By Christopher Green
Seriously, a splinter was the only pending health issue I had in my quarterly review with my doctor. Oh, we talked about the amount of time his office was spending on upgrading their record keeping from paper to electronic. It is one of those requirements in the Health Care overhaul that was passed last year that will, I can attest to this, speed things up as far as going from doctor to doctor is concerned.
It kind of really sets everything in perspective. This time last year I was still reeling from my 18 day stay in semi-isolation over at Fairview Hospital. I was still too weak to really do anything other than hobble around. It was then that Dr. Haddadd explained to me that it could very well take over a year to get back to where my health was before I caught that nasty ass bug.
Now, a little over 13 months later, I am feeling better than I have in years. Knock on wood. Usually when I get all braggy about my health I get slammed with another bug.
So with all this good news and my overall health being better than it has been in the last few years, why am I in such a state of funk?
I should be much happier now than I was before the big news back in late September, the news that stopped the testing for me to be considered for a double lung transplant.
I think it may be due to the simple fact that the run up to the testing and then the process consumed me. The energy I felt was similar to finals week in back in college. But now, that week had lasted 6 long months.
From March until September, all I could really think about was how to deal with getting a lung transplant. It has been a part of my life since 2004, but it didn’t seem all that imminent until that stay at Fairview last year.
Maybe I felt as if I was being held hostage by my condition and that when I was set free, I was let down. I didn’t have that intense focus in my life and I felt drained when I should have been elated.
Robin Williams made a movie way back in the early 80’s called Moscow on the Hudson.
In this movie, Williams was talked into defecting when the Moscow Circus came to New York. It was very intense, he was the focus of a lot of attention, he was right up to the edge and when he finally said, “I defect”, all the attention evaporated and he was just a lonely guy from Russia trying to make it in a foreign world.
Right now I feel a little like Mr. Williams. He felt alone and drained and wondering how he was going to make it when his world had shifted drastically.
I feel alone even though I am surrounded by people who only wish me well. I am having a hard time wrapping myself around the fact that I once again have clawed my way back from the abyss.
I still exercise regularly because I know that is one of the main reasons I have been able to recapture my health. By the way, when I checked into Fairview last year in October, I weighed 195. Today, I weigh 175.
I think it was so all consuming, this goal to eke out as much time as I could from this slowly breaking down body. And when I reached my goal, pushing back the transplant from in the near future to sometime down the road, I was deflated.
The good news is that the coming holiday season really has lifted my spirits. I have a renewed lease on my life and have vowed to myself to make the most out of the time I have left. For the first time in a long time we will be spending Christmas with family.
I am actually looking forward to doing taxes this year, I am writing more than I did before and I feel better about the relationships in my life.
In other words, I am looking forward to the future.
I still have my disability and I still have my good days and my bad days, but now that my short term goal has been met, I am ready to take on the rest of my life.
I have a few more things to say about my life and the lead up to my illness and I promise I will write these down for this blog.
For instance, I will be talking about my drug and alcohol addictions as well as going through my High School years.
But as it stands now, it looks like I may have to change the name of my blog from My Transplant Years to Living With the COPD…