Friday, October 15, 2010

Slowing to a Steady Trot

Well... do you recall that froth I was talking about- that chomping at the bit I was doing? Well I chomped a little too zestfully and bit a tad too much off. Now I’ve had to have a nice bite of humble pie and admit I can’t do it all.

It started out all very innocently at the end of September with a family week-end to see Meghan on the Island and my intention to fulfill the Tater Tot’s request to “be a whale” in the swimming pool. This is something I’ve done on numerous occasions in our little local shallow swimming pool. However, in the unfamiliar pool the bottom suddenly dropped out and we were drowning while Jarvie enjoyed a few moments off bubbly heat behind the wall in the hottub. I struggled mightily against the water`s draw to sink us both to the bottom with Nate flailing on my back. I couldn`t reach him because of the feeling of tearing and searing pain across my abdomen as I tried in vain to reach the top of the water and swim to safety. I screamed and sputtered and somehow Jarvie heard us. He reached from the side to rescue the Tot. He expected me to swim to the side now that I was free from the urchin that clung to my back but now I was tired out and in too much pain so I continued to drown and sink. He eventually realized and aided me as well.

After panting and heaving on the side of the pool for several minutes we all looked at eachother and jumped back into the pool. We never discussed it and went out for lunch. I guess the trauma we`ve been through doesn`t make a story like this worth mentioning on the rare occasion we get out for a family vacation.

24 hours later I couldn`t move and we couldn`t figure out why. Now over a month later I am still having a lot of trouble moving. The docs tell me I ripped away the muscle from the incision in my desperate effort to save us from drowning. The pain of just holding myself standing let alone functioning has tired me all out so I`ve had to blow the whistle on my new found function to say that I can`t increase, won`t make my goals and have had to reset my own boundaries.

My doc`s looked down through their eyebrows and told me, tsk tsk – you`re always over estimating your strength``. To that I say, Amen sista! Guilty as charged! But, no seriously, I do so I will calm it down a little. I didn`t die so many times just to kill myself after all. 

Thanks for listening. Much love.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What I'm Up To

It's 1AM and my rooms are filled with the huffs and poofs of dedicated sleepers. It's that solid time of night when I could vacuum, pick up the bed and re-make it without waking up anyone. I'm usually right there beside one of my boys enjoying a solid sleep but tonight is different. I've done all the right things but I just can't get all the way to the sleep part.

Is there anyone out there anymore? Does the return to normality and the navigation of recovery from liver transplant, return to work, raising a three year old and guiding a husband who just watched you die and come back to life back into a normal marriage contain a story? Every day I am awakened by the surprise that humanity brings to life. People's stories, their laughter, their anger and emotion, their fears and even the things that people choose to wear. Everything has a new amusement and hold genuine appreciate for me now. Every day I get to see a friend for lunch or a playdate is a day that might not of been. Although that tone is being replaced by the joy of seeing a person and being to share a normal healthy experience without having the compromise of illness to be in my way. WHAT A MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have returned to work. I am an official inhabitant of cube world now. I am a voice in the egg crate as my dad used to say.

I am eager with excitement the night before a work day. It is an adventure I wasn't sure I'd ever get to have again. Nate's jaw dropped the first time he saw mommy all gussied up for work. He gave me a standing ovation and picked out my pink high heels. They didn't exactly match but who's going to turn down such a participation!?

It has been a humbling and joyous ride back into the saddle where everything is changed and nothing is different. I am being trained by my students and sitting with my future co-workers who do the job I will one day do if I can ever work full hours again. They work with the seriously injured or psychologically impaired. Their days are filled with the need for compassion and endless patience, negotiation, balance and tolerance. I am learning how to change an address in the new computer system. A very simple but just as necessary task!

I hear my friend guide a man through the emotions of returning to his home for the first time without the leg he had before he'd gone to work and lost it in an accident. Will this get to be my job? What will it be like for me to talk to these wounded people? I have felt their pain. I have had to bend my life, be broken and rise again. It is best I heal and wait for now but I can feel the froth forming at the bit and my pace is picking up to a steady canter.... Slow and steady I keep telling myself.

The docs at transplant have got my headaches under control (transplant meds can trigger migraines) so life has gotten a lot better in the last 2 months. My/our liver has accepted it's new home very well (knock wood). My overall score hovers at about a 38 which usually takes years to achieve. I can only believe it is because of the relationship between myself and my donor made the body that much easier to receive the gift. My kidney's are tolerating all the toxic meds that I take every day very well which is one of the hurdles of the first year of transplant. My biggest irritation has been this very deep chest cough that has required 3 rounds of antibiotics and puffers every day. My donor has chronic bronchitis so we don't know but it's a possibility it may have transferred through her blood! Anyway, it's been really difficult to get rid of with all the anti-rejection medications so I sound like I have tuberculosis. Gives me a whole new empathy for my friends with asthma or breathing issues. You have my prayers! So far I have been very lucky to avoid any of the very common pitfalls of the first year especially because I received a very small piece of living donor organ. So, thanks to your prayers and all the extra rituals (you know who you are! :-) I am alive and kicking.. THANK YOU sincerely from the bottom of my heart, soul and toes to my nose.

I am so grateful to Meghan for her sacrifice that allows me to graduate from surviving surgery to watching life and now truly participating in it. I can wake up with my son, stay awake all day and put him to sleep at night, I can slide, swim, work, iron, bake bread and have dinner on the table on time. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I will never forget what I've been through and the pain of the surgery is still very fresh but that girl I thought I might have lost was only wearing her safety gear. She's very much alive and well. I feel my old self rise as the fatigue, pain and memories sink and fade.

Meghan- I hate that you itch and I don't want your blood cells to be smaller than they should be. It's not fair for you to have aftermath from your heroic gesture. I know we will find the answer. I pray for the resolution every day. I know you say you aren't suffering and we never lie to each other so I take solace in that. Much love and THANK you for my life that wouldn't have been without your brave decision.

oxo to all and I MUST GO TO BED!!!

Bon Nuit!