Pulmonary Rehab Day (and night) #26
"We're gonna need a montage...a sports training montage..."
If you know what that's from, then you know why it's been going through
my head lately. The days in rehab are beginning to blur together,
especially as many of them are two-parters with lunch and nap in the
break. I am getting stronger, noticeably, beyond what I thought could
be achieved in such a short period of time. But there's still a long way to go to a picture of health.
Yesterday, a small group of us were chatting together after our
workouts and we noted that of the "class" we came in with at the top of
October, only three of us seem to be left, Rodney and Sean's absences
combined with rumour signalling that they got their transplants and are
now in the hospital. (We should see them resurface shortly sans oxygen
tubes!) Mary Francis, James, and I looked around at 1:30 and realized
that we didn't know any of the other people wearing oxygen - they've all
come into the program after us. In such a short amount of time, we've
become the old-timers -- at least as far as pre-transplant life is
But that won't last long. We each of us will soon
be transplanted ourselves, as we are all on the list. I confess I
didn't realize how short a list Duke really keeps until last night. I'd
just finished the first half of dinner and was awaiting the rice to be
ready, watching bad Tuesday-night, 'Murica! Fuck yeah! TV (Agents of
SHIELD), when my phone rang.
"Hi, Cris. This is Sandy, one
of the coordinators...we have an offer for you. How far are you from
the hospital? If you can make it by 9, please check in at Duke Main
Admissions." dot dot dot After a few more details, we hung up and I
knocked on the door to Mom's bedroom, where she was also watching
'Murica! Fuck yeah! TV (Biggest Loser).
"Mom? Hey, I don't
think we're gonna be able to watch our new favorite show tonight at 10."
(Naked Vegas - you've got to check it out.)
"Because we'll be at the hospital." Sly smile.
Mom went bonkers. Given her essential tremor, the adrenaline surge was
like throwing a palsy grenade at her; I almost forced her to pull over
and let me drive. Is this what husbands act like when a woman announces
As it turns out, it was a dry run. You hurry up and
do a bunch of labwork and tests and then sit there for several hours
while they make the final determination whether the lungs are actually
good. In this case, they were not. That's OK - there's plenty of time
and clearly I'm at the top of the list for my blood type and body size.
One take-away from last night, though, is that because I
can't have anything by mouth from that phone call onward, I will, next
time, slug down an Ensure just to make sure there's nutrition going in
and I will also take the few minutes to shower and shave, because if
it's a go, there's no telling when I'll next see a shower!
There will be another call soon, I'm sure. It is to my advantage to
practice meditation, enhance my calm, and be the example I wish to set.
I have no doubt this dry run was as it should be and the next call will
be as it should be, too. They will not implant lungs that are not 100%
ready to sustain a second life.
Last night I was reminded: Duke has my back.