Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pity...Party of One?

The metaphorical restaurant hostess is constantly calling out to me in my mind, inviting me to be seated. I resist most of the time, but sometimes it’s easier just to raise my hand and say – yep, that’s me: the Pity party.

I know I’m lucky to be alive. I know I’m fortunate to be awaiting a heart outside of the hospital. I appreciate that I can work and socialize and maintain a relatively normal life during this ordeal. But sometimes looking on the bright side just requires too much effort. Sometimes I just want to feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I just need to throw myself a pity party.

I’m tired. I’m tired of carrying around a pump for my 24-hour IV meds. I’m tired of waking up early every morning to change them. I’m tired of feeling like I need to wear long sleeves to cover the site. I’m sick of hurrying through my showers so I can reconnect myself to my medicine source. I’m tired of twisting myself up in my tubing while I sleep.

Aside from the IV, I’m just tired of being tired. On the weekends, I sleep about fifteen out of every twenty-four hours. During the week, I’m awake for about two hours each day when I’m not working or commuting. I’m sick of dreading social gatherings because of how exhausting they are. I’m tired of taking the elevator to my second floor office.

Even as I write this, I know it could be so much worse. A friend and coworker lost her battle with breast cancer about a year ago at age 32. Soldiers are injured and killed in Iraq and Afghanistan every day. Plenty of other heart patients are hospitalized or stuck with ventricular assist devices, which are far more cumbersome than my IV pump and defibrillator. Most of the time, I can maintain this perspective and be grateful that I’m alive. But occasionally, I allow myself a brief pity party.


  1. Andrea,

    Please feel free to have a pity party when you feel the need. I was a lucky one, in that my wait was extremely short and it was while I was unconscious. However, I know through my total experience that God is in total control. He will decide when. It's his decision to make and we are simply along for the ride. Stay strong as you can spiritually, mentally, emotionally and keep as physically active as you can (without hurting yourself) so that you can rebound quickly post transplant.

    DAP from My2ndHeartBeat

  2. you are allowed...and soon you'll be on the other side...listening...

  3. Just because other people have it worse doesn't mean that you are not allowed to acknowledge that your situation is hard, too. You have inspired so many of your friends & family & their friends & family with your unwavering ability to stay positive through this entire really hard experience. But we'd start to think you weren't human if you didn't sometimes acknowledge that this is hard & exhausting & unfair. Eyes on the prize, my dear - I look forward to celebrating the big 3-0 with you next June with some wild karaoke, unabashed dancing, and a really, really long party.

  4. You have a party, no one here is going to judge you. I can't even BEGIN to grasp what you have been going through physically and mentally. You have the right to take a break from keeping up your spirits. We are all here for you and are also excited to have you back at full strength.

  5. I cannot stand in your shoes, but I am always standing beside you..Happy Birthday NEXT year!

  6. Since you're a lifetime guest at every one of my pity parties, I am happy to attend yours (and bring the beer and salt-free crackers!). A wise man once told me when I was fighting back tears, "You can't shut down feelings, even those that hurt. You should feel blessed every time a feeling comes through. It means you're alive." Love you so much!

  7. I hear you. You ARE tired, both mentally and physically, and you are entitiled to your pity parties. Since I have seen only one small minute of such a party in the 2 months that I have been here, you must be partying very privately. That's OK if it works for you, but I am here to "party" as well as to support. I know that this will soon be just a bad memory, as you are scaling your own mountains--and having fun doing it. I love you. Mom