Sunday was another most excellent day involving food, friends, road tripping, seeing kitties, and an evening couch date involving several episodes of House. Our alarm went off sometime around 6:30 am, and at 6:54, Frenchie had texted Andy that “breakfast is served!” There were lovely pastries, a sausage & potato skillet, freshly squeezed orange juice and the biggest bowl of fresh fruit I’ve seen in a long time. So I made a beeline for the fruit.
And while Andy and I had planned a low key breakfast with my friend Mer and her family, Frenchie and Elizabeth insisted. So we became hobbits for the day, with first breakfast, second breakfast, etc. It was lovely. I generally stuck with fruit and juice – my stomach felt OK, perhaps slightly wobbly from the re-introduction of so many raw oysters the previous night. Then there was the Ahi tuna and the meats and cheeses that preceded dinner. Closing my eyes, I tried to wipe the oyster and ahi memories from my brain…ugh. I can’t remember eating so many delicious things, with strong flavors – I did my best to have small bites; it was a lot for my stomach to handle after 7 months of not eating foods like this. Thankfully, all was well and I only had one close moment of feeling the need to run to the bathroom.
Andy and Frenchie said their good-byes, which involved a lot of back slapping, picking each other up in bear hugs, and one spinal decompression. Elizabeth and I just watched, a combination of alarmed, amused and horrified. Thankfully, no one needed medical attention and before too long, we were on the road to Mer’s house!
I met Meredith….oh gosh…way back in 2009 perhaps? Maybe 2008? I had just moved to Carlsbad, California and was getting ready to transition to racing Ironman Triathlons (2.4 mile swim + 112 mile bike + 26.2 mile run). The two of us had mutual friends, were both military spouses and just enjoyed each others’ company, and we quickly became friends. In 2010, when I had a DVT/PE and spent 8 days in the hospital, Mer would visit while her Mom took care of her then newborn, Soren, in their car outside the hospital. She’s been incredibly supportive and I always appreciated her friendship and the fun times we shared, the epic bike rides we completed. Eventually we both left SoCal and a lot of things changed, but kept we touch through FaceBook. One of the wonderful things about this transplant blog, is that several people from my past have reached out, including Mer – it has meant so much during this process.
And as Mer’s family is now stationed in the Norfolk area, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a quick hello! I was thrilled to see Dave and Soren, and meet Rhys and Cormac – in chatting with Mer, it felt like nothing had changed, that no time had passed – although it clearly had. I also loved introducing everyone to Andy, as he’s only been in my life for a shortish time (though it feels like a comfortable forever). We had a blast!
Eventually, Mer’s family needed to leave for a soccer game (awesome!) and we needed to make the 6.5-hour drive home to Asheville. Andy drove, I slept, we chatted and sometimes there was just a comfortable silence between the two of us. An hour away from home, we stopped for Subway; I opted to save my sandwich for later. When we got home, the second rug had arrived and we quickly played “rug swap” – placing the more colorful rug downstairs.
Once the laundry had been started, rugs re-arranged, and travel things put away – it was time. My FIRST sandwich that contains deli meats, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and everything fresh in 6.5 months! Honestly, when I was ordering, I had a brain fart on what a cucumber was….I was momentarily stumped. It’s been so long. But my sandwich was wonderful, absolutely delicious. I made funny noises and Andy was amused, but I didn’t care because it just tasted wonderful!
Physically I’m feeling OK – it was a long several days with a lot of activity and changes for my body, so by Sunday evening, I was ready to crash. My facial skin continues to do better on my new rosacea medication, as does the dermatitis on my chest and umbilicus (bellybutton!) with the new cream. My lower back was a bit sore, but after a lot of hours in the car and sleeping away from my own bed, that’s to be expected. Otherwise, I’m grateful to the NIH, Andy, good friends, all the foods, being off Tacrolimus and my donor!
Have a terrific week Everyone!