Tuesday, March 18, 2014

photo dump!

a couple of months in a couple of photos (in no particular order):

 My Ophelia has adapted very well to all the changes. She is in love with the outdoors, and has become a playful kitten all over again.

 (This is Ophelia's first experience with snow. We didn't get a lot more snow the rest of the season).

I finally (and to my relief) found Christmas photographs:
Christmas Eve on Salt Spring Island at James' Family Farm
Christmas Morning
James and I love to make fresh pasta for dinner. It does not take a lot more time or effort, and it is worth every delicious bite. (Can you tell that James has gained some precious pounds)?
We made a factory load of Hamentaschen for Purim, and had a ridiculous amount of fun at a Beatles-themed Purim Party.
Those are some seriously healthy lungs. (Thank you, Heather Armstrong, for these gorgeous photographs).

We are finally at home in Victoria.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

milestone birthday

I have written this blog entry over and over again in my mind. I want to be able to fulfill my commitment to update on a regular basis. I want to be able to maintain a connection with our loving and supportive communities. I want to be able to share in the wonders of post-transplant realities. Yet, I procrastinate to no end. I avoid the blog, or rather, I avoid everything that it has come to represent. The associations alone come with waves of nausea, a tensing of muscles, pounding headaches, and an overwhelming emotional heaviness that bears the weight of deep-seated grief. 

It only takes a brief moment to transport back to the ICU. I find it hard to escape the magnitude of emotion. My body remembers. The sensations become real all over again. It does not feel safe to return to that point of mere survival, and re-expose myself to those vulnerabilities. I do not have enough distance from the trauma to reflect in a meaningful manner. I desperately want to be able to move forward without those shadows. The reminders are ever-constant, and ever-daunting, in many different forms. 

I continue to live in the present. It continues to be my salvation against the realities of Cystic Fibrosis and organ transplantation. I avoid thoughts that extend beyond the present. It requires an impressive effort to remain in that present. There is a certain level of denial that makes it possible to get out of bed. The rest becomes a source of motivation to live each and every day with gratitude. 

My love, James, had a milestone birthday over the last weekend. His 30th birthday is a testament to his passion and drive to survive. It also represents a vast amount of love and support, and a genuine commitment and dedication to James' survival by an incalculable number of individuals. 

We would not have been able to arrive here alone. 

On February 23, 2013, James was no longer able to breathe on his own. Mechanical ventilation was failing to decrease James' carbon dioxide levels, following several weeks of acute respiratory failure. The details of the day remain vivid in my mind, and I refuse to re-visit the horrors of that day. James' birthday celebrations were put on hold. We had tearful good-byes. James went down to the OR, and was placed on ECMO, an artificial lung system. 

A year later, James has few memories of the last year, and was able to mark his birthday as a true celebration of life. We look forward to sharing photos from the event. I will, as always, make effort to continue to update.