Sunday, April 25, 2010
Someone recently asked me if I was talking to someone about everything that’s going on. I presume he meant a therapist, but it was a little awkward and I didn’t particularly want to prolong the conversation to seek clarification. I don’t think he’s reading my blog. Otherwise, he might know that while I do not physically go somewhere (anymore) to sit on a sofa and talk to a live person, my blog is my therapy, and you – reader – my therapist. I find this relationship far more therapeutic than talking to a real person for several reasons.
1. I don’t have to stress about showing up late. You patiently await my next post, and I don’t have to apologize or make excuses if I go more than a week between visits.
2. I don’t have to sit in a creepy waiting room, awkwardly averting my eyes whenever someone new enters and occupies one of the dingy chairs. The more you try not to look at the other patients, the more you discover what can happen when you don’t take advantage of the wand feature on the vacuum to thoroughly clean the corners of a room.
3. Writing a blog is free, so I thank you for your complimentary services. Those who conduct therapy sessions for a living don’t tend to offer their time gratis…even though most don’t actually DO anything during said time except jot occasional notes and appear pensive.
4. And perhaps the greatest advantage of this “cyber-therapy” is I can enjoy a nice glass of Cabernet while working through my thoughts on my blog, and you, therapist, are none the wiser. At least until now. I think it’s fair to say that a traditional therapist would not look kindly on me bringing booze to our appointments. In fact, that might be grounds for evaluation of a different sort.
So until I run out of material and start pontificating on really mundane things like grocery shopping or sitting in traffic, I hope I won’t need to compensate you for your services. That’s not to say I don’t value your readership and occasional commentary immensely – but rather is a nod to the hope that I won’t need you forever. Please continue to provide your therapeutic services for the many months ahead. Just don’t quit your day job because this time next year, I might be out jogging or dating or travelling the world rather than sitting quietly in front of my computer.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Back in November, when the doctors first recommended I be listed for transplant, I believed it was unlikely I’d end up needing one, partly because I still didn’t truly appreciate the magnitude of my illness and partly out of sheer hope. So I listened half-heartedly as everyone from the transplant coordinator and the nutritionist to the social worker, pharmacist and even a dentist visited my room to arm me with all the information one could ever want about a heart transplant. I accepted the literature and signed the papers, knowing that with each stroke of the pen, my discharge from the hospital and the prospect of sleeping in my own bed became closer to a reality.
While Plan B still involves a wait of indeterminate length, there is a beautiful reward at the end. And though the reward will take some time to be fully realized, since recovery from heart transplantation is not immediate, I know it will be so worthwhile. So, I accept Plan B with open arms and cautious optimism and request two things from you: 1 – please think positive thoughts as my surgery draws nearer every day and 2 – please consider becoming an organ donor. Today, there are over 106,000 people awaiting life-saving organ transplants.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
But while I was in the hospital, the bedside commode quickly topped my list of admired creations. It’s essentially a portable toilet, for those who can stand but can’t walk the three feet to the big girl bathroom. This is by far the greatest invention of all time. You cannot truly appreciate the majesty of such a creation until you have been using bed pans for a few weeks straight...with what we’ll call “gastrointestinal challenges”. Just imagine my delight at the sight of a nurse rolling in the gleaming white bedside commode one day. This underappreciated piece of equipment afforded me a level of independence and privacy I hadn’t enjoyed in weeks. And as an added bonus, it provided a much-needed second seating option for guests, who frequently believed it to be a benign portable chair.
I'd like to pay tribute to this special potty friend with this Ode to the Bedside Commode.
Oh, Bedside Commode you’ve brought me so much joy
More than any other thing, appliance or toy.
After struggling for weeks to master the bed pan,
You let me sit up to go, so I’m your biggest fan.
I used to like go-karts and the guide on t.v.
But there’s nothing as special as you are to me.
So thank you, Bedside Commode for helping me see
You’re much better than a pan when I need to pee.
Friday, April 2, 2010
For those of you who aren’t [cheesy] movie buffs, the title of this post is a quote from Varsity Blues, a flick oft-quoted during my college days and beyond. “Things change, Mox” (in a sub-par southern accent) is how Ali Larter’s character (Darcy) conveyed that since her boyfriend had become seriously injured, she was newly interested in his best friend and the new starting quarterback, Jonathan ‘Mox’ Moxon. Had she expressed this thought slightly more eloquently, she might have said “the circumstances of my life have changed, so my behavior is also changing.” I assure you I cannot relate to Darcy at any other moment during the movie, especially not her dating Paul Walker or sporting her infamous whipped cream bikini. However, the sentiment of this quote rings true for me now, as the circumstances of my life have indeed changed drastically.
Pre-October 2009, it took a swift kick in the behind to counteract my internal inertia and get me to the gym or outside for a jog. I always hesitated to join my friends on the dance floor at weddings, at least until I had a couple of drinks. Regrettably, I also frequently opted out of weekend social engagements, preferring instead to relax at home and prepare for the week ahead. So as I bemoan my current physical limitations, friends sometimes regard me with a skeptical eye. But with each additional day of limited physical activity, I become more eager to get up and get moving.
The circumstances of my life have changed, and my behavior is changing too. I so look forward to jogging outside on a sunny day, doing exciting things on the weekends and dancing at my friends’ weddings…and hopefully, one day at my own.