Any down time I had was welcomed with wide open arms and an "Amen".
When I'm done with one thing, I'm looking for another. I am no longer content to sit on the couch all day just trying to breath, or trying to gather up the energy to have a shower, or searching for my lost appetite (we all know that's been found.)
I've got new blowers now. That means I have energy. I have the ability to DO. I want to take the G-man to the park. I want to run around and jump up and down and scream and laugh and cry and and and.
I want to prove to myself that I will do all those things I wanted to do when I couldn't; when it took every ounce of my energy just to get ready for, and then through, physio.
I don't ever want to forget the feeling of hating my lungs. I'm talking about my old crusties - I hope that was obvious, as I'm head over heels in love with my new ones.
I don't ever want to forget the feeling of not being able to breathe from coming in from the cold, from making the bed, from doing laundry, from eating...from pushing myself too hard.
Sometimes these new windbags feel so normal. That scares me in a weird way; only because I never ever want to take them for granted. I always want to remember their sacrifice and their miracle. I never want to lose sight of the fact that each day I'm alive is a freaking gift. A beautiful, incredible, amazing gift.
I made this list months ago when I was still doing the granny shuffle with my crusties:
Things I can't do now:
- walk without breathing like a freight train
- sing without gasping for breath
- play sports with Brad & the boys (now I basically just stand there - I kick the ball when we play things like soccer baseball, but one of the boys runs for me)
- go overnight somewhere without taking along a pharmacy (aerosols, o2 tank, feeding tube, etc.)
- swim - I feel like I'm suffocating when my lungs are immersed in water
- go out for a night without worrying about the weather and the state of my lungs that day
- hold a baby for longer than 30 seconds (standing up)
- carry Griffin for longer than 30 seconds (not that he needs carrying)
- hide during hide and seek (anyone can hear me...just listen for Darth Vader
- dance - last attempt lasted 10 seconds
- laugh without coughing - now I hold back a lot of laughter
- do anything for any length of time without getting completely exhausted
***One year ago I didn't have a shot at dancing in the rain. Perhaps I will do that this spring. Yes, I definitely will.
***One year ago I couldn't sing my face off in the shower or directly in other people's faces. Well, I've already been doing that. You're welcome people's faces.
That list certainly wasn't all encompassing; there were far too many things that slipped by while my crusties held me down. While I certainly didn't sit idle and watch life pass me by, I did miss out on certain things and craved the ability to do them.
As far as never taking the new chunkers for granted....
All I have to do is spend some time with my buddy Carman and I remember how it feels to breathe as though through a straw, to wonder when that call will come and how much more of the day you can actually get through.
I'm lucky, I've had my call. I'm not in rejection. I've had an amazing recovery thus far.
Not everyone is that lucky. There are many fights to be won. Please help me do that. Be an organ donor. Have the conversation with your family. Actually, it'd be pretty cool of you to bring it up to everyone you see tomorrow and the next day...and hey, why not the next day too. People will love it if you just bring it up all the time. You could put together a presentation, perhaps a jingle. Just go nuts.
Realize how lucky you are, and then remember all of those still fighting for a second chance at life because they were dealt a crusty first chance.