Friday, November 16, 2012

update of sorts

It has been a while since I have written a more serious update, but first, I want to acknowledge the incredible and overwhelming generosity of our loved ones, dear online friends, and perfect strangers. "Toonies for Transplant" was a wonderful success. We will forever be grateful for your contributions to our lung fund during this difficult time. We can truly take a deep breath. Our fundraising goal has been met! (The fundraising page has been re-formatted. Our media has been lost. We are hoping to get it back in a few days).

James appears to be stable at 12% lung function, but it is difficult to ascertain a level of stability that also allows for the unpredictable nature of the disease. We recognize that everything can change in a single moment. We are always alert to the possibility of decline. It is a relative stability that doesn't allow for complete rest and relaxation. We remain aware, in both fear and gratitude, making the most out of each and every moment (all within the limitations of the disease). Laughter has never been more important.

James is doing exceptionally well at the Transplant Gym. He is building strength and endurance. James accepts the limitations on his independence. He is learning to slow down and listen to his body (with its ever-changing capabilities). He is able to exercise for five to seven minutes before a sense of complete breathlessness forces him to rest. This no longer incites a form of panic or anxiety within him. James has come to expect these moments, and focuses on breathing through them. He accepts a lower level of intensity for exercise and allows for these breaks to rest. I am so proud of his determination. This is a recurrent theme in my posts: James as the epitome of strength and courage. I feel an incredible gratitude for being part of his life.

I return to another recurrent theme in my posts: That is, a level of physical and emotional exhaustion that is beyond description, and the limitations of language for the expression of these experiences. There is a heaviness that seems to have long settled into my body. It has become a constant weight that slows my thoughts and movements to an impossible pace. I am made still by the force of this exhaustion. The adrenaline of on-going crisis is a temporary illusion. I find it difficult to regenerate energy.

It takes a conscious effort to face the fatigue with self-care. I seek the comfort and nourishment of foods. I exercise to escape my mind and build my own strength. I sleep, and I sleep, and I sleep. I also build energy through attitude. It involves a letting go, or rather, an acceptance for everything that is beyond my control. I must embrace the moment for survival and in mindful appreciation.

My love for James is my best defense against exhaustion and fatigue. It is our best defense. We are both very sensitive to one another. We have the ability to lift spirits (and of course, the alternative, bring each other down). The later is rare. We both feel positive for the most part. We have each other, don't we? That alone makes every single moment worth it.

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