Anything is possible
heart transplant, inspirational story, organ transplant, motivational story, kidney transplant
Living in the hospital for this long does not get any easier. Way back in January, when we checked in for this journey, I knew it was going to be a long haul, but living it now seems to become unbearable now and then.
Thinking back, the last five years, we have lived in Boston more than we lived in Chicopee Ma. I have tried clicking my heels and and saying "there's no place like home" but keep waking up here in Brigham's hospital. I guess I should be saying "there's no place like my other home in Chicopee", maybe that would work.
Everyday I take a walk, I call it my "suburbia". Time to think, clear my mind and find the strength to handle the day ahead.
This is my starting point. Love to seeing the trees and the flowers in bloom. Living in the city you, don't see this everywhere. Waiting for the lilic trees to bloom so I can pick some for Lauren.
These pictures I took on my walk this morning. It basically consist of a circle I created which is about a mile long. I try not to venture to far from the hospital, so I keep it to the same route I created. It's funny no matter how many people I walk by and say "good morning" they just walk right by you as if I don't exist. Great way to start your day. Believe it or not but the homeless people will say "good morning" without asking for anything, which puts a smile on my face. Looks like a nice quite walk, NOT. No matter how long I stay in the city, I will never get used to the lifestyle. Give me my quite street on Raylo any day.
The days are getting harder and harder. I am so tired of being tired. People stop and ask "How are you today"? With a smile I say "OK, another day in paradise". What I really want to say is "Are you really asking me that, how the hell do you think I feel"? I hate this place, hate living here, tired of people coming in and out of the room all the time. This is not living, this is existing.
Now don't get me wrong, the nurses and the doctors are fantastic here. Very caring and genuinely concerned about our well being. They can see how we struggle from day to day, trying to be upbeat and positive. We have a great support system here.
Today is Friday, which means my husband Dean is coming up after work. Every weekend Dean drives up on Friday and leaves on Sunday. It's a hard life for himself also. See my husband is used to me being there taking care of the house and yard and Kooper our puppy. Now it's all on him to do. We are very blessed to have great family and friends who help out at the house and with Kooper.
I would like to add, also during this time my mother has not been feeling well. My sister Lauren who came up here for a month, needed to fly home to care for my mother. My mom has been having problems with her legs, mainly circulation. So to be on the safe side, Lauren is living with her to help with her and make sure she is safe. I would love to fly to Florida for just a couple of days just to see my mom. But at this point it is not realistic. If I had a magic globe that would tell me Lauren will be ok for a couple of days I would be there. Sometimes during these times you just need a mom hug, and I am sure she could use a Lynne hug.
I am working on a new project. So many people have told me that my book
"Strength in a Heartbeat, Diary of a Heart Transplant" should be in nursing colleges. They have said it gives great insight on the patients and family prospective on living in the hospital for months on end. The other part of nursing, not the medical, the empathy of a patient. If anyone knows anybody that I can connect with, please let me know. Currently it is being presented to Boston University, to be reviewed. I wrote and published it to help others going through the transplant experience, never thought it could be a learning tool for the medical community.
Available in paperback form or on Kindle
***** This is a story of incredible inspiration. What this family endured and survived IS the definition of STRENGH. I sobbed when I read this book as all kinds of emotions came over me when I read it. Congratulations to this amazing family for winning the fight! It shows how powerful love, faith and family truly are. Also depicts the realities of "living' in the healthcare system. Thank you Lynne for sharing this incredible and personal story with the rest of the world
From the Author
This book is dedicated to the angle who decided to become an organ donor. You saved my daughter's life.
If you know someone going through the same process, please share this book, or if you would like to know the truth about a heart transplant, pick up your copy today. On a side note, there is a gentleman here in the hospital who was having a hard time living here. He went home twice, couldn't take the life style. I gave him a copy of my book, he read it. Came back to the hospital and said "After I read your book, I now feel like I can suck it up and begin the process I started". He and his wife thanked me for sharing our story. So to this day he is still here in the hospital waiting for his heart transplant.
Living with Lauren in the hospital, I am never surprised what she will do. Let me introduce you to Oliver, Lauren's friend. He has come a couple of times to visit. So today she decided she wanted to take him for a walk. Day 108 living in the hospital, and she is still smiling.
Today is day 103 of living in the hospital waiting for Lauren's heart and kidney transplant. Every day and every night we say maybe today, then it turn's into the next day. We try to stay upbeat, but deep inside we both get discouraged when a new day starts and we are forced to do it again.
At this point it is more of an emotional rollercoaster ride. We have our up and downs, that can be very frustrating. We both have been breaking down little by little. Lauren and I both found out we cannot keep things bottled up inside each other, because when it comes out, it comes out, not the way we wanted. Frustration is the primary key. I love my daughter and don't want to burden her with my thoughts and she has her's.
