad, a roll. I ate the peas and some of the lasagna. The lasagna was fine for CCU food. Most wouldnt like it because there is little other than ricotta (most likely low-fat at that) and not the usual slathering of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. I wouldnt duplicate it at home, but it wasnt bad. The marinara sauce was salt-free..

I still dont have much of an appetite but thats okay.

Take care. They are wonderful to me here.


1/9/96 (Andreas)

It's Tuesday morning here. Susan is dozing.

Last night, the surgeons came in and said that they had a possible heart for her: tests would be made and the decision would be reached at 3 am. I had just gone home to sleep; I came back again. Shortly, the doctors came back and said that they were uncomfortable with certain issues and they'd wait for the next heart. The heart went to someone else.

Susan was crying and scared, of course. She calmed down finally.

It's Tuesday morning now: Susan has gotten a sponge bath; her hair's been combed, fresh sheets, and she's tired but happy.

Ray Bruman of rfc (rbruman@) is driving down from Sacramento today with our car and baggage.

Cards are starting to arrive: thanks, folks! I read all of your e-mails to Susan.

Susan's Jewish name is Shoshanna Hannah, for those who've asked. Some of my best friends are Catholic and Lutheran priests: she needs all the help she can get.

So now we wait...


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