Wednesday, September 12, 2012

comfort in discomfort

I wish there was more to write about. My dearest, Jamie, is lying beside me and closing his eyes in hope that sleep will bring relief from dystonia and malaise of thymoglobulin treatment. He had a treatment break yesterday to allow his low white cell counts to recover to some extent, and is finally nearing the end of his treatments. There is a fine balance with immunosuppressants between the benefits of preventing James' body from detecting his donor lungs as foreign, and the risks of developing serious infections. 

As always, James pushes through with strength and determination. He seems to accept a certain level of discomfort as a reality of living with disease. Although James rarely complains, he often expects and craves video games and McDonalds in exchange for his courage. This is a conditioned response from childhood. These were the rewards for needles and pills, invasive procedures, and long days in the hospital. These days, I am able to offer comfort with my presence, but I will admit, James was thrilled that I brought him McDonalds as a "treat" after nearly two weeks in the hospital. I also bought him a discounted t-shirt that is reminiscent of his favourite arcade game. (The behaviourist in me enjoys this testimony to behaviour modification and the power of positive associations). It was the best of both worlds, and in reality, based on a need, rather than a desire or impulse. James' weight has become a concern again (his wedding band is falling from his finger), and his few packed t-shirts in Toronto are all worn from lying in hospital beds and going to the gym.

There is some good news, but I am finding it hard to feel excitement or pride. I have been accepted into a prestigious graduate school program for January 2013. I will have to defer my admission, because of James' declining health status. That disappointment seems to negate the positive feelings. I wish I had more resilience against a seemingly negative cognitive bias. I wish it was easier to give myself permission to feel good. 

That is all for now. I may write more again tonight upon returning home. (I am having a really hard time with font size. It is really inconsistent. I will make an attempt to figure it out at some point in the not so distant future).

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