Well, yesterday it all came out. I found out that keeping things from Lauren doesn't protect her, it hurts her. I'm talking about how I hate living here, the pain from the sleeping on the couch, being confined to this room, our life now. The waiting game, living on the edge wondering if today could be the day. I felt I couldn't say it out loud to Lauren, I know she feels the same way.
So last night we had a talk and got got everything out in the open. I talked, then Lauren told me deep down how she was feeling. We both sat there and cried. It's a shitty position as a mother, not to be able to make everything better. The feeling of hopelessness in very overpowering. When you cannot take away the physical and emotional pain for your child, I don't have words.
What I found out the most besides the medical, is Lauren is very frustrated that she wants a life. Lauren wants to get married, have children, have a home, have a career. Lauren wants everything that a 27 year old women wants. In a normal world, those are normal expectations. I know in my heart all her dreams will come true, some reason we have to live this for Lauren to achieve her dreams.
I know some people have it harder, I should feel blessed we are in the best hospital in the world, surrounded by the best doctors and nurses which are like family to us. We will go home someday together, would like to to know when.
I just received this new review on my book : Strength in a Heartbeat, Diary of a Heart Transplant, and found myself speechless. Thank you so much. I published this book to help other's know you can get through an organ transplant. Yes it is hard, stressing, tiring, and some days you just want to give up. You have that inner strength, you need to find it and use it.
As we find ourselves in the same position again, Lauren needs a heart and kidney transplant, we are day 100 in the hospital waiting again, I find myself digging even deeper to continue on this journey.
I am very proud to say that Strength in a Heartbeat, Diary of a Heart Transplant, is helping others in their journey. This comment below was so beautiful I needed to share.
Wow! I don't know where to start. I got the news from my cardiologist that I needed to meet with his "Heart Team" because my heart is failing and has changed a lot in the past few years. I knew my symptoms weren't normal but I really wanted to hear I was out of shape. Not that my heart was failing. Within a few hours of my diagnosis I wanted more information but I wanted to hear it from a patient. Someone with true life experience was what I was searching for. I did a search online and found Lynne and Lauren's book. I bought the Kindle version and started reading that night. Then I just had to have the paperback. I'm old fashioned, I love books and wanted a copy to take with me to the hospital in the future because I could feel the strength and hope in the text after the first few pages.
I have 5 kids at home and read only when they were in bed so I took my time but putting it down was difficult. I wanted to know what the next journal writing was going to say! As a mom and a mom of a son with a heart condition and an ICD and Pacemaker, I connected with Lynne instantly. Her strength, raw emotion and honesty throughout the book was amazing. As a woman with a heart condition, ICD/Pacemaker and now looking at a heart transplant, I connect with Lauren, too. Her struggles outweigh mine x10 but her strength, honesty and determination give me hope. This book is real! It's emotional. It shows that life sucks and you have to take each day as it comes. You have to live in the moments and enjoy every good thing. I will take this book with me. I plan on highlighting (in my good ol' paperback) each of the triumphs in Lauren's journey and her smiles. I am beyond encouraged by this book!
I recommend this book to anyone that needs encouragement to fight and stay strong through ANY life struggle. Heart condition or not, this is a beautifully written story of real life and I am so thankful I found it. Now I am getting a copy for my mom. :)
Thank you for such a beautiful review, God Bless You on your journey.
Pictured below is Lauren and I at the International Book Fair in Miami, just before she got sick this past November.
Click on link below to purchase your copy, please share
Marie Caulfield, running today in memory of her nephew Tommy Quinn
I would like to introduce you to a wonderful women, Marie Caulfield. Marie is one of Lauren's (favorite) nurses here at Brigham & Women's Hospital. Along with being an exceptional nurse, Marie will walk into our room with the biggest smile to brighten our day with her great sense of humor. You never know what she is up to. Marie calls Lauren her little sister, (even though I am not old enough to be Marie's mother).
Today is a special day for Marie and her family. Marie will be running the Boston Marathon in memory of her nephew Tommy Quinn. Tommy was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor when he was only 6 years old and fought it for 8 years. He unfortunately passed away in October 2013, at the age of 14.
Marie joins her brother-in-law Tom Quinn (Tommy's dad) in running their 10th year together raising money for the Boston Fire Tommy Quinn Scholarship Fund.
If you are out on the marathon route, be sure to cheer Marie, Tom and the rest of the BFD running team as they make their wasy from Hopkinson to Boston.
Good Luck today, room 927 is so proud of you and your family and friends. Terrible weather, but I know you will have a great time!!
Strength in a Heartbeat, Diary of a Heart Transplant
Read our personal journey on the heart transplant list