Thym 4 Tea with Mikita

Defying The Odds How a Woman’s Heart Saved Jonathan's Life

April 16, 2024 Mikita Smith, #SelfCare #Motivation #WellnessJourney #BeautifullyUnbalanced
Defying The Odds How a Woman’s Heart Saved Jonathan's Life
Thym 4 Tea with Mikita
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Thym 4 Tea with Mikita
Defying The Odds How a Woman’s Heart Saved Jonathan's Life
Apr 16, 2024
Mikita Smith, #SelfCare #Motivation #WellnessJourney #BeautifullyUnbalanced

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In this heartwarming episode, join us as we delve into the extraordinary story of Jonathan, a man who received a second chance at life thanks to a heart transplant from a woman donor. Discover how this rare match not only saved his life but also brought with it unique challenges and insights. Jonathan shares his journey from the brink of death to a miraculous recovery, highlighting the emotional and physical adjustments of living with a heart that once beat in another's chest.

Listen as Jonathan reflects on the profound connection he feels with his donor and explores the medical and personal implications of having a heart from a woman. We'll discuss the nuances of gender in organ transplantation, including how this affects everything from immune response to hormone interactions, and what it means for Jonathan’s day-to-day life.

Tune in to hear a tale of resilience, gratitude, and the unanticipated bonds formed through organ donation. It's a conversation about beating the odds, embracing new beginnings, and the incredible journey of carrying a heart across gender lines. Join us for "Heart to Heart: Jonathan’s Life with a Woman’s Gift" and be inspired by the power of generosity and the human spirit.

Support the Show.

#selfdevelopment #Wellness
#thym4teawithmikita #manifest #purposefulliving #liveunapplogectically #freedom #podcast #womeninpodcast #podcastlife #empoweringwomen

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

In this heartwarming episode, join us as we delve into the extraordinary story of Jonathan, a man who received a second chance at life thanks to a heart transplant from a woman donor. Discover how this rare match not only saved his life but also brought with it unique challenges and insights. Jonathan shares his journey from the brink of death to a miraculous recovery, highlighting the emotional and physical adjustments of living with a heart that once beat in another's chest.

Listen as Jonathan reflects on the profound connection he feels with his donor and explores the medical and personal implications of having a heart from a woman. We'll discuss the nuances of gender in organ transplantation, including how this affects everything from immune response to hormone interactions, and what it means for Jonathan’s day-to-day life.

Tune in to hear a tale of resilience, gratitude, and the unanticipated bonds formed through organ donation. It's a conversation about beating the odds, embracing new beginnings, and the incredible journey of carrying a heart across gender lines. Join us for "Heart to Heart: Jonathan’s Life with a Woman’s Gift" and be inspired by the power of generosity and the human spirit.

Support the Show.

#selfdevelopment #Wellness
#thym4teawithmikita #manifest #purposefulliving #liveunapplogectically #freedom #podcast #womeninpodcast #podcastlife #empoweringwomen

Speaker 1:

I was going to lose a heart and I get another disease. So I thought I was going to be like a perfect heart and ironically, it's not a perfect heart. It's someone else's DNA, it's an organ, you know. I mean the big organs are kidneys, liver, heart, lungs. But a heart controls your emotions, your personality. It so affects a person. You know you don't talk to a person who's like, oh, I got a liver. It's like, okay, you know, you got a liver, but I got a heart. That's so much impactful. So when I got the heart, I just thought it was like cool, hey, I got a woman's heart.

Speaker 2:

Hey there, I'm a woman's heart. Life unapologetically on your terms. From career advice, entrepreneurship, relationships and everything in between, this is your one-stop shop for real conversations and inspiration. If you're looking for connection, then you've found it here. Join me every Tuesday as we dive into those sometimes hard to have conversations. So grab your cup of tea or coffee and get comfy, because this is time for Tea with Nikita, and the tea is definitely hot. Ever feel like you need a superpower boost of motivation with exclusive tips and tools with your goals in mind? Well, say hello to your new inspiration hotspot the Tuesday Tea Newsletter, your weekly infusion of big thinking energy that will propel you to chase your wildest dreams and never shy away from using the power of your voice. Sign up for the Tuesday Tea Newsletter today at beautifullyunbalancedcom and elevate your goals to the next level. Welcome back. It is definitely time for some tea. I am Makita. I just want to thank you so much for sharing your time, your space and, of course, your amazing energy with me today.

