I’m Doing Really Well

I’m doing really well. At first I believed that was just what my doctor told me to get me to stop asking questions. He is always in a rush to leave the room. “You’re doing really well,” he would repeat. “Okay,” I would think. But I am in more pain today than I ever was in the hospital. But I am constantly irritated and all my relationships are strained. But I wish I had my old life and poor excuses for lungs back.

I’m doing really well. I’m scared to admit it because I know how quickly things can change. I know there are other patients working just as hard as I am and not seeing the same benefits. Even as I write this I am not sure I will share it publicly. I’m still adjusting to this new life and every day is challenging.

I’m doing really well. My six-week bronchoscopy showed no signs of rejection. The numbers monitoring my lung function improve weekly. The Radiology staff can’t help but vocalize their satisfaction with my images. For the first time in sixteen years I am not taking Lasix, a potent diuretic that flushes nutrients from my body and can have long-term effects on kidney function. Stopping Lasix means I can delete the public restroom locator app from my phone. My doctor told me it is okay for me to move away from the hospital now—a full month sooner than predicted. I’ve been reticent to share all this good news; guarding myself from the expectations it brings.

I’m doing really well. Now I can feel it. I have muscle. I can hike and talk and catch my breath, all at the same time and without stopping. My Apple Watch tells me I walk more than five miles each day. I am hatching Pokémon like never before.

I’m doing really well. Last night I fought back a huge smile after a speedy post-workout shower. Sweating is brand new to me. So are showers that don’t begin with the application of Tegaderm dressings and end with a fifteen-minute sterile bandage change.

I will stay in Palo Alto for another week to pack and finish a round of appointments. Then I will begin the transition by living in Santa Rosa with my parents. I do not know when I will be ready to move back to San Francisco on my own. I do not know when I will start working again. I do not know how long it will take me to make sense of all that has happened in four months. I am still reeling from this experience: it has made me question everything I know about time and memory and rates of change. I hope someday I will find words to describe it all, but today I know I’m doing really well, and I can wait to ask the rest of my questions.


13 thoughts on “I’m Doing Really Well

  1. Colleen says:

    You’re doing really well. Bask in those words precious one, hold them as close as you can and as lightly as a butterfly on your fingertip. You and I both know how life ebbs and flows. God bless your spirit and know that this one person is praying for “you’re doing well” to become an anthem in your heart. Please give your mom a hug for me, I love her dearly.


  2. Katrin says:

    This made me cry. In a good way. Thank you for letting us into your world, a world I can’t even begin to imagine. Keep writing. Keep breathing. Keep catching Pokémon. You are in our thoughts. A lot.❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melanie Muñoz says:

    Even if there is a lot of questions, even if the answers are vague or unknown, I am glad you see the strength and power of the fact that “you are doing really well” ❤ As for everyone over here, that's what we want to hear from you always. I'm thrilled to read you are well. Love you immensely and I'm glad you are finding yourself in this new journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kathleen, I am so happy for you. You are doing really well. You’re life will not be back on its original track, though. You are laying a brand new track that is better. Stronger. With more possible than you could ever dream of.
    Never give up!


  5. Aggie Stefanelli says:

    So happy for you and that ‘you are doing really well’….that’s all you need to be doing for now…wonderful news for you and your blog was perfectly said! Stay positive…that’s all we can do!


  6. Pingback: The Value of a Friend Who Breathes Heavily - BioNewsFeeds

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