Greetings from St. Joseph's Medical Center Phoenix

It's been an interesting 30 some days.  

This is the third time I've been in the hospital.  Mostly for tests and ease of treatment.

Finally, they have come to the conclusion that I'm having a rejection episode.  A little over a month ago, my lung function started declining out of the blue.  I had around 100% and it has dropped drastically to just under 50%.  So I am receiving the first line of defense which is something called RATG. They bombard the body with anti-rejection meds to try and stop the rejection,  decline in function AND hopefully increase function.

They wear happy faces and say they will fix it.  But nobody knows how it will turn out.  They are doing the best they can and so am I. I feel very good mentally and want to keep a very positive attitude.

One month before three year traniversary!

 

My Transplant Adventure- abbreviated

My Transplant Adventure

By Eric Hansen

Double lung March 21, 2013 St. Joseph’s Phoenix, AZ 

June 1996 I was diagnosed with Alpha 1 Antitrypsin deficiency.  That was a rude awakening, but at least I knew what was causing me to gasp for air and have been chronically sick with a cold, flu or some lung infection for years.

 June 1996 was a monumental month as it was the same month I released my first independent record “Lucky.” For the next two years, I traveled from NYC to Cleveland Clinic to be in a clinical study for a new Alpha 1 therapy as I had no insurance at the time. At the same time I was singing wherever I could to get my record and my solo music career going.

 Over the following years I did everything in my power to build my musical network and sing wherever I could. Yes, I got sick over and over again. Somehow, I was able to sing sick most of the time.  In 1997 I was in Kerrville Texas at the historical folk festival there competing in a songwriting contest.  I was walking around one evening and started to feel the chills. This was Texas in June and it was HOT! I took myself to the hospital. Just before I entered the hospital I wept because I was sick again and my body ached so badly!  Thousands of musicians were having a blast at the festival and I was going to the hospital.

I had pneumonia.  They checked me into the hospital for a week. One afternoon, I heard music from down the hall. The hospital Minister was going around singing with his guitar. He came to my room and he sang.

When I was feeling a bit better, he and I sang in my room.  The room was packed with staff.  It was so much fun. 

 I sang and got sick and sang and got sick and on for years.

 In 2007 I felt the need to stop traveling so much as my lung function was declining.  I still played around town and at church.

 June 2012 I started feeling very weak. I was checked into the hospital. I declined quickly. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.

They told my family and friends that I was going to die. In the 11th hour, just as Hospice was called in they found the Nokardia.

 The infectious disease doc said I had a 1% chance to live and if I DID live I would never get a lung transplant because of the infection.

It took all summer to recover, but my lung function was now 24% and I carried two big tanks of oxygen. It was a really tough time.

 Tucson had lost its transplant program, so we went to St. Joe’s in Phoenix to see if they would take me. We began the evaluation process which is brutal at St. Joe’s.  I have never seen such long hallways in my entire life! Somedays I took a wheelchair.

 March 20th 2013 

I went up for a clinic visit.  I had only been on the list for about a month. My friend Vicky told me that I was very upset and thought I should just get off the list because they were never going to call me.

 March 21st 2013

9:00am 

The phone rang. It was the transplant coordinator.

 Me: Hello?

Her: Hi Eric it’s Christy.

ME: Hi.  What’s up?

Her:  We have some lungs for you.

Me: I was just up there yesterday, why didn’t you call me then?

Her: You know it doesn’t work that way.

Me:  You REALLY have lungs for me?

Her: Yep!

Me: WOW!

 Nobody prepares you for this kind of thing.  Good Lord!!! Everything went really well. I was in hospital for 14 days due to the drains not draining completely. I had weird dreams and lots of hallucinations.

I remember hearing music coming out of the vent 24/7 and I had to inform the nurse that the clock was running backwards.

 Six weeks after surgery I had to have a Fundoplication due to severe Acid Reflux and there were a few complications from that which were easily solved. We’ve had two tweak things here and there, but overall things are very, very good with me.

 It’s almost three years now and I recently had the awareness that I feel whole!

 Eric Hansen- Tucson , AZ www.erichansen.net

 

 

 

 

 

Cameron PArk, CA

There are Peacocks outside my window.  I thought my fan was squeaking. Rev. Pattie and Lisa's ranch; Second Wind. Well, my fan squeaks too.

Two day drive from Tucson.  Stayed at Sev and Mel's home in LA.  Whoa, lots of highways.  Two uneventful days of driving. Well, the state was filled with smoke for a while.  Clear where we are.

Slept in a Temurpedic bed. Oh my! A day of rest after two driving and then get to play music tomorrow.

EH

Beginning to travel again-

A few weeks ago, I drove to Los Angeles for two performances at Abbey San Encino which was built by Severin Browne's grandfather along with the adjoining chapel where the music was.  This was my very first out of town work since long before my lung transplant last Spring.

I was a little nervous for my first long drive and two full solo shows. All went fine. 

 

This Thursday, I will head out again to Northern Cali and the Carson Valley in Nevada for three weeks.  

Hope to see you out there.

EH

 

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