Today’s weather was – simply stated – beautiful. The morning quickly warmed to the low 60s, with sun and a light wind, and both Mom and I wanted to enjoy as much of it as we could. And after my 5+ week hospital stay, I feel as though I’m making up for lost time.
The plan was to hit up Starbucks, then drive to one of several parks along the Potomac River in Northern Virginia, en route to Henway Hard Cider, selected based on its ample outdoor seating and further distance from DC (avoid crowds!). Mom loves cider and I figured it would be a fun day trip. I knew the parks closer to DC and just off the Georgetown Pike would be swamped, and the parking crisis near Great Falls proved just that. When I saw a small sign indicating Riverbend Park, it seemed just far enough from the main road to not be swamped. It was still busy, but Mom and I masked up and enjoyed a 90-minute walk along the Potomac Heritage Trail.
I really loved being in the woods and on a trail. Sometimes when I’m outside, I’ll even forget that I’ve just had a transplant. That’s how much I feel like myself. Sure, I’ve still got a long LONG way to go, in order to be back in top form. But you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
That being said, I do live in fear. Yes, of course – 2020 has brought with it a global pandemic. But the fear of which I speak, involves Graft vs Host Disease, organ failure/rejection, serious illness or complications, an irreversible damage to my body of some sort. I also fear for the health and safety of my loved ones – Andy and Dad, especially, and BananaBear because as a nearly 13 year old kitty, she’s the “old lady” of our family. I do my best to stay positive and not dwell on the “what ifs….” – but the fear that something will go wrong with my transplant, or life is still very much there. It’s not always easy to live with – so Harry Potter, Netflix, and Hallmark serve as wonderful distractions. I also pull on my DBT skills to help, and they make a world of difference. It’s a constant balance, checking in with my needs and making sure I’m doing what I can to be OK physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s a daily thing, at this point. And I think that it’s something that so many of us live with, in one form or another. In that sense, I’m not alone – and neither are you.
The drive back to Bethesda was, well, a drive. I did what I could to avoid Toll roads, but Siri had better ideas. I disregarded her incessant orders as much as I could, but eventually caved. There’s only so many, “make a U-turn at the light” I can listen to without giving up. Then there was the Toll incident, but we don’t need to delve any further. I was happy to be home, couldn’t stop yawning and flopped onto my bed.
Thankfully, Sunday is the last “beautiful weather” day for a while. Next week brings rain, snow and cold, which is fine by me. I can catch up on some well needed rest, sleep, put together a gift or two and have general downtime before Andy’s holiday visit. Yay. Goodnight!