Author Archives: Samuel Kirton

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

You see them before and after you see a doctor. They are often the first person you see upon waking from anesthesia. They hold your hand during the difficult part of a procedure. They see you at your weakest state and help return you to health. Sadly, in some cases,…

Make Time for You During Your Journey

Are there sounds you associate with your happy place? Perhaps it’s a smell. For me, it’s the sound of a metal whisk in a metal bowl, the rhythm of a chef’s knife prepping ingredients, the aroma of a mirepoix as it begins to sweat. Food is my love language. I’ve…

We Are Now Departing From Our Comfort Zone

Face mask: check. COVID-19 vaccine card: check. Extra mask: check. Electronic vaccination card: check. Anxiety: check. More than 25 months after the start of the pandemic, my wife, Susan, and I returned to the theater. The National Theatre, located in the heart of Washington, D.C., has always been…

Avoiding Isolation as the Pandemic Rages On

The federal transportation mask mandate has been extended through May 3. The city of Philadelphia has reinstated mask requirements in public indoor settings. People in the U.K. are watching the spread of a new recombinant COVID-19 variant. The Chinese government has reportedly implemented either full or partial lockdowns in…

Medication Management in a Post-transplant World

Every day in my post-transplant world begins with morning doses and ends with evening doses of medication. I also take doses in between, totaling 33–34 pills a day. Medication management is central in the life of a transplant recipient. I received a bilateral lung transplant on this past…

The Decision That Saved My Life

It was July 9, 2021, at 9 a.m. NBC’s “Today” show was on television in our house that morning. I was in my home office going through my morning routine while my wife, Susan, was downstairs in her home office. When my cellphone rang, I recognized the number as the…

I’m Grateful for Doctors Who Understand IPF

On Jan. 31, 2017, Dr. Steven Nathan, a pulmonary disease expert, sat on a stool in a clinic room across from my wife, Susan, and me, and confirmed my diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The gravity of my diagnosis hit Susan especially hard, to the point where every…

IPF Didn’t Change My Identity

The word “identity,” which refers to a person’s “distinguishing character or personality,” according to Merriam-Webster, may sound simple to understand, but it’s actually often confused with other terms. Before you read any further, take a moment to think about your own identity. When you have a description in mind, please…