The room where it happened

Did I feel relief? Shock? Fear? Actually, I don’t think I gave a thought to how I felt beyond “holy shit!” From the moment I learned they had a heart for me on Saturday afternoon, October 10, it was more than 24 hours before they finally wheeled me into the…


Most people who’ve spent more than a few nights in the hospital are familiar with the crushing weight of insomnia. I had sleeping issues before I was admitted. Now, halfway into my fourth month here, I’m as likely to be awake at 3 a.m., as I am to be asleep…


I went outside the other day for the first time in 82 days. “You might want to bring a jacket, it’s in the low sixties,” noted the young resident who was there to escort me downstairs, across Ft. Washington Ave., and into the garden I’ve been staring at since they…


Another day, another shitshow.

Every day, it’s some new, shitty thing. Today, my roommate, Mr. Billings, is having a conversation with one of his several personalities. His voice is soft and sad. He sounds aggrieved. “Why are you always so mean to me. You are just nasty.”

The personality berating him speaks in a…


So, it turns out that my defribrillator is the tortise. The heart I need is the hare. My defibrillator chugged along, slow and steady, for ten years, and finally won the damn race. When I was first admitted, I had a conversation with one of the senior heart failure docs…


Look Ma, I’m bionic.

It’s been a little more than a month since I was admitted to NYP Columbia to wait for a new heart. It’s a little more than ten years since I got the ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) that has kept me from expiring (a weird way to say dying), on multiple…


Study for a Head, Francis Bacon 1952

“I WANT YOU TO CALL MY WIFE. I AM NOT STAYING HERE ANOTHER NIGHT. I AM NOT STAYING. BRING ME THE PHONE SO I CAN CALL MY WIFE.”

Most days on the CCU pass quietly, with some semblence of routine. I’m awakened by the phlebotomist, usually around 5:00. I’ve been…


I’m currently sitting on the bed in my room at NYP Columbia, looking out at the Hudson River on the 4th of July. Things, transplant-wise, have accelerated rather quickly and I’m now being treated on an inpatient basis while I wait for a new heart. So room 546 on the…


Last night, I went up to the attic and explored that corner where Laura and I keep some folders in dusty document boxes. They hold the artifacts of our earlier lives, and they’re buried behind the Christmas decorations, luggage, piles of the kids’ old clothes, and loads of books.

I…


I remember it was 1994 or 1995. I remember that it was hot. Like really, really hot. Heat wave hot. Do I remember hearing something about heat stroke killing record numbers of turkeys or chickens or some kind of commercial fowl on Iowa farms? I remember playing basketball outdoors in…

Andrew Heyman

I’m a lawyer with a brand new heart. My old one was busted.

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