I’m going to just come out and admit something. I’m having a tough time. I don’t want to spend a blog post whining but, I said I’d be honest in my writing so I will continue that pledge.
It’s been six months since I got my life-saving liver transplant and I am very, very thankful. Life, however is different now. I’ve gone from being a guy who lived a fast-paced life to a guy who sits with his dog at least 60 hours a week. I’ve gone from having a full calendar to knowing when “my shows” are on. Yeah, I have shows. I’ve gone from a full house and being around hundreds of people per week to a usually empty house and being told to stay away from crowds and indoor spaces with poor circulation. Maybe I should grow a Duck Dynasty beard and become a hermit. It’s 4:30 PM and I’m typing, eating some tater tots and sitting still in my PJ’s. No real reason to get dressed today. I have a lot of those days now.
There are signs of hope. I’m able to work some again and have been taking portraits. But, it tuckers me out worse than I think it should. And I now do the grocery shopping, some of the cooking, laundry and cleaning. I’m thankful that I can contribute but my life is much different than it has ever been and I’m struggling with that.
I feel like I’m an ungrateful twit for feeling like I do but who can change their feelings with, “It’s stupid for you to feel that way” or “you shouldn’t feel that way?” Feelings are feelings, ya know?
And then there’s the veiled judgement I feel when people say, “Where are you going to church?” and I answer with “I don’t go to church.” I don’t know if I should give them the imunosuppressed rationale and explain that I am supposed to avoid crowds and closed in spaces. Am I a nutcase germophobe? Honestly, I’m kinda enjoying being free from the conflicts, squabbles and politics but I’m drying up without the community and friendships.
Robin and I have talked about hosting a home group – share a meal, share life, look for navigational clues together in the bible, laugh… But what do I do with that? Got a cold? Stay away. Sick kid? Beat it, get outta my house! I honestly don’t know.
Finding my place after transplant is much more of a challenge than I expected. I don’t know what I would do without my connection to my online communities. At least Facebook and my online support groups make me feel less isolated.
The other thing is that I find myself getting tired of the daily aches and pains and, now after half a year, I’m thinking I shouldn’t have painful reminders of what I’ve been through every single day. Should I? Does it ever stop. Will I ever feel totally normal again. Lately my right side has been causing some discomfort just like it did before my transplant. That has me just plain scared. Thursday I have my six month check at Lahey and will ask a bunch of questions.
Every day is a gift. I know that better than most. I’m thankful to be alive. Still, in the back of my mind, there’s a survivability statistic. 51% of liver transplanted people are still alive 10 years after transplant. Um, that’s a tiny bit better than a coin toss.
If you’re a praying person, could you send one up for me? For us? Robin still hasn’t found a permanent job. Our health insurance is set to end Jan 1 and my life-long meds are about $2500 a month never mind the required check-ups. Our God has always supplied our every need. I know that yet, like every other human being I’ve ever met, there’s that little voice in my mind saying, “What if He doesn’t this time?”
Six months! AMAZING! MIRACULOUS!
My hope is that in the next six months I will rediscover purpose and see my sense of self-worth recover.