My Double Lung Transplant

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dear Lungs

Dear Lungs:

I love you.

I just checked our functions with the handy microspirometer and it came out at a whopping 1.75L or 75%.

I thought it was a lie. I thought it was b/c i half horked into the machine too. So upon a second (out of the usual 3 we are told to do), i got 1.72L.

It was not a lie. 3rd time was 1.68L. Still not a lie.

How is this possible? For a girl who was dying at 21% a mere 2 and a half months ago, we have glided astronomically up the lung function scale. Something I never thought possible. Truely. Pre-tx I could not imagine that gaining lung function would be so easy, b/c prior to it was just a struggle to stay where i was. I didn't go up; i went down, and i accepted that. High lung function wasn't an option for me and I didn't really care for it. It was something out of my realm and reach and something that I wouldn't ever have the luxery of experiencing, and I more or less accepted it. Being able to breathe normally and not get out of breath doing simple tasks was a way of life that I kind of stopped questioning for myself, but never stopped questioning when i saw how easy it was for other people.

And now I know. And it's so beautiful that it makes me cry.

75%. Who woulda thought?

I love you, lungs. I love you more than you could possibly know. You have not only given me life, but you're sustaining it, thanks to the kind donation of my awesome donor (watching from the shiniest star in the sky), a donor who clearly kept the both of you in awesome, stellar shape. I am glad we were paired up and I was entrusted in your care, b/c i intend to take the best care of you that you could ever imagine. To feel you living, safely ensconced in the (almost healed!) cave of my chest, next to my happy heart, it's pure madness. "Love" may be a four-letter word but to me it radiates so much more.

Dear Old Lungs:

It was been 2 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days since our departure. I never said goodbye. I never really thought of it. I kind of had no thoughts about it at all when it happened. But here we are: me, alive, back home, and you, breadsliced in a lab, or worse, just a single breadslice of lung and the rest destroyed in a fire. It's kind of upsetting from an emotional standpoint to think that such a vital part of me has been cremated and the rest remains completely alive. I don't really know how i feel about it, but you tried your best and you kept me going for 24 years almost. The best thing the lab people could do for you was to give you a rest - though I don't think burning you in a fiery death would be the way i'd go about it. But i wouldn't want you burried somewhere either I don't think...

Anyways. You tried your best when we came into this world together, but unfortunately the world did not like you and my body was not the best place for you to be, as you were the brunt of much abuse. But as abused as you were, you held out for 23 years, and I'm thankful to that. While I hated you from a physical point of view, mentally and emotionally you were the best teacher I could've ever had, and I thank you. But your struggles with me and the world are over now, and may you rest in peace and breathe easy whereever you are. Maybe in your next life you will fair better than you did with me:) I don't wanna say it but I guess i love you too...since we were one just a short while ago.

So new lungs, old lungs, and lungs everywhere: you are awesome.

6 comments:

Amy said...

love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LittleM said...

You are too cute, Bree. I love this post. It made me think too. I may write my own tattered airbags a letter ;) .

BreathinSteven said...

Hey You...

This was an absolutely beautiful post... What you said about both sets of lungs made me cry - but that's OK because I have girlie-lungs too and it's OK to cry now...

I hope your beautiful, new lungs serve you longer than your beautiful, old lungs...

Love, Steve

Kellee said...

This calls for a toast!!
Or maybe 2 or 3 toast ;)

Tina said...

That was beautiful Bree. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself and I'm so happy to see you are enjoying those pink beauties!

realgonegal said...

Re transplant I often would say, "my lungs suck!" But then I realized my old lungs were incredibly resilieant to put up with the shit they were handed genetically for so many years. In made respect they were super lungs... But I loved your love letter to both your old and new lungs. Love checking your blog!