One year ago today, Derek and I had our midsections cut open and our insides rearranged. A little part of me was transferred to his body. I don’t remember too much from that day, but I do remember listening to ACDC Thunderstruck on the way to the hospital to get pumped up. I remember giving Derek a quick kiss goodbye as I left him in the waiting room. I remember getting undressed and then bursting into tears before managing to swallow my fear. I remember telling the anesthesiologist that I was a wuss and I remember holding my surgeon’s hand. I felt 100% determined that morning to succeed, despite being terrified I would fail.
When I woke up from my drug induced nap, the first thing I did was ask for Derek. And when I finally saw him, when the night nurses wheeled me over to him in the PACU, I was so relieved he was alive. Despite the fact that we were both a straight up mess, tubes coming out of everywhere, severed abdominal muscles, throats that felt like sandpaper, we were alive. The scar on my stomach is a beautiful tattoo, and a reminder that when my best friend needed help, I was able to give him another chance at life.