Happy 2017 everyone!! Wow, what a crazy year 2016 was for the two of us. It's strange to think that this time last year we were days away from moving Rima out to Colorado. I drove Rima out west at the start of this past January. At that time we were under the impression that she would be able to get her transplant in Denver. We had it all planned out. It was going to work great with her living at our brothers while she was listed and I would move out in the spring and be her caregiver. We would have the transplant done in a city where we knew people. Where we had been to many times and were comfortable with. So much has changed in just 365 days.
The new year is a time for reflection and resolution for many. A time to set new goals or pick up goals that have fallen along the sidelines earlier that year. Goals that have all the good intentions of improving oneself inside and out. This year, our goals are a bit different than most but still have that better oneself theme. This year, 2017 Rima will get her new lungs.It's not a question of if, but when. We had hoped that she would have them going into 2017 but unfortunately the universe had different plans. We may not like them or agree with them but there's not much Rima or I can do. I've done a lot of "this is the night we get the call" type of thoughts before going to sleep, but all in vain.
Looking back at 2016, we accomplished a lot considering our current situations. Rima moved to Colorado, something she has always dreamt about, she finally did. I also moved to Colorado. Then we both relocated to Minneapolis until further notice. In one year Rima has lived in three states. For anyone that's a big deal but for someone with CF that's huge. Even though Minneapolis was not our number one choice it's still a pretty cool place. Some people live in the same city or state all their life, which is wonderful for them, but me, this is city number seven and Rima number three. She has some catching up to do. What I'm saying is that even with the current state of affairs, waiting for the transplant and all, Rima was able to do what most CF patients can't. That's a huge achievement and inspiration if you ask me. If you set your mind to it you can achieve anything you want. Well, 2016 that's exactly what Rima did. She rolled with the punches and I think came out on top. More geographically, with our current location in the US, but you get it.
It's been a year learning for the two of us. Going through a transplant, let alone a double lung transplant will turn anyone's head into a melted plate of cheese. All the information that has to be absorbed. All the details of what to do what not to do. All the medical terms that honestly I swear they make up to make their jobs seem so unattainable to non-medical professionals. What once stressed me out, work drama, or nightmare clients, now I laugh at. Photo shoot planning that would keep me up at night, pshhhhhh. I can handle anything after this past year, and will even more with what's to come. After this is all done and we're back in Colorado, I'm putting this on my resume. Produced a double lung transplant 2016 - 2017 and continuing. Man, if that can't land me a job then I don't know what will.
2016 has also been the year where Rima has had her longest hospital admissions. She had a couple of two week ones in the spring. This past summer she was in and out of the hospital every few weeks. Not a real summer by anyone's standards. That's what prompted our sudden relocation to Minneapolis. If she was going to be in the hospital it was best if she was in the hospital where the transplant would happen. This past Sunday marks eight weeks straight of living in the hospital for Rima. That's a ridiculous amount of time to be in any hospital if you ask me. She is taking it like a champ. Actually better than a champ, because any athlete would not be able to compose themselves with the composure and grace Rima has, being locked in here. I keep telling her how impressed I am with her attitude and mood. I told her shes allowed to be mean, nasty and even throw things at me if she wants. But no, she's laughing and being silly and going on 1.5 mile walks around the hospital and U of M campus hallways. She's a rockstar!
How did we spend Christmas and the last few days of 2016, well let me tell you. Our big brother Paul flew in from Colorado to spend Christmas with us. We were so excited about his visit. We love when people come visit us. I think Rima is getting sick of seeing just my face, ha. He flew in on the 23rd late at night. He would be in town till the 28th so plenty of time for us to harass him. On the 24th one of Paul's good friends was in town, he is from the Minneapolis area. We did not sneak Rima out of the hospital and go to his parent's house to see him and his wife and his family. We did not have a good time, because we did not go. Rima is not allowed to leave the hospital grounds. As the upstanding law abiding citizens that we all are, we obviously did not break any rules.
On Christmas I cooked a bunch of food for us to eat at the hospital. I even made an apple pie. We watched Christmas movies, ate, listened to Christmas music, ate some more, went on a walk around the hospital and showed Paul Rima's stomping grounds. All in all it was a wonderful Christmas. The next day we did not sneak Rima out of the hospital. We did not go out for pizza to our favorite pizza place in the city. We did not eat pizza. We did not have a fun time. We did not take any pictures. That's just how talented I am at photoshop, it looks like we went out, but we didn't.
Monday night Paul had a sleepover with Rima in the hospital. He has never slept over at the hospital with Rima. In all the years of her being admitted I was always taking up all the sleepovers. Finally, Paul got his shining moment. I believe it lived up to all his expectations. Rima, was happy as a clam, which is really all that matters in this scenario. Tuesday morning Rima had some cute huskies visit her. A while ago Cassandra came with her two pups, Bella and Gir and she was able to swing a second visit while Paul was in town. Rima's room was covered in hair again, but no one cared. Wednesday was Paul's last day with us, he was flying out that night. We did not go out for pizza again. We also did not go real estate gawking and show him our favorite neighborhoods to creep in. We did not have an impromptu photoshoot by some vintage signage. We did not take any pictures, again. I know, my photoshop skills are so on point.
For new years I wanted to do something special for Rima. There are too many adjectives to describe what 2016 has been to her. Unfortunately what I really wanted to do with her will have to wait for another new year. Going to a tropical island snorkeling with glow sticks and mojitos just didn't fit into our "busy" itinerary this year. So instead option number two had to suffice. I did not take Rima out to a sushi date. Afterwards we did not go to a speakeasy and have a mocktail. We did not get dressed up and takes pictures. I swear I think I missed my calling with how good I am at this faking photos thing. It looks like we went out and everything, cool, huh?
What we did do is hangout in her room and drink sparkling cider and sparkling grape juice. We also went on a late night walk around the hospital grounds. We also ate some chocolate covered strawberries I made and listened to jazz. Rima and I rang in 2017 while drinking sparkling grape juice....just let that wash over you. I think this was the first new years eve since I was like fourteen that I didn't have at least one glass of alcohol. Call me Mary and ship me out to amish country, because I don't know who this person is. Next thing you know I'll be talking about going on a juice cleans and giving up cheese, ha! 2017, you are already a strange year, but I have hope for you. You've got a lot to live up to for us, so please don't let us down. Or else you'll have to deal with one of my rage black outs, and no one wants to see that.