Speaker 2:

Today, you guys, I have an incredible special guest with an equally remarkable story. As Norman Cousins said, the tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live. Our guest today embodies the spirit of living life to its fullest, having undergone a heart transplant and receiving a woman's heart. Now, that is just the tip of the tea. We haven't even got all the way in it. So I want to welcome Jonathan. He has a remarkable story about resilience, humor and he's transformed dramatically. Story about resilience, humor and he's transformed dramatically after heart failure, after a stroke in 2008, and a heart transplant in 2002, while he continued his successful career as a reality TV and feature film producer. His story is one that is powerful. It is an example of overcoming adversity and maintaining a positive outlook through life's most challenging moments. So, Jonathan, first of all, welcome. I am so honored to have you here.

Speaker 1:

Well, likewise, I'm honored to be your guest and I'm happy to involve your audience and I'm ready to, you know, have on your show. I'd love to hear your questions.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. I just think it's like such an amazing story that you have and I know that like I have like tons of questions. I know my audience is like oh my gosh, you just like gave us just this little sneak peek in here Like what is happening, what is going on. But before we dive into like receiving you know, having the heart transplant and getting you know actual woman's heart, can you kind of just start by just walking us through but first tell us a little bit about you and then what led up to the heart surgery, and then we'll dive a little bit more into it.

Speaker 1:

So as you mentioned, I was a film producer. I went um to a film festival in park city, um, and I was coming back home selling my movie and I suffered two massive strokes, a little bit of brain injury, and I woke up not being able to speak. I had this condition called aphasia. So it was two strokes, heart failure, which is like a heart attack, and then I woke up having aphasia and I couldn't speak. I can hear you talking to me, but I couldn't communicate with you and it's very frustrating when you're in that position.

Speaker 1:

Oh yes, I couldn't imagine what that must have felt like really must have felt like, really, yeah, you're trapped inside your own body and you can't express yourself because all the synapses in your brain are not connected. They're, they're, they're, they're not able to communicate with you. And ultimately, when I was able to talk, I use this analogy all like like a supermarket. So when you go to the supermarket, you go directly to the milks. You want milk, you want butter, whatever you want, you go directly to it. I have to go the long way around. I have to, like, really think through the process and then I zero in on what I need to get, but I can't get because the brain is not functioning correctly. I don't go directly to the thing that we wanted.

Speaker 2:

Gotcha. So after you had the stroke, you end up with congestive heart failure and then you find out now I need a heart transplant. What was that process? Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So I mean, like you know, I, I want to. I think we, we, we have to go back a step. So I had, I had the stroke, I had heart failure, I had aphasia because you're a nurse, you kind of know what, what, what kind of the medical issues. So then I had what's called a defibrillator, and the defibrillator was an implanted device. So everyone's familiar with you go to sporting events or social events, they have on the wall a defib and they say stand back, stand back, stand back. And I had that implanted in my heart. So I had two defibrillators. First one was for eight years and then second one was for four or five years. And it shocks my heart in order to get the heart back on track. And every time it shocks your heart it breaks down the heart. So it's not like the heart bounces back because it got shocked. It takes a toll on the heart.

Speaker 1:

So I had a defibrillator for 16 years and I knew that I it was a ticking clock for me. I knew that I'm gonna get a heart transplant and I didn't want to face the reality of dealing with that. I wanted to work, I wanted to max out the heart, the heart that I had, in order to prolong it. Because if I got a heart when I was 45 years old, which is that's when I got the stroke and heart failure, I simple math 20 years later you're probably going to be, you're probably going to die. Right, you have to be, you know, being be blunt about it. So you have to kind of evaluate do I want to get the heart now live 20 years and then 65, probably going to be dead, or how long can this heart go on? So I wanted to run out the clock on that heart.

