This week is my first in four weeks that I have not had treatment. Boy, am I happy to be sitting here in my apartment (watching the Dallas Mavericks lose!) and not needing to be nursing a gatorade and popping pain pills. Last week, I felt so weak and spaced out that I was scared to be away from my mom on Tuesday, which is sort of embarrassing to admit when you're 23 years old. For those of you who have ever had a few too many drinks, you could relate to how I felt last week. My eyes couldn't focus, I couldn't hold my head up, I was feeling flushed and having trouble expressing myself.
After my pulmonary embolism and being in the hospital for over two weeks, I remember the feeling of being scared to fall asleep. It may sound dramatic, but when you've been very sick, it's hard to sleep soundly, at least for me it is. This was the first time in months that I experienced that same fear. It was panic-inducing and I knew something was wrong in my body.
Finally, I took myself to the hospital on Thursday and it's a good thing I did. I have a stubborn bacterial infection in my stomach that is almost always acquired in hospitals. As someone who has felt every sort of pain, I still think nausea may be the worst. Luckily(?) for me, I never actually felt sick. I just felt a stabbing pain my stomach and spent most of the day doubled over moaning about it.
I'm on a strong antibiotic now, which I will have to take for 2 weeks, every 6 hours, including in the middle of the night. It's inconvenient, but I am so thankful to the transplant clinic at University Hospital in San Antonio for seeing me immediately, ordering the correct tests, and prescribing the correct medication in a matter of hours. The staff was nothing short of impressive and even drew all the blood from my port with very minimal discomfort to me.
In even better news, the Jerk Store Jerky campaign for AOTA has taken flight more than I could have ever imagined. I always knew I had amazing people surrounding me, but this is just mind blowing. I have never felt so lifted up.
As of today, I have collected $754. This is in 10 days, with not a cent from my parents. It's family friends, cousins, sorority sisters, and even complete strangers who are being beyond generous. Your hearts are so big and I cannot wait to send this money to The American Organ Transplant Association in a few weeks. You are helping people who are experiencing such an overwhelming time in their lives and making things a little easier for them. Also, you're inspiring me, bringing me to tears, and helping me realize that I still have a purpose in this world even though I am not able bodied enough to be in school or working.
6 months ago, I was a very depressed person because I was unable to live a "normal" life. I hated my life and had an immense amount of anger towards God. Since then, I have come to a simple realization: I need to be okay with the fact that I'm not okay. I have recognized that my scenario is in no way fair, however, I can't change it. I've accepted that my life is painful and that I don't deserve what is happening to me. But this is where the two roads diverge. You can take the first road and be miserable, and die mentally and emotionally, even before your physical body wears out. Or, you can take another and you can choose to make a difference in the time you have. If you think that you may have less time on this earth, that's all the more reason to make your mark now. And you are all helping me feel effective in this world again. I am so grateful for that.
I started down that first road for a few painstaking months. And if this disease had taken me then, my tombstone would of had to say 1988-2010, because I was dead on the inside even into 2011. Now I feel more alive than any other time I can remember, and so much of that has to do with all of you believing in me and praying for me. Emotional health is so important to physical health. When it comes down to it, you are all helping to heal my spirit, my mind, and in doing so, you are healing my body. So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.