5:13 PM astrid: hey
it took me a while to figure this out
5:14 PM astrid: hi
5:15 PM me: so!!!
where are you???
astrid: in the apartment
me: In AZ???
5:16 PM in california san franccisco bay area, palo alto
me: Oh… you guys got an apt … or at the Ronald McDonald House…
astrid: ronald mcdonald house…. >>
5:17 PM me: cool!! I reallly LOVE that organization.. are you cool if we mention that???
astrid: wait tell me what of this is going to be in the interview so i censor wht i say haha
yes its fine
me: my goal is to inspire people with your story…
and NOT to give you a big head
People think their lives are soooooo BAD
5:18 PM astrid: hahaha okay
me: If a 17yo girl can brave her way to health…
then people with alcohol problems… drug problems… etc
will have an example to kinna lean on in their imagination
5:19 PM i know what you mean
my mom says the same thing over and over to me
me: OK… So… on the record??? =)
astrid: hahaha ok
5:20 PM me: Normal people living their lives passionately…
are CONSIDERED Heros by OTHERS
astrid: yeah : ) were all heroes
SO… hello Ms. Dowling!
Welcome to the @journik Show!!!
thank you for interviewing me
5:22 PM me: My honor!
I understand you had a minor operation.
astrid: yes : )
5:23 PM me: Well, can you give us a quick sneak peek about it??
Before we talk about your journey to where you are now???
what would you like to know?
5:24 PM me: well what was the surgery called?
astrid: I had a double lung transplant
5:25 PM about 5 weeks ago
How long does that take???
5:26 PM astrid: the actual surgery was about ten hours
i was in the operating room from 12noon to like 8pm
5:27 PM me: Whew!!! How did you feel as you were flying to SF for the hospital???
5:28 PM astrid: umm nauseaus and nervous
5:29 PM ive always been scared about it, and post transplant i wasnt even sure i wanted the operation.
me: WOW… and now??? are you relieved? still in pain?
5:30 PM astrid: now i know it is well worth it, and that if you set your mind and your heart to something you can make it happen. i feel so much better now, the difference in life quality i have now has improved greatly.
5:31 PM me: hows your energy level now?? how did you feel a few days after the surgery?
5:32 PM astrid: my energy level now is normal, i feel like i can do more. the few days after the surgery were the hardest, because you feel uncomfortable and moving around was difficult.
me: like what was difficult?
you can breathe, because your brain knows how to but you just can’t feel it. so in my mind i felt out of breathe
5:33 PM astrid: breathing, sleeping, and sitting up
me: how did the new lungs feel at first?
5:35 PM astrid: they felt like they werent there. haha. because i had no nerves connected to them yet. my brain couldnt tell that i had new lungs.
me: whoa!!! so how do you breathe???
how do you inhale?
5:36 PM astrid: you can breathe, because your brain knows how to but you just cant feel it. so in my mind i felt out of breathe, until i got used to it.
i wasnt used to being able to just breathe freely
Did you ever ask, “Why Me?” Of all the people on earth, “Why Me?”
5:37 PM me: amazing to me the things we take for granted!
Just breathing and feeling like we have been oxygenated!!!
astrid: yeah im so thankful now : )
5:38 PM me: So, before we get into you key part of your adventure… I want to know about your day to day life!
What did you do say, 6 months before now??? what do you like doing? School? Hobbies? Friends?
5:40 PM astrid: well im in high school, i like the usual stuff going to movies, seeing my friends..but i also like philosphy, drawing, design, and physics
me: So you’re home then is in AZ?
5:41 PM and from what I know… you’re an accomplished photographer and web designer!???
astrid: yes my home is in az
yeah i like photography, and ive made a few web designs for clients
5:42 PM me: Already?!?!? You’re not even out of highschool yet… and you have had clients!
5:43 PM me: Cool! How did you get them to trust you and get you business??
5:44 PM astrid: well me and the owner became friends through facebook, and one of his friends is a photographer my mom met on a plane back to tucson about a year ago.
and the photographer even came to my birthday as a favor and did a photoshoot with me and my best friends.
