a new kind of worry

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.

November 3rd, 2012 - a new kind of worry

The day after Matilda's transplant was overwhelming.

Matilda lay quietly, still on life support, with her abdomen open and a dozen IVs pumping continuously. But, she was alive. Doctors, nurses, technicians, social workers, specialists, and surgeons flooded our room throughout the day.

During the days leading up to her transplant, no one made eye contact and everyone looked grim, but now the air felt so different. The weight had been lifted and smiles were endless. She was not out of the woods – everyone was sure to tell us – but she looked great.

But for me, it was not over, there was a new kind of worry.

Sure, the worry of death was fading. The doctors had confidence as they looked over labs, performed ultrasounds, and talked of when to close her abdomen up. Matilda had said goodbye to death, but he never said goodbye to me.

Post-transplant life had a whole new set of worries. This wasn’t a quick fix – something that will just solve itself and go away. There will always be a chance of rejection. There will always be medication. There will always be blood work to be done. She will always be immune compromised – to some degree. She will always have complications with a life full of doctor appointments and bills.

This new kind of worry was a more relaxed at-least-we-bought-some-time kind of worry, a we-can-handle-it kind of worry, an it-will-all-be-okay kind of worry. But it still hurts and, worst of all, it never goes away.

The day after Matilda's transplant was overwhelming.

Realizing what happened was exhausting. But Matilda was breathtaking – the most beautiful little thing, with an entire world of people standing behind her smiling and cheering her on. Cheering me on. It was a new kind of worry, a new life to begin that day.

And for the first time in my life, I wasn't afraid. Because if we were able to overcome this, then nothing could stop us now. Not statistics, not worry, not medication, or bills.


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