1994 - After having been diagnosed with diabetes and quitting a 17-year smoking habit seven years earlier, routine blood tests started showing abnormalities and I began going to clinics to determine why.
1996 - I was diagnosed with cryptogenic cirrhosis and was told that I had two to twenty-four months to live. "Cryptogenic" means "we don't know why and can't connect any actions to its cause." I was put on the liver transplant list.
1997 - Resection and hyperplasty of right femoral head and neck. What this means is that they found a lesion on my right hip and had to remove it. I began my life in a wheelchair.
1999 - I received my liver transplant and three months later was told that I would not be able to receive an artificial hip and would be in a wheelchair indefinitely. A few months later, a pacemaker for my heart was implanted due to my heart rate slowing down to 25 beats per minute. I began taking my transplant anti-rejection drugs.
2006 - A stent was placed in one of the vessels of my heart.
2007 - My pacemaker was replaced.
2012 - I started noticing shortness of breath and went to several specialists with no results.
2013 - After many years afraid to return to work, I was blessed with a job that did not require a long commute. It appeared that I was healthy enough to continue. I was, however, put on a CPAP breathing machine for while I slept.
2014 - Early in January my breathing became more labored to where I had to go to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with pneumonia, caused by kidney failure. I started dialysis and was subsequently diagnosed with moderate to severe emphysema and rheumatoid arthritis. The office where I worked closed, which was just as well since I could no longer work. The pneumonia lingered for six months and prevented me from qualifying for the kidney transplant waiting list.
2015 - Was accepted onto the kidney transplant waiting list at Emory.
2016 - Had pacemaker replaced. Experienced a "cardiac event" and had two more stents placed in my Left Anterior Descending blood vessel of my heart.
I returned to the ER with chest pains and breathing difficulties about five months later. The build up of fluid in my system, or effluence had caused these problems. I was hospitalized had a stress test and other procedures to check for blockages. None were found.
My doctors have told me for some time that I am doing much better than a man in my condition should be doing. Recently, however, things have started sliding. Lately, I have been told that my body is "decompensating." This means that all of these different problems are taking their toll on the other healthy organs in my body and they are starting to break down as are my joints and muscles.
In September, I had another fistula surgically created in my left upper arm. Once it heals, it will be used when the one in my right arm finally fails.
2017 - Had secondary surgery on the new fistula in my left arm called a "fistula revision." Basically, this means the first surgery didn't work. Also, am experiencing excessive nose bleeds due to the blood thinners that I have to take. This is causing lung problems and extreme shortness of breath.
Currently, my list of diagnoses are: Diabetes, hypertension, three coronary stents, cardio pacemaker, cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, end stage renal disease (ESRD), emphysema and am wheelchair bound.