Friday, August 8, 2014


When I found out the day of my original discharge that I would have to stay two more weeks, I thought my heart would explode. I was crawling out of my skin. Even as I could see that there was a serious medical situation, I was furious and felt trapped and angry.

The following Monday, I almost discharged myself against medical advice. It was the assurance of the doctors that the cure was working, and that early discharge could, and had, led to mortality, that kept me in.

But I still didn't know how to be here. I didn't know how to make it through these weeks within these four walls. I lashed out. I cried. I begged.

Then I shifted. I found a way to take my own advice. I asked for anti-depressants and mild sedatives. I asked for coloring books. I started to be able to read again. And I decided to choose to be here.

I am grateful that I have been here for the early post-transplant period. I will be going home soon, without needing regular transfusions, without dozens of visits to Boston. I have been safe and well-cared for by incredibly compassionate people who are doing everything in their power to make me comfortable. This is the best place for me to be right now.

A friend told me the other day that she imagined her heart as a bright sunny room with the windows open, and she was sweeping it out. For me, that metaphor is of a room where a butterfly was trapped, batting at the windows, frantic. Then I opened the windows and the butterfly flew out. I can be free here, by choosing to be here.

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