Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Breathing Deeply

I never really share the private information of anyone but myself because uh, hello, that's fucking rude. However, yesterday I felt comfortable sharing the news that one of my heart friends underwent a successful heart & liver transplant. I've been receiving updates from her family and relaying them to other interested parties simply because we are Family and no matter how much we bicker or call each other bastards, we care about one another.
My friend is currently in ICU and it's now just time to play the waiting game to see how her body is going to take her new organs.
It's not unlike introducing a newly adopted animal to the treasured pet you've had your whole life because 2 of its litter-mate companions passed away :( So you have to see if that new adopted pet - who isn't a puppy but still has lots of spring in his step and love to give - is going to be welcomed in by the old pet or going to be frequently attacked and pissed on.
Something like that.

Anyway. We're humans, selfish by nature, and when something huge like this happens to one of our own we cannot help but place ourselves in that situation and wonder what would happen. My friend had quite a bit of time to mentally and emotionally come to terms with this surgery (not to undermine the stress factor in any way but it wasn't a SURPRISE! surgery) and when she told me about it last summer I instantly thought I could not do it; I could not go through that.

How fucking stressful - to be on a waiting list, essentially to be sitting around waiting for someone to die so that I might live? My friend and I talked extensively about the awkwardness of being in such a position.
"Hey, it's not like I want anyone to die buuuuuuuuuuuuut if it's gonna happen anyway, may as well put that death to some use!"
You have to address these issues; they're the big, pink polka-dotted elephant in the room. It would be ludicrous not to point this out, not to mention a disservice to the individual who bothered to mark their donor cards.

So there's that - the pressure of waiting and the shitty position you're put in waiting for someone to die.
Next is the stress of wondering...what happens if I don't receive the needed organ in time? Tick, tick, tick, bitches, that ain't a pretty sound; your internal clock ticking away every precious second, the heart ready to quietly shut down like a imploding time bomb.


Then there is the entire rainbow of anxiety one goes through when the time for surgery does arrive. You're relieved - momentarily - because now you see a light for yourself. Then it hits you - Oh sweet Jesus now I have to go through another surgery. This might be more familiar territory but that doesn't make it anymore enjoyable. From pre-op to waking up feeling like a convey ran you over to the arduous recovery process, it ain't no cake walk.

There's another waiting game at play, too. The game of rejection - which I described up above. That is a new worry, a new concern. I would be lying if I said I didn't know anyone who died of post-op rejection. However, I would also be lying if I said I didn't know anyone with amazing heart transplant success stories (high five, Princess Carissa)

So, my knee-jerk reaction is NO. Hell to the no. Just let me go; I had a good run. It's be s'well, thanks for all the fish.

In reality though...if this is the route I eventually turn down...I'll probably brave it out as best as I can. Survival is a highly addictive drug and one gets used to clawing the way to a level of quality of life one is comfortable with.

All my love to those of you who have or will go through this. <3

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