Triggers

Triggers

While discussing N’s donor is still extremely difficult for me, I have found that talking about what happened to him leading up to his transplant has gotten much easier. Talking about his story feels less like I’m speaking about our lives and more like I’m summarizing the plot line to a movie I never want to see again. I’ve become numb to it. I think a lot of this has to do with telling and retelling the story what must have been hundreds of times to doctors who were trying to figure out a root cause or diagnosis. They would

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Returning Home

Returning to our actual home was an entirely different story from staying at the apartment, and a whole new set of challenges awaited us there. There was no safety net. We couldn’t just run up the road a couple miles to the hospital to see the transplant team if something went wrong. We were on our own. What made matters worse was that my husband and I were both rapidly running out of time off from work, so we had to return to work immediately. Again, as someone who hates taking the plunge, I dreaded being thrust back into my

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Getting Discharged

Even though we had let the world know about our situation, I still hadn’t let the world back into my reality. By the time we were finally discharged, I had become so institutionalized that I was afraid to leave. As I carried N through the doors to the ward, his first time leaving since we’d arrived eleven and a half weeks prior, I kept looking for hospital ninjas to leap out and keep us from going home. When we got to the apartment, I couldn’t believe no one had chased us down and taken him back. I was almost too

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Sharing our Struggles

From the very beginning, I had a difficult time sharing the details of his status. I wanted to hide it from everyone. I didn’t want everyone to freak out, but I also didn’t want to have to relive those moments. I was not ready for people to ask “what happened.” What if this was somehow my fault? What if he didn’t make it? How do I tell people that he’s clinging to life by the narrowest of margins when I can barely grasp that fact myself? Thankfully, our parents fielded all of the questions and status updates. I turned off

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My Alternate Reality

When everything happened with N and we were in the hospital, I buried my head in the sand when it came to the outside world and my responsibilities as a member of society. All of it fell to the wayside. For all I knew, aliens had invaded and the Earth had engaged in World War III. It just simply didn’t matter to me. The hospital ward became my reality. I was there with N an average of twenty-two hours a day. I spent every night with him except the night he received his heart, and that was because there was

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