My Three Year Anniversary

Today marks the three year anniversary of my liver transplant. It also marks the day that my son would have turned three.

It amazes me just how far I have come- both physically and emotionally:

There was the week long coma I had to recover from with my own realization of what I had just been through. The learning of new medical terms and medications. The month long healing from the operation. Dialysis every week while waiting for my kidneys to start working again. The staples and tubes getting removed. Four months of physical therapy to learn how to walk and feed myself. Bi-weekly blood draws and Prograf level changes. Learning to take care of our son with his own set of disabilities. Being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Watching our son die and somehow finding the strength and will to carry on. Writing that first letter to the family of my liver donor. The volunteer work with the American Liver Foundation. The willingness to share my story in hopes of helping others. Finishing the sweater that was meant for our son and in doing so, rekindling my love for knitting. Joining the Boba knitting group and meeting Cookie A.. Coping with my Sickle Cell Anemia and its attack on my new liver. Accepting the fact that I could never get my old life back, but must now learn to create a ‘new’ life for myself.

I’ve come a long way, but it has not been a lonely journey. I would not be where I am today without the love and support of my doctors, family and friends. My biggest thanks goes to my husband. He is the person who has allowed me to lean on him so much without complaint or showing any sign of weariness. I always knew he was the love of my life. I just never knew he would become the hero of my life as well. Honey, I love you!

To Cory, my donor, and to all those who have made the decision to become organ/tissue donors- I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without your selfless act of kindness, I, along with thousands of others would not be here today. Thank you for making the choice to give someone you may never meet, a chance at life.

You are welcome to join me tonight in raising a glass in celebration of my anniversary. May these three years be just a small part of the many years of happiness and good health to come!


I Can Hear The Bells

Well, its taken a long time for me, but I finally caught the bug. I’ve got royal wedding fever! It’s surprising that I hadn’t gotten into it earlier with almost every magazine talking about it. (of course, going to see Walt Disney Princesses On Ice may have had something to do with the sudden fever.) I’ve always been more of a Queen Elizabeth fan. Will and Kate have just taken a long time to grow on me.

Prince William and fiance Kate Middleton

Will I be watching the wedding on tv along with millions of other people around the world? Most likely not. It’s not that I don’t want to, but the moment I plan to watch some big event on television, something major happens in my life. Don’t believe me. Here, I’ll prove it. I really had planned on watching the 2008 summer Olympics.  I was even looking forward to hosting a few Olympic-themed parties during the event. I woke up from my coma the day after the opening ceremonies! And all the award shows that have happened so far this year? Either I was in the hospital or at the airport. Go figure. So, I’m not pressing my luck on being able to see any part of the wedding on tv the day of the event. Instead, I’ll catch the highlights on YouTube.

But in  honor of the upcoming wedding, I do plan to make a pair of socks in celebration of this royal event. They will be elegant, soft, feminine and fit for a princess. I hope to have the pattern posted before wedding day.

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011: Better Off Not Knowing

All this week my postings are a part of the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week. To learn more about it, just click here.

Strolling through my local thrift store the other day, I came upon a hand knitted hat hanging on a hook. I pull it down to examine it closer. It was small, pale blue and  knitted in simple stockinette. It was made for an infant. I wondered about the story and life behind this little hat. Maybe a grandmother had knitted it for their new grandson. Now that grandson is all grown up and headed off to college. Or maybe, like myself, some kind stranger knitted it for charity, hoping it would warm the head of a poor unfortunate child in need. Hopefully that child has grown up to become someone willing to help others the way someone had helped them.

Then a thought struck me hard in my heart. What if this hat was never used? What if the intended recipient never got a chance to wear it? At home at the very bottom of my stash box I have a small dark grey sweater and a half-finished white baby blanket. Both items were meant for my son. Neither item had the chance to be used.

I had a lot of grand knitting  and crochet plans while I was pregnant, but those plans were brutally interrupted with my acute liver failure and the untimely birth of my son at only 26 weeks while I was in a coma. Instead of showing off  my bundle of joy wrapped in some fancy crochet blanket, we both laid in the hospital fighting for our lives.

His christening gown would never be finished. Instead, he was baptised while covered in tubes and wires a day before his death at the age of only six month.

There would be no fast clicking of needles or the magic of my hook making cloth out of thin air. It would take me a month to learn how to feed myself and another three months to learn how to walk without assistance. My son would spend the first three of his only six months of life in a hospital, never to fully recover from his early birth under such extreme conditions.

My son and I would become known for being the hospital’s  first successful rare back to back liver transplant and child birth at 26 weeks. I would have rather been known as the mother who knits her son way too many socks.

I look back down at the hat in my hand. Maybe I’m better off not knowing the story behind this little hat. Besides, I carry far too many unfinished stories of my own.