Today I’m celebrating eleven years breathing with a double lung transplant! Even though a decade has passed, this particular day is still overpowered with great emotion for my family and I. The following timeline is unfortunately an accurate account of my life. It was my intention to write only small snippets of happiness.
I am twelve years old when I lose my hearing from ototoxic medication. Over a period of one year, suddenly I am deaf. I am forced to lip read, watch closed captioning, and learn basic sign language. I’m not included in conversations, I can’t speak on the telephone, and I cannot hear the one thing I love most- music. I am also diagnosed with cystic fibrosis related diabetes.
Watching TV makes me happy.
I am thirteen years old when I am added to the United Network for Organ Sharing lung transplant waiting list. I’m wearing oxygen twenty-four seven. I can barely walk across a small room without gasping for air. I am sleeping in a sitting position to avoid coughing every night. I am attached to I.V. medications, I swallow a handful of anti-bitoics and vitamins every day. I am suffering. I am strong, but I am tired. (Matthew 11:28) I have never prayed before, but I am desperate. I ask God to send me Home.
Jesse McCartney makes me happy.
I am fifteen years old when I receive a double lung transplant on March thirteenth two-thousand-seven. Recovery was the most difficult experience of my life. Despite making it this far, I still want to give up. My kidneys are failing immediately afterwards and I am at the hospital three days a week for three hours of dialysis. Four months after my lung transplant I receive a kidney from my mother. I am diagnosed with PTLD seven months after my lung transplant. I am able to bypass chemo therapy after adjusting medications.
My dad makes me happy.
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Everyone experiences fear at some point in their lives. Overcoming addiction, near death experience, spiders, snakes, heights, harsh judgement, anxiety, anger, rejection, or seeking acceptance. These things can show up for only a short amount of time, or in other instances they can be life-long battles. No matter how long your fear lasts, it has the same effect on everyone.
It may take weeks, months, or even years to build up fear and eventually loose sight of your passion, loose sight of your purpose, loose sight of who you are, and what you want. Fear is a one way street, which means it also takes a while to reverse- to gain back your confidence, your determination, and your happiness. Confidence takes time. Determination takes time. Happiness takes time. You need a significant amount of patience, courage, and perseverance. You can and you will discover your will to live.
Fear will consume you if you let. It will not win. Tackle your fears. Take that giant down with a giant leap of faith.
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