Speaker 1:

So eventually the heart failed and so I had you know not to get into the details, but I was rushed to the hospital and I was. The whole hospital told me you're not gonna leave here until you get a new heart, and getting the new heart for me, when it leads up to getting the woman's heart, because I was in the hospital for 30 days, one of your questions was like how do you match the heart? So it, as you know it's, it's body, you know you're, you're, you're, you're, you're, um, how big you are. Right, I'm pretty small. So I was always joking hey, I could get an adolescent's heart, I can get a woman's heart, I can get a man's heart, but it has to be a small man, so I had to get a heart that fits into my body, so a woman's heart would be. You know, I I didn't know. It was a perfect match, and then it's all about the blood, so it has to be blood.

Speaker 1:

It has to be the match with the same size and also, you know, weirdly enough, location. I was like in the hospital. They didn't have to call me. I was in the hospital ready to ready to go, and it 30 days. I didn't want what's called a hep C heart. There's lots of reasons I didn't want to do that. I thought, stupidly enough, I was going to get one disease, I was going to lose a heart and I get another disease. So I thought I was going to be like a perfect heart, perfect heart. And ironically, it's not a perfect heart, it's someone else's DNA in your body.

Speaker 1:

It's an organ, you know. I mean the big organs are kidneys, liver, heart, lungs. But a heart controls your, you know, your, your, your emotions, your personality there there are. It's so it affects a person. You know. You don't talk to a person who's like, oh, I got a liver. It's like, okay, you know, you got a liver, but I got a heart. That's so much impactful. So when I got the heart, you know, one of your questions was like, you know, when I got the heart, you know, one of your questions was like, you know, when I got the heart, you know, you know what was? You know? Kind of like you know my, you know my emotions, and and I didn't really care, I just thought it was like, cool, hey, I got us. I got a woman's heart because I could get, as I said, the kids heart, woman. I got a woman's heart because I could get, as I said, a kid's heart, a woman's heart, a man's heart. So for me it's like am I gonna get menopause?

Speaker 2:

what goes into that? What happens yeah?

Speaker 1:

well, I didn't get menopause right now. Maybe maybe I told my wife it's pre-menopause, but I definitely get cold flashes, but I don't get hot flashes yet. We don't know for sure. Hopefully not, yeah, okay, so, um so, uh, so. So, going back to the the, you know the heart, so I, I there are differences know getting a woman's heart, all jokes aside, I can go to a man's bathroom, a woman's bathroom.

Speaker 1:

I'm definitely the he, she, but you know all my scars are pretty much well, there are visible scars when they um, uh, made the incision where they have to cut your, from your, your kind of, your neck to your, your, your belly button, and they have to, kind of, you know it's, it's, you know, put you on a what's called an ECMO machine, uh, in order for you to breathe, because you, when they're moving your heart, you know it's, it's, you're, you're not breathing, so they have to give you, like a ventilator, life support. So when I got the heart, you know what was the, the, the, the, the kind of emotions when you get an organ and specifically in my case, it's a heart, the, the. The question is did the donor have any other issues? Well, yeah, I, I didn't know the donor had two major issues was spasms in the heart. So my heart spasms and I was into the. I was in the hospital last year. You know, each time I go to hospital it's usually for five to seven days. So I was in the hospital two times last year for seven days, and, and, and. The first time it's like, you know, you know your heart is spasming and all the doctors look at, you know, the monitors, and, and, and, and, the, the, the, the, the cardiologist. They just look at the monitors like, well, I don't see your heart spasming. It's like you know.

Speaker 1:

I finally got a doctor who is you know, I would say 50 to 60. He was the head of the heart transplant team and I said look, I want you to touch me. You know they don't want to touch you. I want you to touch me. You know they don't want to touch you. So I want you to put your hands on my heart. And it's going to happen every minute. I don't know what the monitors are telling you, but it doesn't show up. If you put your hands on my heart, you'll feel it. You put his hand on my heart. He said yeah, you're right, you got and I've seen it before because you don't want to be in a position like where the doctor's like I've never seen this before, huh, and you don't want to see panic on their faces. You want to see, I'm calm, I've seen this before. This is how we're going to deal with it. Um, so they the, the. The heart spasm was. They gave me some drugs and it cleared it up.

Speaker 2:

That's amazing. When you first had the heart spasm, were you kind of like, oh my gosh, I'm going to be back in the hospital and maybe getting a new heart. Or did you kind of like rationale, like it has to be something else going on, or like where was your mindset when you first felt that?

