November 27, 2013
Pulmonary Rehab, Day 37.
Tonight begins the festival of lights, celebrating an 8 day miracle so long ago at the restoration of the Temple. It may not be the biggest miracle Yahweh has ever wrought, but we'll take what we can get and be grateful for it.
As I walk the track at rehab and observe the other patients, I see so many miracles in the flesh. Like spirits being called back into life, patients who have returned from the hospital with new lungs arrive and thrive. Complicated cases that hospitals wouldn't touch 5 years ago are now having life breathed into them. It is mind-boggling!
Much as Hanukkah is a week of thanksgiving, so tomorrow Americans observe a day of Thanksgiving, before going back to being the spoiled consumerist brats we are. The last time these two holidays coincided was 125 years ago and the next time will be in 70,000 years (so my sources say). I find it interesting that the roots of both holidays are (like Christmas) slowly being lost to a non-humanist, plastic, and commercial treatment that encourages us to stop thinking and to stop caring. We're subtly being told that by emphasizing compassion only for right now, we can ignore it the rest of the year.
But come to Duke, and there you'll find compassion year-round. Even though doctors and nurses and rehab therapists be cray-cray and push you hard and make you cry, they do it all with the goal of restoring your life. They've created a very hard road here, with many hoops to jump through, and a lot of it is painful and feels arbitrary; sometimes they have to force your cooperation. But I've never experienced (yet) a more *patient* population of medical professionals. They can't understand 100% of course, because they haven't been through this themselves, but what compassion they can extend, they willingly and unfailingly do.* From compassion comes love; from love, miracles.
Today is my 20th day on the transplant list and 15th day since my dry run. I so want new lungs, as I am no longer making headway at rehab and am only able to maintain. Moreso, I want Piper to get a few pounds on, get listed, and transplanted before we light a full menorah. And I want Denise to get listed and transplanted just as rapidly. Tonight, I am reminded of the hope this season and these holidays represent as I fervently hope for three miracles in the next eight days.
*Social Work excepted. Because they're bitches. Amen.