HA! I know how he feels!
My husband, Randy, is two years post a double lung transplant. A double lung transplant is a very serious surgery, and remains a very serious condition (for details, see Our Transplant Journey). The procedure, and a wonderful donor, saved my husband’s life, and I am grateful, but the unexpected can really catch you over your head in an instant! See what I mean?
Last week we discovered that Randy is having a rejection episode, and has e coli in his lung. Randy has had both conditions before, but this kind of news is always a shock. “Rejection” is never a good word…or condition.
On Wednesday Randy had a PICC line inserted so he can take IV steroids and antibiotics every 8 hours, along with breathing treatments through a nebulizer. The good news is he can be treated at home, which tells us that the rejection must be mild or they would have him in the hospital immediately.
There are so many things that can go wrong, and lung transplants have the lowest success rate of any transplanted organs. The lungs are exposed to the air, so the transplantee is always exposed to bacteria, germs, and viruses. It is, shall we say, a given. The unexpected is actually the norm when it comes to lung transplant…you can count on unexpected complications.
I do my best to remain positive…relentlessly so. I know this rejection episode will resolve. It has been a long journey, and often a painful one, since Randy became critically ill in August 2013, but he is here, alive, and for the most part, doing well. These little episodes can be frightening…and sometimes they are not so little, but thank goodness he is permitted to stay at home for this one. It would be difficult through the holidays to have to go to the hospital to visit…but always better than the alternative! We are grateful this holiday season that Randy is alive and mostly well!
There are trials at every stage of life, and midlife has surprised us in many ways. We can plan, but we are always in the hands of fate. We count our blessings, and concentrate on the good things in our lives.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and remember, just breathing is a gift. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so for now, just breathe…and feel the joy it brings! It is the season of miracles.