Speaker 1:

Well, when, as you know as a nurse, it presents like a heart attack. So I thought I was having a heart attack. So paramedics they came, you know, and paramedics thought you know I was having a heart attack. So it was a spasm, but it presented like a heart attack. So that's why they were treating me for a heart attack versus spasms in the heart. So we cleared that up.

Speaker 1:

And then the donor has a virus and everyone has lots of viruses in their body and you have defense mechanisms that you know um in your body, that that that deal with you. You have usually it's called antibodies, so it deals with your antibodies and and it and it um presents, uh, the antibodies, and the antibodies you know deal with what the virus is. And you, you know, you don't really feel too much. Maybe you're down for a day or two, but anyway. So the heart, the donor, had a virus called CMV it's common chickenpox or something right, it's, it's common like chicken pox or something right.

Speaker 1:

So I didn't have that drug, I didn't have that virus. So I was called a mismatch. She had it, 50 of the, your audience probably has it. I didn't have it. So again, that shows up um in your blood when they take me off certain drugs, because I was for the first year I was on certain drugs and then they took me off those drugs and then three months later, boom, I got CMV and they're treating me for that currently. So I currently have that virus and we're just waiting for my antibodies to kick in and help. Right now I'm on a virus med to make that virus kind of non-detectable.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and this happened like right after, because you're normally on a year just to make sure that you don't reject the, the heart, um. So right after you came off of that, then you, then the virus was like ah, I'm here, cause where do you go? Those drugs go away so I can come out and play Right.

Speaker 1:

Right, that virus was rampant, rampant it was and and it really attacked my pancreas. You know I didn't really know much about the body, even my, my own body. You know. You know I, I knew a few things like where's the heart and where's the lungs, but but you know, now I'm much more familiar and I can talk about. You know, I didn't even know what my pancreas was. I mean, I know it's part of my GI tract or my stomach, or where is the pancreas, but I didn't even know where the pancreas was. And then this virus attacked my pancreas so it caused, you know, a lot of stomach aches, to put it mildly. To figure out, you know for listeners, and you know it affects me, so I'm treated. It's now getting better. That's all I can say, that is definitely good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I mean so I know getting a woman's heart is very rare it's not uncommon, but it's very rare for a man to get a woman's heart. Um, and then, like you said, you have to go through all the you know you have to make sure that the, the skeleton muscles, was right, making sure the size, the blood match, the tissue type. It's a whole lot that goes into it. And as you're going through so you just it happened in 2022 and you finished up the first year. We're going into 2024 now and now you're on the medication for the CMV.

Speaker 2:

So people that don't know, cmv is a virus that is related to chicken pox, to keep it simple, because we all know what chicken pox is but it can lie dormant and then react. So everything's different when you're getting someone else's, you know organs and the heart is huge, like coming home. Like, after all of that cause, you're already in the hospital for 30 days going through the whole process of getting matched and getting the heart, and then you then it's time to come home. How was, how was that transition Like after having heart surgery and then coming home? Was there like a support system where you, like, I just want to be left alone and do it myself, or like how was that for you? Because it's you were very active. You did a lot, like you're used to doing right.

Speaker 1:

I mean just to just to put in reference, like the, the woman's heart is smaller than the average man's heart. Not much, but it's a little smaller. The women have what's called an ejection fraction, that it kind of pumps more than a man's heart, which is good. Women tend to have lower blood pressure. Um, uh, women tend to have lower, lower blood pressure. Um, and when you get the heart from you know when, when the heart transplant from a man, a woman, to a man, life expectancy is a little shorter.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so coming home, I just wanted to take a shower. I mean, you know, I mean, you know it's really nice having, you know, being bathed by your nurse and some of them are kind and nice and some of them are not so kind and nice and being bathed by a sponge bath. I just wanted to take a shower. So again, you can't directly shower. You have to have a methodology that you use to take a shower.

