a surprise visit

Every Thursday I look back at a specific day and time that was spent with my daughter Matilda as she waited for, received, and recovered from a liver transplant. She was in the hospital for 72 days and we remained in NYC until she turned four months old.

October 31st, 2012 - a surprise visit

We got a surprise call from our friend Tyler Paul. It turns out that he got stuck in NYC and had to wait out the storm. Today was the first day that he was able to come for a visit and was at a nearby coffee shop trying to get internet access and charge his phone.

After a very suspenseful and emotional weekend, we welcomed the distraction and comfort that only a good friend can bring. He came up and saw a much different Matilda than he had seen just a few days earlier. She was now intubated and covered with more and more wires and tubes. He didn't know what to say or how to act, but we didn't mind. Just having him there made us feel loved.

I hadn't been able to make it back to the RMH for four or five days and was in serious need of a shower, so he offered to drive me - he had borrowed a friend's car. About five blocks in, we quickly realized that driving in the mess of the city was far more difficult than walking.

We were stuck in traffic.

A wave of panic rushed over me and I suddenly wished that I had not left Matilda. Spending time with my baby was far more important than taking a shower. I wondered if I should apologize, hop out, and walk back to the hospital. He would understand. But instead I said nothing, I did nothing. We waited in traffic.

Tyler texted, Matilda was fine.

We reached the RMH, I showered and was ready to head back in no time at all. Everything was always rushed when I was away from Matilda. Tyler Paul could feel my tension and tried to think of things to ease my panic. He asked if we would ever move to the city. I told him that I just wanted to go home to Montana, that living away from support was too hard, that life seemed too complicated, and that home seemed safe.

He asked questions about Matilda's care post transplant, what life would look like, and how we would pay for everything. They were all really good questions, and I told him none of it was important. I could not worry about things I didn't know for certain would happen. All that mattered was today.

He treated me as a friend should and I was so thankful. As tense as I was about being away, I also felt an incredible sense of relief, that is until Tyler texted. Matilda was doing well, but there were some difficulties in getting a new line placed - she had sprayed blood all over the room.

Our urgency to get back was heightened. When we rounded the corner to the PICU, I never felt as much relief as I did when I saw Tyler laughing with the doctors. All was well.

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