I like this image because it so well represents my post transplant life during the COVID pandemic (and I was pleased with how the lighting turned out). Currently, I mostly stay home, solo, or hike on my own, even as the world re-opens. The grocery store is a treat during off peak hours; so too is the occasional outdoor brewery with Andy. And it’s not always easy; as an introvert, it’s true that I need my own space & time, but I miss little things like bookstores, coffee shops, going to my gym, and yes, even pool league. (Though I’m a terrible player, just an FYI). So Monday night, I stayed home, drank lots of water, read, watched Outlander, and played a few games of solo pool.
For now, this is just how it needs to be. I’ve told my team that if they need me, I’m here on reserve, but would prefer to play early or late, should they need me at all.
One day, it will no longer be like this. One day, I’ll be able to drink coffee in a lively cafe, and read on a squashy couch between bookstore shelves. I’ll be able to high five others at the gym and cheer teammates on during league play in a crowded pool hall, jukebox music playing in the background. One day I’ll hike a really long trail, climb a very tall mountain far far away. One day my post-transplant life will involve more life and less transplant. One day – and I don’t know when that will be – but one day I will wake up and not think about my transplant first thing, even though it saved my life. (I will always remember & be grateful to my donor, though.) One day, my hair will grow long and I’ll be able to hug my doctors & practitioners, embrace family & friends, and I’ll laugh without a mask in the company of others who also aren’t wearing masks, and enjoy a rooftop sunset from downtown Asheville with Andy, breathing in his scent and witnessing a painted sky as the sun sinks below Mt Pisgah and the stars pop out one by one and think to myself, hot damn I’ve climbed that mountain from the French Broad River.
Those days are not yet, but they will come to pass. They will come to pass. And that gives me hope to keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, every day.