October 30th, 2013

A year ago today, our crazy adventure in liver transplantation began in earnest. For those of you that weren’t reading the blog back in the early days, here’s a link to Derek’s account of what happened the night the Red Sox won the World Series in 2013.

My Trip to the ICU and a Pragmatic Approach to Coping

Sometimes I think about that night. I think of how lucky we were that his bleed wasn’t more severe, that the hospital was so close to our house, and that the doctors and nurses took such good care of him. I stayed with him overnight in the ICU that first night and then, late into the second night, they took him to a regular hospital bed and told me to go home and get some rest. One of the ICU nurses walked me to the parking garage and assured me he would be taken care of and that it was important that I get some rest. I appreciated her comfort, but I was pretty delirious at that point. By the time I reached the car I was hyperventilating and sobbing uncontrollably. I called my sister who was kind enough to talk me down so I was able to drive home. When I arrived home I had to clean the dishes and pans still filled with food, from the dinner we’d abandoned. And after that, I collapsed for a few hours, with all of my clothes still on, curled up under the covers.

These days, the memory of the fear I felt on the night of October 30th has faded. I remember it like it was a scary movie I watched a long time ago. I flinch when I think about it, but it doesn’t feel real. I’m grateful for that. I am grateful that my brain has the power to soothe me, that it has the ability to soften the edges of that memory.

Most of all, I am grateful that as hard as the process was, at least we didn’t have to wait for months or years for a transplant. Science provided me the opportunity to donate a portion of my liver to Derek, the doctors and nurses helped keep Derek healthy enough to receive a second transplant 28 days later, and 37 days after he was admitted he was home, with his third liver, ready to tackle life.

If you haven’t signed up to be an organ donor yet, and you want to, do it today. Then tell your close friends, family, loved ones and your doctor that when your time is up on this tiny blue dot, you would like to give someone else a second chance at life. If you’ve already signed up to be an organ donor, don’t forget to tell your close friends, family, loved ones, and your doctor. A few months ago we did a segment on the radio show about obituaries. We asked people to submit their own 6 word obituaries. This was Derek’s:

You can sign up to be an organ donor at the following sites:




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