So… This Happened

Mark Golub
3 min readApr 25, 2022


I got rolled into an OR on April 13, and I woke up late inthe day on the 14th wih a new heart. Some transplants like to refer to that day as their new birthday. I get it, but I’ll have no truck with such talk for myself. This bran-new heart it still going into a 60-year old man with occluded arteries, diabetes, spinal stenosis, and male pattern baldness.

But it’s so nice to breathe and feel the oxygen enrich my blood cells. And for the first couple days, I didn’t even mind the foley catheter. When turning a little to the side is almost enough to make one pass out not having to worry about peeing is a real blessing. It’s actually kind of funny the attention one’s excretory functions receive after a transplant.The first thing everybody did upon entering the room was check the level on my urine collection tank. Second Item on the agenda was “have you moved your bowels yet?”

It took a while. Eight long days. And when the dam finally broke, it was like giving birth. Three nurses were all visibly moved. Weight was estimated at numbers ordinarily reserved for multiple births. One nurse noted he had never actually seen a body elevated before.

But that’s really much more than probably should actually have been said on the matter. All you really need to know is that things are now moving along swimmingly. Including me. I did a couple rounds of the floor today, provong that the new pump actually, well, pumps.

Mark is on the move

As the big items on the checklist fall into place:

* Bowels moved;

  • Solid foods
  • Walking around (perambulating if you want to sound overeducate
  • Personal hygeine
  • Proper levels of antibodies
  • Removal of all exterior hardware

It becomes time to think about going home. And that’s where I’m going in just a few days. I can’t wait. I’ve seen far too little of Erin. I haven’t had a decent glass of iced tea in weeks. Hell, I even miss the cats. I wanna go home.

There was an interesting side note to the evening. When you’re pretty much bed-bound except for short jaunts with a certain modicum of help, the last thing you want to hear is “Active Shooter Situation:Shelter in Place.”

Like I had anywhere else to go. Supposedly, some armed yahoo barricaded themself in an elevator. Well, damn. Yep.It’s time to get home.

Well, this is my first post in a while. I’m sorry it’s so scattered. The mind tires, the mind wanders. It’s going to be a bit of work getting refocused, but I promise some interesting tidbits along the way. Stick around, it only gets better from here, I promise.

Oh, and as far more often than I like, I am forced again to make an appeal for your generosity and your support. Big things are coming, but first, poppa needs a new suitcase of pills and mama needs to help e keep the wolves from the door. Your generous support will in the end produce a full-bodied forum for transplant patients, donors and donor families, providers, and a community committed to sharing information, support, connections, and education. Please help me build this.



Mark Golub

In 1998 I had a heart attack. I remember the ED doc telling me “You probably won’t die tonight.” I didn’t.