What I did on my summer vacation



That’s right, I’m back. When I took sick leave in July, I wasn’t sure when I was coming back to this job. I was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and needed a liver transplant in a bad way. Fortunately, I received my new liver Sept. 6 and returned to the newspaper just last week.

I’ll bring readers a series of articles in the weeks ahead about my experience with my disease and the transplant process, as well as information about Gift of Life and how you can become an organ donor.

But right now, I feel I need to share what my sick leave was like.

Let me start out by saying I never thought a life of relaxing, watching TV, reading books and playing video games would get old, but after the first couple weeks on leave I was ready to come back to work.

My hospital stay was good. I was at Henry Ford Medical Center in Detroit where I was given the best care. I can’t complain at all about the staff there because they were always there when I needed them.

Every day I was visited by my doctors. Usually a doctor from the transplant department and then they were accompanied by other doctors and medical students. The students were great and I’m sure their experience with me was educational, having taught at least one how to regulate my oxygen supply when I figured out he had no clue.

Being taken for procedures, test or imaging on other floors of the hospital, was often the highlight of my eight day stay there. I got to meet new people, like the transport staff, who would wheel me around the hospital on a gurney like Dale Earnhardt Jr. racing his car around the track. I often went for the invisible brake, but never really needed it, though there were a couple of close calls.

The nursing staff was awesome. Not only did they take good care of me, but I became sort of a favorite on the floor. One told me I was their best patient because I never complained and never needed anything. Apparently they’d never seen me at home.

My days, when I returned home, were often long and tedious, filled with binge watching Netflix shows and blowing stuff up in Xbox games. About a month after surgery I asked my doctor when I could go back to work and she laughed, “You’re four weeks out from major surgery, ask me again in one month and we’ll see how you’re doing.”

Apparently I did well. One month later she gave me the OK to return. So I’m back. I also have added to my skillset. I’m now I am fluent in speaking medical terms and I can pronounce pharmaceutical names like a pro.

You might also hear me talking about Gift of Life and signing up to become an organ donor, but I’ll try not to be too pushy.

Gary Gould can be reached at 810-452- 2650 or by email at ggould@mihomepaper.com.

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