Thursday, May 19, 2011

Coming Home After A Six Month "Vacation"

Near the end of September I was told I was free! I could finally leave Denver after waiting since May to go home. In July of 2009 I got my second heart transplant at the Denver Children's Hospital, then had to wait three months afterward to make sure I didn't reject. If you don't know: Rejecting my heart is when my T-cells and other various cells in my immune system attack my heart because it's a foreign object inside my body. Then the heart becomes weak and ill, and I would have to restart this transplant process all over again... Lucky for me, my heart was healthy afterward and my scar healed nicely. I was living in The Ronald McDonald House since May and I left near the end of September. If I had to stay any longer I think I would have exploded, you would have had to whip me off the furnished walls.

While I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House I would occasionally have mental breakdowns and cry under the covers until one of my parents noticed how unhappy I was. They would do their usual parent ways of putting a smile back on my face. Which consisted of letting me cry until my eye's were dry, making me hot chocolate and popcorn, and ending the night with watching Harry Potter. So when I was told I was able to go home by my nurse practitioner it was like I just defeating Lord Voldemort and the world became a happy cheesy cartoon again.

When we were unpacking, we decided that all of our belonging wouldn't fit in all our luggage. We had to leave everything we couldn't fit in our suitcases behind and have it sent to us by a friend.(We had a few garbage bags full of stuff we left behind) The minute I stepped on to the plane I already felt at home, and I haven't reached the front door yet. Once we landed we met up with my mom who had my dog in her car waiting for me. I haven't seen my dog since April, so you could imagine why my little pomerianan didn't leave my arms the whole forty-five minute drive back to our new apartment.

In our first apartment I didn't have my own room, I was sleeping on the couch every night I slept over. On the way back I was extremely hyper to see how everything turned out. My mom guided me to the front door once we arrived. I entered casually, dropped my suitcases, and asked where my room was. "The double doors on the right", she responded with a sneaky smile upon her face. I glanced at her, then at the doors, then at her again suspecting something. I was not expecting my two best friends to be on my bed playing UNO while waiting for me to enter. They dropped what they were doing and tackled me to the ground. Then I tackled them to the bed and we sat on my bare mattress talking for hours.

My room had the minimum amount of furniture inside it. A desk, a bed, organizing cubes, and a nightstand were the only pieces of furniture sitting in my room, before my gigantic suitcases took up the entire floor. My friends slept over that night in our new apartment. We played with our feet, found random games in my luggage, ate barbecue for dinner, then stayed up all night talking in the living room when we were supposed to be sleeping.

I was extremely happy to be home and not back in Denver in my very comfortable yet cramped prison cell. Though, I still had cardiac appointments every week to make sure I didn't have to go back to the Denver hospital. But if I was able to go back to school and redecorate my own room, I didn't mind at all.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Morphine Dreams

In the middle of seventh grade my immune system decided to completely shut down on me(because the medications I take lower my fighting cells so I can catch anything I came across). That year of school I was in the hospital for almost a month due to Pneumonia, "Kennel Cough", water around my lungs, and a slight kidney failure.(my heart was fine through it all, just a bit stressed) The first week in the hospital I was unconscious and during that deep sleep I had an unforgettable dream that made absolutely no sense.

I arrived to the hospital at around six in the morning and was transported from Urgent Care to The Children's Hospital by ambulance wearing an oxygen mask on my face. I remember sitting in the emergency room after we arrived for a few minutes looking pale white from lack or blood flow, hunched over ready to throw up again, and tears running down my face. The last thing I remember is lying down before being moved to an ICU room and being told, "Tell me when you start to feel sleepy" and then in a few seconds later the overpowering drug locked my body into a deep sleep. If your wondering if I was still able to dream even by forced sleep? Yes, yes I was.

The dream started out with myself walking through an empty parking lot at night. No cars in sight. Just some twelve year old wearing neon scrubs pacing through empty parking spaces. One of these parking spaces had to be a teleporter because once I stepped over it, half a second later I was in the steam room at Lifetime Fitness. It took myself a few minutes to realize, "Wow! I'm still in scrubs. I should leave before I boil in here."  So I got up but the steam room was so misty I failed to find the door. I started to panic so I banged on what seemed to be the door until someone came to my rescue. When someone opened the door I slipped forward and fell into the person's arms. This person was wearing neon scrubs like me, and I also noticed that he looked similar to the actor Oliver James(You know that guy with black hair gelled into a mohawk who starred in Raise Your Voice and What A Girl Wants).

Anyways, from that moment on I lost my sense of touch and feel, almost like I was paralyzed afterward. My voice was so soft and raspy I wasn't able to get what I was trying to say which was, "Water slide...". Although, he managed to comprehend what I wanted so he continued to carry me like a baby in his arms. Before we left I'm pretty sure he set the steam room on fire then left the locker room with me still in his arm walking casually towards the exit.

Once we found the pool and were almost to the steps of the slide he set me down gently on to the floor and expected me to climb up two flights of stairs by myself, while I still paralyzed . He left without a word and the farther he walked from me that more he dissolved into the air. I was determined to slide down the water slide so I twisted my body so my stomach was facing the floor and started to crawl up each step which felt like it took DAYS! Once I made it to the third to last step someone noticed how weak I was and proceeded to pick me up.

The top of the stairs wasn't just a small area to wait for your turn but it was a medium size bedroom. No furniture just plain white walls with random giant, colorful, square hacky sacks floating in mid-air. Placing me into the tube where the water slide began was more difficult then it needed to be. The woman helping me, also wearing neon scrubs, tried to force me to grab the metal bar on the top of the slide. I could crawl up two flights of stairs but not hang on to a metal bar for a few minutes(probably too exhausted). Since I was being "too difficult" she walked away to find someone else wearing scrubs. Once she came back, two weak women (One in her mid-twenties with brown hair, the other around the same age with blond hair with several piercings in her nose. ) came back placing me in different positions to get me in the right angle to slide down. Apparently that "right" angle was head first and on my back. After they pushed me down I teleported again to either a beach house in Hawaii or a stone hut in Pakistan.

Suddenly, I was lounging in a beige recliner while having a fat Mexican lady, her hair in a bun and wearing Lilo's(from Lilo and Stitch) dress but in purple and green flowers instead, braid my hair. My hair grew significantly long which is why the lady took HOURS braiding it. There were other people around me as well. One guy was shirtless while fanning me with a giant leaf like in the ancient Egyptian time period. Another person was cutting "Around the World Fruit" by my side and feeding me. Someone else was in a black suit who I think was my lawyer, but  he was wearing shades from the matrix and was outside on the phone the whole time.

Between my dreams I woke up for a brief amount of time in the real world, and my parents counting the minutes I've had my eye's closed were ready to take a picture of me with my eye's slightly opened, braided hair,while giving the peace sign(I thought I was gangster back then stop laughing) and then send to all their contacts while labeling the message as: SHE'S STILL FIGHTING!