Thursday, May 12, 2011

good news however you can get it

This morning, I saw on Facebook that my brother's new catheter was working well. And that it seemed as if his heart tests were fine. 




Even as on one level I'm going through life, getting things done, handling and juggling and dealing - pretty efficiently I might add - on another level my stomach's been in conceptual knots. Actually, I've had a pain in my jaw for days. I can't tell whether it's a toothache, sinuses, a new manifestation of a menstrual headache, or anxiety finding an alternate home. 

I just want my brother to be ok. 

Tuesday and Wednesday I was post-procedure hospital pick-up person. Both days, as I searched for  recovery areas, I nervously travelled beige halls lined with inadequate signage, wandering past medical staff still in surgery scrubs, patients in wheelchairs with tubes up their noses. Hospitals scrub people of their humanity. The harsh lighting, the exposed bodies of strangers on gurneys, the buzzers and blinking lights all can make one, at least me, feel small and lost. 

While to me and my brother every step of this journey is huge, in the hospital he's just another case, another file. 

Tuesday, when I found him after twists and turns on the radiology floor, he seemed fine. A bit sore, but we walked home on a beautiful afternoon, stopping for vegan treats on the way. Yesterday, tracking him down in cardiology, past doors that said "do not enter," wasn't so good. He was exhausted, woozy, dizzy. No wonder. He'd had 2 invasive procedures, 2 rounds of anesthesia, 2 mornings filled with IV's, and iodine stains, and paperwork. 

He is my hero. 

So often he handles this better than I do, with grace, acceptance, a (sometimes punny) sense of humor. 

I'm getting there. 

And so, there's one more round of blood tests he needs to make sure his infection, the one the necessitated the new catheter, the two rounds of antibiotics, the tests to make sure the valves in his heart weren't damaged, has been vanquished. 

If all is fine, we move forward. 

We already have a date. I've got my preliminary testing set up. 

This time I'm not putting anything on my calendar, not sharing it with the world at large, until it's actually happening. 

Being the donor who cried transplant isn't easy. Being the sister who's brother is struggling has been even harder. 

Still though, I believe with all my heart this was meant to be and that all will work out in the end. 

A little faith is a remarkable thing. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elissa,
    Your brother's story is not uncommon as the transplant process can be a roller coaster of events and emotions. It is tough to be on dialysis and to think clearly and make plans. Many patients struggle with things that were easy in the past.
    I hope he continues to improve and things will move forward. Having him healthy will help ensure a better outcome after the transplant. Sending you lots of good wishes and hugs for your bro.
    All the best,