Speaker 1:

I desperately tried, you know I needed a walker, so I kind of took my life in and I lost a lot of weight. So I was like 125 pounds. I came home about 98 pounds, so a lot of muscle had atrophied. I wanted to try to get more weight on. I wanted to try to get you know more weight on. I wanted to walk and it's baby steps. It's just like baby steps and literally, everyone has heard the expression you know one step at a time and literally, figuratively, literally, I was taking one step at a time. Figuratively, literally, I was taking one step at a time. I had a two. I have a house, I have a two-story house. It was a challenge to get up the, the stairs, um and um, but, but I wanted to be active. And again I had physical therapy. I had um, um, people that, uh, you know, through the hospital, helped me get back and I always wanted to kind of restart myself.

Speaker 2:

I love that resilience that you had and you're right, you know, the more research I did and I talked to some doctors and it was amazing to know that, like women hearts are actually, they're stronger. They are smaller but they're actually stronger and there is such a bigger mortality rate for a man to receive a woman's heart. When they first told you that they go over, like you know, like, hey, you know there's a 23% chance like this may not work out. You know even, hey, you know there's a 23, 23% chance Like this may not work out. You know, even after we do it, um or that, any of that kind of happened and you're like I don't know, or I know you mentioned before, like you were like, let's get it done.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I mean, like, again, I was in the hospital for 30 days. Heart was not, you know, coming up. Um, uh, I, you, uh, I, you know I was offered the woman's heart. I thought it was kind of, you know, interesting. I didn't do any research, but you know, you also, when you get a heart, there's a, there's.

Speaker 1:

You don't want to reject the heart, like, oh, I really want a man's heart. Even I'm a man, I want a man's heart. I don't want a woman's heart. Even if I'm a man, I want a man's heart, I don't want a woman's heart. You know, you don't want to be like that person and you think, and they say, you know they would not put you back in the back of the line. But there's always that feeling like, hey, it's a woman's heart, you're the right size, it's the right match. Nah, I don't's a woman's heart, you're the right size, it's the right match. Um, yeah, I don't want a woman's heart. Uh, I'll take it.

Speaker 1:

You know, and at that point I was on four IVs to keep me alive. You know, I was really you know what's it called, you know, definitely sick and um, so, you know, after you pass 30 days, you, you get into another category in the hospital, but I didn't have a choice in the matter because they offered it and I accepted it. Do you know I didn't like think. You know, I didn't really think through it and I'm, you know I mean other than the fact that there was. So you know, these two issues, that ongoing issues that I'm dealing with. You know, I'm happy, I wrote a letter to the donor thanking her, but I didn't write the letter immediately.

Speaker 1:

I wrote the letter after a year because the first time it's like, oh, I'm so excited to get a heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Time it's like, oh, I'm so excited to get a heart, thank you, thank you, thank you. And and you don't even know the donors, family, if they're gonna respond or not, because you see these videos on YouTube. It's like, oh, the family's so excited and they become friends and they're, you know, partying together and socializing. You know that's rare, by the way, that is very rare, these videos that they have on YouTube. But I responded after a year and and appreciated that that they gave me, you know, their, their, their, I guess, their, their daughter's or mother's heart, but they didn't respond to me. But that's okay.

Speaker 1:

But so you know it's, it's it's, you know, going through the kind of shock of getting a woman's heart and going through the emotions you know we touched upon. You know that there are three types of you know. I mean, when you get a heart, there are what's called cellular, you know the cells communicate right. So the brain, you think the brain does everything, but there are memories, literally cellular memories, not like your brain. You can remember yesterday and you can remember, you know, going out with your mother, you know, a month ago. No, it's cellular memories with that that the heart has.

Speaker 1:

And so I want to touch about you know how did it change my personality and and and how did it change my emotions? So I, I think I think my personality, you know, and I don't know if it was my emotions and my personality have changed that much, but they're almost like enhanced, you know, I mean, you know I, you know I'm a neurotic, but I'm much more neurotic. Do you know what I'm saying? You know, and, and I think you know my, my, my, my openness, you know I used to keep things private. I would never do a podcast. This was not me, social media doing a podcast. But right now I feel like I have a good story to tell and I don't want to be the only one and my wife to tell that story to, because she gets bored, because she's heard it so many times.

Speaker 1:

But at the same time, you know, I wanted to talk, to talk to friends and family about this, and and this changed in me, um, and and maybe it was, you know, um, the change of personality or just the, the, the struggles that I've been, uh, under for the last 16 years.

