Monday, February 28, 2011

6 Months & Counting

The end of February marks me being listed for transplant for 6 months. I feel frustrated that my time hasn't come yet. I know they said 6 months would be the average but I guess in my head I was looking at it as being within 6 months. It just means that it is taking longer than average which is disheartening (no pun intended).

When I think about the last 6 months, there's so much that has happened that it actually makes my head spin. That could be why I have been having so much trouble sleeping lately. My mind can be a scary place sometimes and it only seems to get worse when it doesn't stop running. Thank god I have great friends who have been putting up with all my BS, especially the last month and a half or so. But my doctors FINALLY prescribed me something to help me sleep so my mood should hopefully get better. I just started the sleeping pills on Thursday it felt so good to get a full night of sleep.

Friday night I went saw Spider-man on Broadway which was... interesting (to say the least). The stunts where cool when they worked. Spider-man got stuck hanging from the ceiling above the audience for a few minutes and I guess the cables couldn't get fixed properly so the fight scene between him and the Green Goblin (which is supposed to be the coolest scene in the whole show) consisted of the Green Goblin just flying above our heads. They must have fixed the cables during intermission because Spidey was flying around again in the second act. I can deal with the technical difficulties since the show is still in previews but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to the script and the music. The songs are just so bad. I couldn't believe it. The part of the night that really got me down was walking through the City. We parked a block and a half away from the theatre and I couldn't walk it without getting tired. I made it maybe half a block before I had to stop and rest. I've also noticed that when I do stop it takes me longer to catch my breath and for my heart rate to get back down. Looks like I'll be making a call to the doctors at HUP this week to tell them about that.

I go in for another right heart catheterization on March 9th so I'm sure they will just wait to see what the results of that are. They don't anticipate me being admitted after so the waiting will continue from home. Hopefully the waiting won't be much longer because being home isn't as fun as it may sound. I don't know how people enjoy sitting at home and not doing anything all the time. I guess it wouldn't be so bad if I could drive but there's nothing I can do about that. Although, the thought of steeling my own car and going anywhere has crossed my mind. Speaking of my car, my friend Cait drove it (and me!) down to HUP to pick up some more tags for direct blood donations. I'm going to be sending them over to my job for the Blood Drive they are having in my name on March 9th. If anyone is O negative and would like to donate some blood to me please shoot me an email at and we will figure out a way to get a tag to you. You can donate at any Red Cross Blood Drive!

Also, don't forget about the Stella & Dot Jewelry Trunk Show that my friend Karen is hosting for me from now until the end of March. 25% of the proceeds will be donated directly to me. See my previous post to see how to donate to the Heart for Bryan Trunk Show. And there's also the Dash for Organ & Tissue Donation that my other friend Andrea is participating in in my honor. I've also heard small rumblings of some sort of charity event that's going to be held here in Verona. This is in the very, VERY early stages of being organized and I will let you know once more information becomes available. I literally have the best friends in the world. They do so much for me and without them, things would be so much more difficult. If you want to check in on me and see how things are going on a more day-to-day basis you can "like" the Hrt4Bryan page on Facebook.

Until next time,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A lot of Great Things Going on Right Now!

Hey everyone!
I have a few really great things to share with you. 2 of my friends are helping me out in a HUGE way! Here's what I have going on:

Stella & Dot Online Jewelry Trunk Show
Ladies, I have a great offer for you! My good friend Karen Rutherford sells Stella & Dot Jewelry and she is having an Online Trunk Show to benefit me! I don't really know how these Jewelry Trunk Shows work but she explained it to me and it seems pretty simple. For every item purchased 25% will be donated directy to me! So now you can help me out and look fabulous while doing it! Here's what you need to know:
To Place an Order follow these few steps:
1. Visit the following website:
2.On the upper right hand corner of the screen it will ask you to "Find Your Hostess" Click that link and a pop-up box will appear. Type in Bryan Indergrund
3. Then start shopping.
If you have questions or problems with this, please send Karen an e-mail with your order and I will gladly apply it to Bryan's Online Charity Trunk Show.
If you would like a Look Book. Please send Karen an e-mail with your address and she will gladly send you one.
This is open to everyone so please feel free to forward this to your friends and family!
The best part is, the Trunk show will be open until the end of March so you can browse now and come back and purchase things later!

16th Annual Dash for Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness
Another good friend of mine, Andrea Wilkinson will be participating in the 16th Annual Dash for Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness on Sunday, April 17, 2011. You can follow the link and support her. This event benefits The Gift of Life Donor Program which is the organizatioresponsible for recovering and distributing organs and tissues used in life-saving and life-enhancing transplants throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey and Delaware. Essentially, they will be the ones in charge of getting me my heart so please donate to Andrea for this great organization!

