After a whirlwind weekend in Asheville, I’m safely back at the NIH. And I should note that “whirlwind” is in reference to the 16-ish hours of driving between Friday and today, and is NOT representative of “whooping it up” or whatever kids these days are saying. It was actually a very nice, low key and mostly socially distant weekend with Andy and the kitties, with the exception of Juicy Lucy’s on Saturday. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a great burger and good people. We sat in the back and had a lovely cameo appearance with our friend Kurt, who happened to be working that day.
And honestly, after a week of clinic and appointments, scans and blood draws, it was just nice to feel normal, to not think about my upcoming transplant. Plus, the food is insanely good – eating out in the time of COVID is a luxury, but post-transplant, eating out won’t be happening due to the dangers of food-borne illness. SO, I will safely enjoy now while I can.
Monday morning came all too early, and even though I know I’ll see Andy when he comes out to visit this weekend, I teared up. Saying good-bye to the kitties was even more difficult. I love them so much, and I won’t see them for several months. WB, Ali & Monster are all under six years old, but BB is my little old lady at 12, almost 13. She and I have been through a lot together, and I want her to be OK when I’m gone.
That’s another part of this transplant process – knowing that I’m going to be in the hospital for a while, at least a month, and worrying about loved ones. I know that life continues on; I just don’t want anything bad to happen to my friends or family. And honestly, that’s just silly – because what’s going to happen will happen. Perhaps it’s an issue of control. I want everything to be okay, but it’s not something that I can have any influence on. I just need to let it be.
OK – enough of that.
The rest of my drive was good, albeit rainy. Crossing into Virginia from Tennessee on the 81, the rain increased steadily. I entertained the notion of hiking Mt. Rogers, the VA highpoint; once I saw the rain and chilly temps this morning, that idea was quickly abandoned. The mountain isn’t going anywhere. Perhaps it’ll be a great post-transplant goal when my Team gives me the A-OK.
Now I’m checked in and have been COVID screened three times – first at the Clinical Center (a must before entering the family lodge), second at the Family Lodge, and third, by my research nurse, Lisa. It’s all part of living in the time of COVID. I heated soup and had some kind of beef bar stick thing for dinner – after 8 hours of driving, most of it in the rain, I really wasn’t picky. The hot tea hits the spot and I’ve got several good books to choose from.
And finally, because there IS such a thing as Corgie guilt. You’re welcome.