I’m coming to grips with reality. I know the average odds of success and the repercussions of not getting a transplant. Even so, I’ve had to come up with a different mechanism to be comfortable with reality. My brain has finally come up with a way to comprehend and rationalize why I need a transplant. It’s not because I believe I’m sick, but because I believe I can get better. I fundamentally know that I’m sick, but often it’s hard to come to grips with it. Instead of admitting sickness, which to me goes hand-in-hand with an admission that I can’t do something, I would rather think of myself as someone who could get better.
There are some people that have the drive to get better at all stages of their career. Tiger Woods was at the top of the golf world, and hired a new coach to reinvent his swing to become better. Shaquille O’Neal was a fantastic basketball player, but a horrible free-throw shooter. When others started to exploit his weakness, he worked with a coach to become better at free throws. We go see doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, co-workers, friends, other professionals to help us with our weaknesses and make us better. Don’t like to do taxes? Hire a tax professional. Not good at writing up a will? Hire a lawyer. Your liver isn’t good? Hire someone for liver therapy. Or, as it’s more commonly known: a liver transplant.
The professionals who deal with livers and liver disease on a daily basis, i.e. the hepatobiliary division at Lahey Hospital, have identified my liver as being functionally deficient. They have a known cure to improve my life-performance, and the doctors have carefully been monitoring my liver function for a long time. The time has finally come where the risk associated with the surgery is better than that risk of me dying. Yes, it’s hard to admit that death is possible. That’s why it’s better to focus on the more probable, potentially positive outcome of getting better.