Last but not least, I still have a few Direct Donation Tags that I will be sending over to Smiths Detection for the Blood Drive they are holding in my honor on March 9th. My next appointment is that same day so I will be unable to pick up more tags before then. I will try to see if they can send me more or if I can find someway to have someone pick some up for me and get them to me before then. I will keep you posted on that. 

Once again I feel so blessed to have such great friends who are willing to do so much to help me get through all of this.  Thank you again Karen, Andrea and everyone else who has been so instrumental in helping me through this. There is no way I could do it without all of your love and support.


Friday, February 11, 2011

"A Heart On For Bryan" a Huge Success!

Let me first start by thanking everyone who came out last night and supported me. It was so wonderful of the White Elephant Burlesque Society to put on such a great show to benefit me especially since I have never met anyone involved with the troupe before last night. I also want to give a huge THANK YOU to Regina Oldham-Licata for organizing the whole thing. Although many people who RSVP'd with a yes did not show up, there was still a great turn out! Over $500 was raised last night at Piano's with more than an additional $300 coming in through online donations. If you were unable to attend last night don't worry, another event is being planned! I will let you know the details once they become available.

You can check out photos from the event by clicking here!
You can make an online donation through PayPal by clicking here.

Also, I am still looking for people to donate some blood for me. If you are type O negative and are willing to donate please shoot me an email at It's real simple. All you need to do is pick up a tag from me and visit the American Red Cross' website. Just put your zip code in on the right hand side and contact your local Red Cross Chapter to find a local blood drive.

Thanks again to everyone who was there last night and to everyone for their continued support!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February Checkup

I just got home from my February checkup at HUP and it went exactly as I had expected. Everything looks good and just sit back and wait for the call. I haven't moved anywhere on the list but they said the longer I'm on the list, the more seniority I have. In about 2 weeks we will be hitting the 6 month mark which is what the said the average wait time for someone with my blood type is.

Speaking of blood. I was able to pick up new tags for anyone who would like to do a direct blood donation for me. I have type O negative blood so only someone type O negative can do a direct blood donation for me.  I was given some wrong information last time. I have 5 tags and I know a couple people have already offered to donate. If you are a match and would like to donate some blood to me, please email me at and we will figure out how to get a tag to you. You can donate at any American Red Cross Blood Drive.

Also, don't forget that this Thursday is A Heart On for Bryan at Piano's Bar & Grill in Bloomfield. The doors open at 7pm and space is limited so arrive early to ensure you get in.

Oh, and my next appointment in Philly is set up for March 9th. They will also be doing another Right Heart Catheterization in the morning before my appointment. They don't think I will be admitted like I was in November (but they thought the same thing then). That's all the news for now.


I'm counting sheep but running out...

It's a terrible thing not being able to sleep. To go to bed expecting to sleep and then to just lay there wide awake. I swear, my mind could be used for an Energizer Batteries commercial. It seems to just keep going and going and going. The Green Day song Brain Stew pretty much sums up the way I feel right about now.

This doctor appointment I have isn't really helping matters any. I can pretty much recite how it's going to go verbatim. They'll do an EKG, check my vitals, go through my ever growing list of medications, do a run down of my symptoms and then tell me again how they couldn't ask for a patient to be anymore perfect given my condition. They'll end it by asking if my Dad or I have any questions besides the obvious of when is the transplant going to happen (which I will half jokingly ask anyway) and then they'll schedule to see me again in a month.

The answer they'll give me to the "when" question is soon. Well, what is the actual definition of soon? I've been hearing it a lot lately and to be quite honest, it's getting real old, real fast. It's such a vague word. Everyone has a different concept of how long soon will be. I feel like saying something will happen soon or I'll do something soon is such a cop out. I know, we all say it "Talk to you soon" or "See you soon" but why don't we just actually give a more specific time. And I know that when it comes to my heart they can't really do that because even they don't know when it's going to happen. So maybe they should tell me what needs to happen in order to make soon come sooner.

I know the answer to that question too. I need to get more sick in order to get better. That's another great thing to hear from your doctors. I usually have such a positive attitude towards things but lately I'm to the point where I just want this all to be over. I want to jump ahead to a year from now when I'm all better and back to living a normal life again. Back to driving. Back to work. Back to enjoying my youth. I've aged more in these past 6 months tan most do in 10 years. I'm not saying this for pity. I'm saying this because I feel as if I'm getting cheated in some way. I'm missing out on doing things that people my age should be doing. I can't travel. I can't drive. Hell, I can't even work anymore. Maybe it's my lack of sleep or maybe it's my medications not working enough but I'm just getting worn out. and I need this all to be over.

Well, I guess that's enough of me ranting for one night. I should at least lay in bed and pretend to sleep until I have to leave for Philly in a few hours. I will let you all know how the doctor appointment goes. Although I think I summed it up pretty well above...