This is what I say when Lee gets discouraged. When he’s feeling weak, when the insane medication cocktail he’s required to consume makes him gag and shake, when food continues to be completely unappealing and he’s lost another pound today -- I say, “We’re finally at the trailhead. We can’t set out yet, but it’s getting closer everyday.”
First we have to pack -- pack a few more pounds and some muscle strength on Lee. Get his medications balanced and reduced from twenty plus in the morning and almost that many before sleep. We have to wait a while yet until his body is sure about welcoming this unfamiliar heart, and we can begin to ramp down from four or five outpatient appointments a week to three a week, then one a week, then one every two weeks. It will be at this point where it will make sense to leave our Noe Valley haven and hit the road again.
We’d both love to leave today. We spend hours pouring over maps and watching videos of other people setting out on adventures in forests, canyons, caves and deserts. We have a growing wish list of supplies we’ll want to order as the time grows closer.
We spent five months not knowing whether this heart transplant odyssey would keep us locked in place for a few more weeks, a few more months or even a year or more. NOW we can almost smell the pine needles and see the sunsets on the insides of our eyelids.
We’re finally at the trailhead...