Memoirs of Carlos's Liver Transplant · Uncategorized

What Dreams Are Made Of

Finally we were in Miami.  My memories of our flight are  a distant blur because the sense that everything I was living was surreal,  just lingered on.  I sat very close  to the cockpit and when we were close or over Cuba they pointed it out.

The ambulance rushed us to Jackson Memorial Hospital, in what seemed seconds Carlos was being prepped to go into surgery.  What I didn’t realize was that not only he was being prepped, but simultaneously  two more patients.   One that would receive a pancreas and a kidney right there, and another in Atlanta waiting for the lungs and the heart.

During all that time, I focused only on Carlos never thinking a bit more.  I didn’t even think about the aftermath of it all.  The drive that would make my  dream a reality  was just getting him there, where we were.  I had to pinch myself to believe it.  My only one big paralyzing fear was that something would prevent him from receiving that precious organ, his new liver.

After all the signatures, the obliged medical forms we were ready finally ready!  Both of us, he was ready to receive his liver and I was ready to let him go.  I had taken him where he was and just for a moment I savored it all.

They let me into a room, where patients were rolled into a hall that took them to surgery.   Actually I saw a doctor come out with a red ice box (like the ones you take to the beach) and someone said, there goes the heart and the lungs.  A patient is waiting for them in Atlanta.

He got his first happy shot, and I was asked to leave.  His coordinator would keep me informed throughout the surgery in a big waiting room close to the front door.  I felt so overwhelmed that I simply told him that I loved him and that I would see him in recovery.

After those doors closed, I felt lost for a brief moment.  We had made it!  There was only one thing  that was bothering me, I really  hadn’t considered what would be happening after.  Probably because deep inside I was always scared of not making it up to here.

Finally, after a very long wait, some doctors came to see me.  Carlos was doing as good as they could expect.  His surgery had gone fine, and he was in the ICU, his coordinator would come to speak to me later about when I could see him and all the other things I would need to know.

I called home and told everyone that up to the moment, everything was good to go.   I drowned the voice in my head that whispered, “Now what?”

I knew that we were about to begin a new chapter in our lives.

One that I really hadn’t planned around, but this time  I looked down the road I began dreaming of making a life with the man I had just married five years ago. I could begin dreaming once more of getting old with him and enjoying shared memories of raising a family.

Finally, I would get a shot of  knowing  what dreams were made of.

via morgueFile
via morgueFile




Have you ever felt that nothing protects you from the mishaps of life?

During my life time  I’ve felt vulnerable only in several occasions.

One that is embedded in my memories would be the day my best friend’s husband called me to tell me that she had been hit by a car and had died almost immediately after.   Words fail to describe how vulnerable I felt during those brief moments.  Pain ripped through my body and soul as I realized that things like this happen, and that they can happen to anyone. 

via morgueFile

Going down memory lane would have to  be,  the day I was rushed to a nearby hospital and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit without even having a diagnose of what was happening to me.  I was terribly ill, but doctors couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with me.

I could have been easily on a House episode during that time.  I was so afraid of dying, my life had been turned around and no longer was I healthy or would be in the near future.

via morgueFile

It seemed my life had fallen into a pit, that I no longer controlled the events that were taking place.

I felt the raw vulnerability of a newborn.

I felt naked in a world of dressed people with nothing to protect me from anything or anyone.

When we’re ill our world changes and our independence is lost with so many other things.  We feel that nothing stands between us and life.  All our barriers are gone, leaving nothing left except our bare essence.

It’s like taking a free fall into a bottomless pit.  You just fall suspended in time and space without a notion of what will happen next.

Today as I visited my father-in-law I looked at him and these thoughts crept inside me and left me cold with despair.  He clings on to my mother-in-law,  not wanting to let go because he’s afraid something will happen while she’s gone during every other night she travels home to catch some sleep and do some laundry.  She usually rushes back back with the break of dawn the next morning.

via google images

I know exactly how he feels and I really can’t blame him.  He’s not acting up or being selfish for wanting her and her only.  She’s his life line,  the one that protects him from life itself,  she  has become the barrier between him and cancer.

How would you deal with this re-discovered vulnerability? Why do I say it’s re-discovered?  Basically because  we’re born vulnerable and stay this way until we are old enough to face life and begin constructing barriers to protect ourselves.

Do we need to go back to our childhood and just learn to toughen up?

I really don’t have the answers, because each one of us is different.  Each and every one of us deal in different ways with our issues and work around them.

However, who ever will try to cope with vulnerability needs to accept that life sometimes brings on terrible things upon us.

We just need to learn to work ourselves around them in a way that we can learn  to cope with life’s tragedies and pits.

via morgueFile

It’s like learning to walk again.

The best part of this all is that after facing our vulnerability we come out stronger.  We pull through without knowing we were strong enough to make it all way down.

Even if we thought that our free fall would last forever the sudden thump of the ground below us makes us realize that we’ve made it through.  The thump hurts like hell, but we’re still alive and struggling to leap on our feet.

I made it through and so many of you too, and I have faith that my beloved father-in-law is also going to make it all way to the bottom to just jump right up and stand once again.

It’s all about embracing our new circumstances and moving on.

Welcoming back our own vulnerabilities as if we were children learning to walk once more.  As a child taking his or her first steps towards a new stage in their lives.

via google images

Vulnerability is painful, but at the same time beautiful because we can emerge from it as the phoenix with re-owned strength and courage to face whatever it is we need to.

And that my dear friends is what life is all about!