Speaker 1:

So I'm much more open today and you know, I always thought I was an extrovert, but there's a part of me that is much more, you know, extroverted today, that is open. I'm much more open today and I think that's based on the new heart. Um, and then, you know, kind of like, all the emotions I the, my emotional, they always say your emotional IQ, um, you know, when I had the stroke, both of my kids said you know, my emotional IQ is like you don't have, you don't, you don't censor what you're saying, you just talk, and sometimes it's it's it's hurtful, especially for them. So you know, I'm much more aware of how I come across and sometimes too, aware that I'm like, oh, what is Makeda thinking? I mean, like you know, did I say the right thing. So I'm much more empathetic and sensitive, you know, today than I was before.

Speaker 2:

Do you think that's part of the cellular cell memories from the heart that the person had before you? That contributes to some of that being more extroverted, having more emotional intelligence, or you think it's more of just a new appreciation for life and the opportunity that it's given you?

Speaker 1:

You know that's a very good question and I also compliment you with all your questions that you gave me to prepare. I really don't know the answer to that, you know, is it just I had another crack at life, because this is technically not my life. Technically it's someone else's heart that I inherited and I want you to know, and I think your listeners should know. It's like a hard drive, right, think about it. It's a hard drive and you get a hard. It's not completely wiped clean, okay, it's not like you go to Best Buy, get a brand new hard drive, plug it in okay, it's not quite wiped clean. So, and, and I think they're, you know, artifacts of the other person in that heart. Clearly it's her DNA, not my DNA, right, and it and it fuses together. So I think that you know what my experience has been and it will continue.

Speaker 1:

You know I'm, you know I just don't want to have rejection. You know that's the big thing. You know the heart rejects the body, the lungs, the kidneys. You know I really want to try not to have that, um, and there are, as you said, more likelihood when, uh, from a, from a woman to a man, a little bit of rejection. So I've stayed, hopefully, you know, you know, we, we always watch that when, when I do all the um, all the angiograms, yeah, is there.

Speaker 2:

Did they ever talk about when there's a? When is there going to be a time when you're out of the woods and that won't be the thing that you're worried about anymore.

Speaker 1:

Okay, that's like again. You know I'm still in the woods and and I don't know if there's ever going to be a time, you know, but, but, but it's almost like being having cancer. You know, the first year you're cancer free, then you got five years out, then you got 20 years out. So I think I'm one year out of the heart out. So I think I'm one year out of the heart. I'd love to make it to five. You know, I feel much better after if we have this conversation in five years that like, hey, five years sober, five years, clean, five years, whatever you want to say, but right now I'm still dealing with it. Whatever you want to say, but right now I'm still dealing with it. You know, and it's very challenging. You know it is not for the weak at heart, same thing with being aging. It's not for the weak at heart, it's just.

Speaker 1:

You know, the mind is probably the most. You know, I wouldn't say underlooked. You know part of your personality, but the mind controls how you feel. The mind controls you know all of the things, that if you can change your mind, you can change your life. So having a positive attitude helps me get through the day and you know going through, you know I've got good days, I've got bad days, you know, but you want to have more good days than bad days and when you wake up in the morning the sky is still blue. Or you know gray, but you can still see the sky is still blue. Or you know gray, but you can still. You can still see the sky, but you want to conduct yourself in a way that is um, you know mind, body and spirit and these cliches have been overused so many times, but I'm living proof that that a mind helps you get through your life and then you do the right things.

Speaker 1:

You know you eat healthy. You know, you know I mean, yeah, I made a movie and it was like fast food, fried food. You know it was, you know, and I was like everyone was eating fried food. I love fried food, but you know limited, so I mean it's. You know you have to do things in moderation and everyone knows that you just have to move. You know you don't have to. You know I like to walk. You know you don't have to. You know I like to walk morning and night because I have a dog. You know, because because the dog says I need to, I need to pee, I need to poop. So same thing with my. You know me, I need to walk, um, and I do that an hour a day, morning and night, and then I, I, I work out every day. These are things I do every day and I also again, it sounds really hokey you know breathing exercises and meditation ground you you know.