5:45 PM me: Cool! Hotshot Commercial photographer did the photo for your BDay!
astrid: yes there are some amazingly kind people out there
me: You seem to have lots of random lucky things happen to you!
5:46 PM astrid: yes ive become aware of that haha : )
me: Any idea why??
astrid: im always open to all sorts of people, and i take the time to actually listen and talk to them
5:47 PM i guess i got that from my mom
me: aha…. well… Do your parents or others think you get lucky things that fall into your lap??? How do they feel about it?
astrid: well theyre happy for me as any parents would especially my mom. i can just see how much happier she is now than before. and im glad i was able to bring that about in her life.
5:48 PM me: Well… tell me about your family!!! where your mom is from… dad.. how they met…
5:49 PM astrid: my mom is from peru, thats where i was born to and lived till i was seven. my dad is english and hes a hydrogeologist, so he travels alot.
my dad went to peru on a bussiness trip when he was younger to see the copper mines in peru and he met my mom in a night club.
5:50 PM i mean a resturant : )
5:51 PM astrid: ehm haha
me: Im gunna go around the world and study water or copper or what ever it takes… then go to night.. ehem… restaurants!
astrid: hahahaha good luck
me: Well… is he still traveling a lot??? where is he now?? HELL… where are YOU … now…
5:53 PM astrid: no he doesnt travel that much anymore because we moved to arizona which is one of the biggest copper mining places in the world
hes here with me, in the universe
so… for the NON philosophers…
astrid: were in the ronald mcdonald house in palo alto, cali
5:54 PM me: Well… you’ve been there for 5 weeks now… why arent you in AZ at home??
astrid: because after a transplant, the hospital has a 3month rule where you have to stay closer than 15minutes to the hospital
me: WHOA! 3 months???!!!
5:55 PM astrid: and i still have to go back for infusions and blood draws and doctor check ups once a week.
me: OK… so Im really proud of the Ronald McDonald House organization… who do they take care of??
5:56 PM astrid: they take care of basically families and children and teens who have been in the hospital, and are recovering.
5:57 PM me: Ok… so… what everyone wants to know is… how the heck did you end up … from a normal life… end up needing a DOUBLE LUNG TRANSPLANT?
5:58 PM astrid: well when i was around six i was given a medication that caused side effects, and after getting phneumonia when i was 7 i noticed i slowly had more difficulty breathing over next few years.
then when i was 13 they diagnosed me with COPD
5:59 PM and systic fibrosis
6:00 PM me: wow.
6:01 PM astrid: yes i saw that, very informative
me: It’s very common… for everyone’s benefit… basically, it’s when your lung tissues continue to “disintegrate”
6:02 PM So… how did the COPD impose on your daily life over the years???
6:04 PM astrid: well at first i just felt out of breath when i ran , then i moved to england and the cold weather didnt help. i couldnt do too much excercise or i would feel wheezy. and so two years later we moved to tucson and i got valley fever and another reaction to a medication. till i needed to be put on oxygen at night and eventually in the day too. it was like a cycle.
6:07 PM me: WOW!.. how long ago did you need oxygen tanks?
astrid: about 3 yrs
6:09 PM me: So can you NOW not need O2???
astrid: yeah i don’t need it anymore
6:10 PM after the transplant i wasn’t used to not having it. i even had it on while it was off just for the comfort
me: AWESOME!!!! LIBERATION!~!!!! And also…. after the transplant… when you inhale…. did you still feel stuffy?
6:11 PM like you arent breathing?
astrid: yeah i felt like i wasnt able to breathe properly even if my oxygen stats were good.
yeah like i wasnt breathing or taking in enough air
i had to learn to breathe again
i had to learn to breathe again
this time the normal way : )
6:12 PM me: Amazing how lucky we are if we realize we take simple things like breathing for granted!!!
And are you getting used to your new lungs now???
And What’s the most annoying question that you get??? And what’s your answer to it?!?
6:15 PM astrid: hahaha yes im used to them now
i can do annything basically now
the mst anoying question…
umm ..is probably, “how are you,” because the answer is always, “good.”