With today being the last day of 2016, there is a lot of contemplation in the air. I know for me it is an important milestone in my life story as tomorrow marks the six month post transplant mark in my timeline of recovery. Six months?! It's surreal.
Apparently surreal is the most popular word of 2016 according to the Merriam Webster dictionary. For me it's almost too fitting for 2016 for me for several reasons.
I turned 30 this year. Which I thought was this moment in life where I would be scared of losing my youthful spirit and become an adult. Which is the farthest from the truth. I realized my adulthood in the fact that I know who I am (for the most part) and what I value in life. Thirty feels pretty great actually.
I was apart of my dad's wedding to an amazing woman who fits so perfectly into our lives and makes him the happiest I have ever seen him. Getting to share that day was really beautiful and special.
I had a second vitrectomy. This one was tough. I found out my retina was detaching in my left eye and immediately had surgery to reattach it to preserve my vision. Three weeks face down is a long time... but I spent most of that time catching up with the world on the Harry Potter train and fell in love. I guess you can say our stories felt somewhat similar. I'd say diabetes has been the thing that shall not be named for most of my life.
I found out both of my parents were donor matches for kidney donation. Both of my parents came to my kidney transplant evaluation and we later found out that both of them were matches to donate to me. I cannot even begin to explain how grateful and surreal it was to know that they would be able to give me a second chance at life. Many people with chronic kidney disease have to wait years for a transplant match. There is such a shortage of organ donations the waiting list is so long some people wait several years to find a match.
If you are not sure if you are an organ donor please consider learning more and adding your name to the list here:
I received a simultaneous pancreas kidney transplant. SO many things about this embody the word of the year. I would say this was extremely SURREAL. From the moment I got the phone call until right now it has been surreal. All of it. The little moments to milestones. The fact that I can eat a pint of ice cream without insulin injections and be in normal blood sugar range after. The fact that I am able to jog, hike and walk miles without feeling like I am hyperventilating. Even just knowing that my body is able to function in a way that it never has before is amazing. Not to mention that somehow I fit two extra organs into my abdomen. Yes, I will win anytime someone wants to play "wanna know something weird?" I have three kidneys and two pancreas.
If you want to hear me talk about my experience through the transplant on a podcast listen to an honest conversation I had on the wonderful podcast Diabetes Daily Grind. Listen here:
I definitely have not battled Deatheaters or Dementors or even Voldemort himself but I would like to self proclaim as the girl who lived this year.
I recently went to Monterey, CA with my mom, stepdad and my partner and we went whale watching. I was reminded of how small we are individually. The humpback whales we were just yards away from gave me a sense of scale I had not thought about in a long time.
Since then I have found myself wanting to connect and share stories. On that scale, when we share our lives and stories with one another I think we begin to grow. The scale tips and we, together, make enormous waves and create change.
Tomorrow will be a milestone in my life but isn't everyday a milestone? We mark New Years as a time to resolve and improve our lives. I am going to start today and continue throughout the year to connect and share my story. I also want to connect and hear other people's stories too.