Speaker 1:

It's like when you're upset or when your your emotions are too. You know out of control and you just start to breathe. It controls your nervous system and it allows you to get back to neutral. So you don't want to be too slow, you don't want to be too fast, you want to get back to neutral.

Speaker 1:

So breathing exercises I do morning and night and I do it like for one time, I do it in the morning at two minutes and in the afternoon maybe eight minutes. And you know if, if, if you, everyone needs like some reminder, like, hey, am I doing a good job? You know all these watches now, like you know all these watches now, like you know, they don't give you a prize. They don't. Hey, you know you, you, you get a free prize on amazon. We're going to send you a gift certificate or something, or, or, or, or, uh, you know, um, spaghetti sauce or something for free. But you know, they, they, they, they're positive reinforcements. They just allow you, like, hey, look at my Apple Watch, it's like I did a good job, you know. And they get excited, or the watch says excitement.

Speaker 1:

So I like to eat well, I like to work out, I like to walk. An overlooked thing is also sleeping. You know, I mean, I have so many beds I go, I get up a lot. Another story I just fell down the stairs recently and that was, you know, a big mistake. But you have to recover. But sleep is a big, important part of everyone's life and good sleep helps you get through the day, it heals you.

Speaker 1:

So my kind of what I do is try to have what I call rigorous, because it's not given rigorous optimism. You know, you have to work at it. You have to work at being optimistic. You know, and deal with the depression. You know it's like everyone gets depressed, it's like, well, why me? Why me? I calculated 22 health issues that I've had over the last 16 years, including a heart transplant. So you know, it's not why me, it's random. You just walk out the door. It's the random acts of life, right? Random acts of life, right? Random acts of kindness, random acts of, of, of you, you know, of, of just dealing with life. So I think that is my message. You know, life can change in a moment.

Speaker 1:

You know, when I, when I sold my movie 16 years ago at Sundance and was so excited that we sold our movie and the next day, boom, my life changed, I lost my business, I couldn't speak. You know, um, you know, and eventually, when I I was able to speak, I spoke on a monotone level. I, there, there was like when you speak, your, your voice goes. You know, it goes up and down, the rhythm of your speech. Mine was like a foreign person speaking English. There was no, it just sounded like one level.

Speaker 2:

You sounded like the dry eyes commercial. Yeah, the guy that did the dry eyes commercial. It was just that. One syllable tone, no pitch change, just yeah, exactly so.

Speaker 1:

I mean, my cousins thought I was like I'm, I'm. They thought I was like swedish, because, because you didn't have any change in your temperament, your voice goes up and down. Yes, so I still suffer from aphasia.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean after a stroke and having dysphagia, I'm sure, like that's a permanent thing, unfortunately.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I fake it. Well, but you know, there, there, you know, there are moments.

Speaker 2:

Definitely. I want to say that I love the way that you are redefining your version of self-care and I like the fact that you mentioned that you know it all starts with your mind, because the mind is powerful. It is powerful and you do have to work at being optimistic. I think I'm one of the most optimistic peoples in the world, but even me, I also have bad days. No one's perfect. You're not going to have a great day every day. But, like you said, there are ways that you can incorporate things. You try them out. They don't work for you, try something different.

Speaker 2:

But I am a big believer in breath exercises and meditation. They are very grounding, they are very centering and you can do it anywhere. It anywhere. That's why I love breath exercises. I used to really into yoga, but there's no way I'm going to the hospital and do a downward dog on the floor or do all this stuff, but I can go into a room and I can breathe and I can have a moment of silence and collect myself, become centered, use the power of my mind to get myself back to a place where I'm calm and that I can have the emotional intelligence I need to, like you say, offer someone some kindness that day, or just be grateful for everything that I have. You can always count many things that you're grateful for. Even if it's just being the first person in line at the Starbucks to get the coffee, it doesn't matter. Whatever you're grateful for, just you know, hold on to that and let that carry you and do something kind.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean like I wanted to write my story, which is unwritten, but you know, in the next year it could be worse, you know, I mean it could be worse. You know I wouldn't want to be in Ukraine being bombed. I wouldn't want to be in Israel or Gaza being bombed. So it's like you know. It's so. You know, we all take things for granted and I love you said like, you know, first line and Starbucks, but we don't. We don't, we're so busy and we're so mindless and everyone. You know.

