one of my bestest memories of daddy was a fishing trip he took my brother and i on when we were very wee...
daddy always treated us as peers, speaking to the air above our heads, never earthbound and never setting his voice box to "baby talk". and so when i hook, lined and sinkered something heavy, he danced, fleet of foot, in circles around me; refusing to lend hand, but joyously crying screams of encouragement. and so, with red, raw palms, salty, wet skin and one final, tremendous tug, i landed my prize on the shore.
one giant sneaker.
silence. and then laughter. uproarious. the ultimate fishing cliche at our feet. and had i caught it.
today, i felt like the fish i never caught.
floundering, unfocused, gasping for air. flipping back and forth within the depths of my grey (matter). nearly coming to blows with the head of transplantation at cedars-sinai; swimming upstream against a current of resistance.
"there is no compromise!"...
"but i can't walk!"
"i understand how hard these side effects are, but the first year is critical for transplants. you will just have to power through the next 5 months..."
["power through?" where did you come up with that mantra? from the pamphlet "how to deal with the psychotic immunosuppressed patient?]
my gut spills over my jeans like a scallop's innards. i have gained 10 lbs. in 2 weeks, all fluid, vacillating throughout the day like a blow fish. catch. release. catch. release. and my body spasms, twitches and throbs, like the dramatic convulsions of a guppy's final breaths.
when i returned to klean, i was still bleeding from the mouth, hook intact. caught...caught between two diseases.
[hmmm...which should i focus on now...recovery? transplant? recovery? transplant?]
but therapeutic measures soon filleted me wide, allowing frustration out the door and potential to tip toe back in. me, craving salt water, so tired of salty tears...
["i have to tell you, your courage and willingness to face everything in your recovery has inspired me as a therapist..."
"you have such an amazing spirit...keep on writing...it's so fantastic..."
"when you are not caught up in your illness, you are an asset to the earth..."]
am i a bloody, blubbery, bloated mess ready to be flushed out to sea?
or have i the guts to be sliced into the finest fillet?
i think i'll go fishing.