The roller coaster never stops. Randy has been feeling quite well after a shaky start this year. In January he was hospitalized with the CMV virus, and in March with another virus. It has been a tough year for him as his father has been ill and in the hospital as well. Randy and his dad are very close, and it has been hard for both of them as they watch the other fall ill. They make the best of it, laughing about how they are the blind leading the blind, but underneath the joking there is concern and deep sadness for them both.
We flew to Cozumel on June 29th, and it has been a joy to watch Randy snorkeling, walking, and regaining strength after his long bout with a blood clot in his leg. The clot is gone, and Randy has been gaining in strength. Until yesterday. I went diving yesterday morning, and Randy sounded like he might be coming down with a cold or sinus. When I returned from the dive at 130p, I found Randy packed and ready to go. He had a fever, chills and was achy. I drove him to the airport immediately and put him on a plane to Dallas. The doctor wanted him to go straight to the ER at Clements UT Southwestern…and that is where he is now. Another virus, 5 days of breathing treatments, then home. I lost my iphone a week ago, and my internet is not working.
When we were desperately waiting for a lung transplant, all we could think about was getting those lungs. We didn’t think about the future because the present was as much as we could handle. The hope, of course, is that once the lungs are in and recovery has been achieved, life will go back to “normal”. In some respects it has…but for the most part, “normal” has changed. The challenge is Randy’s immune system, which is significantly lowered by the anti-rejection medications. He comes down with illnesses very easily. Everything one can see or touch is a potential source of illness. His new lungs haven’t had much difficulty at all, they have functioned beautifully.
So I am torn. Randy and I have discussed it many times. We agree that I should travel and do the things that we had planned to, and participate in the causes I am committed to. It sounds good, it is rational, an agreement reached by both parties. Randy will be well enough to do some traveling, and to come to Cozumel. But at the first signs of fever and illness, we have decisions to make. And though I know intellectually that it is right for me to take care of myself, to continue as best as I can doing those things we planned to do, there is a part of me that feels guilty. I feel responsible, and always have, for just about everything and everybody. And yes, I work at not feeling responsible. However, if I am honest with myself, and I am, I admit that I feel torn. I want to do what Randy and I have agreed to, which is to continue living my life. I spend probably 85% of my time with Randy, but it is a conflict knowing that he is in the hospital *and I know he will be fine* while I am in Cozumel diving, and heading on a Manta expedition in a week that I’ve had planned for months. And of course, if there is a hint of serious illness, I will fly home.
And so it goes, as the roller coaster takes a stomach dropping dip.