Speaker 1:

I think the whole culture now is getting back to like you know, you're going to die if you don't do some exercise. Whatever you, whatever, you know, the life expectancy is diff, is very different than people, from people who exercise and people that don't exercise. I want to be that person that exercises. There's very different differences in people who eat healthy or just eat. You know French fries all the time, everything you know. We've been taught as kids like, and you dissed, your, your parents, it's like, you know, maybe, maybe, even though they didn't, they, they, they, they preach it, but they don't practice it. You know you just try to eat healthier. You know, every meal, have something that's good for you. You know, and then you know, I mean I can't emphasize you know.

Speaker 1:

You know the again, as we go back to what we're saying, it's your mind, you're. You know it's a mind is a terrible, terrible thing to waste. You know, if you're not using your mind to control your behavior, if you're not using your mind to control, you know there are things in life that are random. It's not you, it's not God, it's not you know these things happen and so you have to accept randomness or the chaos in life and life is chaotic, but you have to kind of find your own path through the chaos and the simple things you're talking about, and I'm talking about help you manage your day to day.

Speaker 1:

You know we're not talking about what you want to do in three months. You know, because you don't even know in three months if you're going to be able to do what you want to do. But you can control the do, but you can control the only people you can control is you. You know I always thought I control my wife and my kids and my friends. It's like, no, the only person you can control is you and your emotions and what you think. That's it. You can. You can influence other people. Hey, this is what I think this is, you know, but I I try to do things now in a way, not like, uh, didactically, this is what you want to do, you know.

Speaker 1:

It's like, hey, did you ever think about this approach to life? And a lot of people have never thought about other scenarios, and then you just bring that up. Hey, you know, maybe it does not work for you, maybe it is, but do you ever think about things, you know? You know you can go, you put your clothes on one way. Did you ever think, because it helps your brain not to put your pants on first, put your shirt first, because you just, you know, in a weird way it changes things up and that actually, oh, I don't have thought about that, but you should just do it once in a while. You know, do things that you normally do with your right hand and and do it on your left, on, on your left hand or left hand. Be a right person. So you have to do these things that your brain is not used to and it helps you.

Speaker 2:

Simple tasks, simple tasks, simple things you can do every day. Well, jonathan, I just really want to thank you for just sharing your story, your resilience and your journey with us, and I am very curious to see, in the next five years, if that book is written and all the good things that it will say as it takes you through the journey of your life. I think it'd be very, very interesting Tell people where they can connect with you, where they can learn more about who you are in your journey.

Speaker 1:

Oh, thank you for asking that question. So I have a website and it's called personalstoriesnet Could not get the com but personal storiesnet and that's my personal story about what I've gone through. So from my heart transplant to falling down the stairs to my ICD. I'm working on a story about getting a woman's heart, so this is a way to reach me, but at the same time, I'm opening it up so anyone can submit their personal health story or their personal story. Right now I'm focusing more on health. So if you want to reach out to me and send me an email or reach out to the website and we would just be encouraged that it's reaching your audience and if you've got your personal story and you want to post it on our website, I'd love that.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that is amazing. So I know if y'all didn't get that, that's okay. All that information is going to be for you in the show notes, so don't worry if you didn't have that pen and paper. I will definitely have all of Jonathan's information there for you so you can connect. If you have a story to share, this is going to be an amazing place to share it, and just sometimes just having an opportunity to share your story is one of the greatest gifts ever.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I'm ultimately want to do personal stories through my website and then, ultimately, I'd really like to kind of like visit people, to have them tell me their personal stories and try to sell it as a reality show personal stories and try to sell it as a reality show.

Speaker 2:

Oh wow, Well, I can't wait to see what happens next with that. I think that's going to be very, very amazing. All right, you guys, that is all the tea that we have to spill today, but guess what? You can join me each and every Tuesday for more delicious hot tea. Until next time, my friends namaste.

Man Receives Life-Changing Heart Transplant
Hospital Stay and Health Issues
Journey of Heart Transplant Recovery
Importance of Mind and Self-Care
Mental Health and Wellness Journey
Sharing Personal Stories for Reality TV