Saturday, April 30, 2005

On Being "Fluffy"

I hope to later write about all of the medications that you have to be on after transplant, dedicating two posts to two drugs that really need to be talked about individually: iron and steriods. But until then, a word on one of the many side effects of steroids:

A couple of years ago, I learned the importance of eating breakfast. I'm not talking about a big breakfast with bacon and eggs and pancakes and sausage (barf), but just the importance of eating something. Even a granola bar in the morning can jump-start your metabolism and help you to maintain a healthy weight. I've always been much more of a grab-a-bagle-on-the-way-out-the-door kind of person, anyway.

This past March, my husband went out of town for a week on business. During that time, I discovered one of the best-kept secrets of West Nashville. There is a little gas station about a mile from my house that makes fresh muffins every morning. And they're cheap. And they're delicious. During the time he was gone, I spent $3 every morning on a diet coke and a blueberry muffin. Yummy. (That's what I call a champion breakfast!)

The cashier that was always on duty every morning was this older gentleman who is not anglo. My best guess is that he's middle eastern (Arabic or something). After I had been in there several days in a row, he decided to start up a conversation with me that went something like this:

Cashier Man: Oh! I am ohsoglad that you found our muffins. You know we make them fresh every day at 6 am.

Me: Yeah, they're great.

Cashier Man (as he rings me up): They are much better for you than donuts.

(Ok, I've gotta confess something here....I had been in there once before and gotten one of those little packages of powdered donuts. If I had known that he was keeping track of what I was eating, I probably would never have come back.....I mean, that's a little weird, right?)

Me: Yeah.......

Cashier Man: That'll be $2.67

Me: Ok

(Digging in my purse for money......)

Cashier Man: You know, I know you're married....

Weird thoughts from me: how does he know this???? I guess he saw my ring.....ok, keep digging for money...

Cashier Man continues: But like to look at pictures of beautiful women on the posters and on the TV and on the computer......

And I'm getting a little weirded out at this post as I hand him the money.....I mean, where's he going with this???

Cashier Man keeps going: Beautiful women that are skinny and wearing almost nothing...but what they really want is a beautiful fluffy woman like you!

Sound of crickets chirping.......

At this point, I bite my tongue, force a smile, and walk out.

I sit in my car in silence for several minutes. I'm trying to force myself to think things like, "He was trying to compliment me....he was trying to compliment me...." But I put my diet coke in the cup holder, the muffin in the passenger seat, put my head down on the steering wheel and I cry.

I started to get angry. I wanted to walk back in and yell at him: "I'm only FLUFFY because I've had a liver transplant and I've been on steroids for 9 months!!! You have no IDEA what you're talking about! So far, I haven't met anyone that's gained less than 60 pounds!! I'm PROUD that I've only gained 20!!" Then I'd throw the muffin at him and stomp back to my car.

But, instead, I dried my eyes, took a sip of my diet coke, and drove to work, eating the muffin on the way.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Why I'm Here

I've been contemplating starting a blog for several weeks now. After intense searching on the web for other blogs or information relating to life after a liver transplant (and not finding much), I decided that it was high time that someone did something about that.

There really isn't much out there, especially for someone my age. I want to know how people who are still trying to figure out who they are handled such a life-altering experience. This blog won't show anyone how they are supposed to live after a transplant, but just how I try to reconcile what has happened to me and who I am; who I am as an American, as a daughter, as a wife, and, most importantly, a child of God.

Right now, I feel like I could sit here all night and write post after post about certain things that I have been seriously pondering since my transplant, but I won't do that. Not only would it be physically draining, but it would wipe me out emotionally, as well. I also don't know how much sense they would make because I have not sat down and really formulated my thoughts in my head. I am hoping that this blog will force me to do that: formulate my thoughts, write them out, and through that process, gain some peace about what has happened to me and maybe even help another young (or not-so-young) person out there who is also facing a transplant.

So, please, comment away, but bear with me. I am going to be as honest as I possibly can about the positives and negatives of the transplant process itself and about the physical and emotional ups and downs that come along with it.