Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Smallest Things

Hello all,

Well it has been far to long since I last posted. I first wish everyone a happy and of course healthy New Year.

Last Friday was my 6 month mark post transplant!! Things are remarkably different this time around. The new lungs continue to feel incredibly strong. Breathing never being an issue or even really crossing my mind. I battle with some annoying secondary problems still, such as the numbness and pain in my feet, adjusting still to the medications, and some lingering soreness and discomfort still in my chest area. I assume that is somewhat to be expected as I was ripped apart twice
and re-wired shut again. My ribs are a bit mis-aligned
it feels and those chest wall muscles were practically destroyed. They are healing though.

We were able to take that long awaited trip to Costa Rica that Rebecca had reserved nearly two years ago now and the owner of the company was nice enough to postpone until I was ready. We had an amazing time. The country is absolutely gorgeous. Stunning lush mountains, rain and cloud forests, waterfalls, beautiful yet rugged beaches, surfers paradise with a perfect 4-6 foot break every 20 seconds. Multitudes of exotic animals in the wild. We travelled with 3 other families we met there. They all had kids ranging from 5-10 and soon the kids were inseparable. They did everything with us, I was so proud of them. Zip-lining through the cloud forest canopy 100 ft above the ground. White water rafting. Hiking, swimming, tracking animals, etc. An amazing time. I appreciated every second of the trip and was thankful and lucky to be in such an amazing country with my family.

When I was getting ready for my first transplant I had this idealistic and ambitious vision of how it would go. Most people do. After the transplant, I thought my setbacks would subside and I still carried these hopes of being able to accomplish Extraordinary things. For instance, being somewhat of an athlete as a child and young adult, I felt like I wanted to return to form and even excel further. I felt as though the only way to validate my new lease on life was to prove to the world and myself that I could accomplish some amazing feet. Like running a marathon, or doing a mini-triathlon. Well we all know what happened with the first transplant. Staring death in the face and being lucky enough for the conditions to allow a second transplant my outlook has somewhat changed.

I don't need to accomplish anything measurable. Sure it would be nice, and might very well occur, but what I learned is that the greatest accomplishment of all is living and breathing without suffering anymore. It allows me to appreciate the smallest of things this world and universe offer. A smile on a kids face in Costa Rica when we gave him a new soccer ball. Matias sitting next to me on the couch and probably without any thought on his part, putting his arm around me. The smoky breath coming out of my mouth when it was 10 degrees yesterday. Me not wanting the vapors to dissipate as each one made me think about my donor. It was like he was there......

The world is crazy right now, I know of 4 CF friends who have lost their battle in the last month. Nothing is guaranteed. As cliche as it is, all that matters is now. And now is perhaps the smallest yet heaviest thing in this universe.

PS: I have attached another link on the tool bar to right with some of the Costa Rica highlight photos. Maybe a video or two as well Zip-lining. Below is our whole group and awesome guide (Onik) all geared up.


Lynn said...

Loved hearing about your trip and seeing the amazing photos. Great to be with the other families. Happy you are enjoying the best in life now. Love, Lynn

Michael and Denise said...

So glad you guys were able to go, looks and sounds like FUN!! It is wonderful to hear how well you are doing and how good you feel! Much Love South FLorida!

Stacey said...

Sounds like just living your life is doing something AMAZING! No need to run a marathon to prove how appreciative you are of your new breath... The trip sounds splendid! I love your blog. I'm following now and I'm going to add you to my blog roll.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon said...

The help and love from the family matters a lot at such circumstances in life and I believe the patients who make it definitely get it in plenty.