Some things are easy to look forward to: a gathering with friends, a holiday celebration, and a vacation. Others are more challenging: a dental visit, filing one’s taxes, and cleaning out closets. I have spent two years of my life trying to avoid or at least dodge a big scary inevitable. I need a heart transplant. The surgery itself scares me. The hoped for outcome would mean a much improved life but there are no guarantees and numerous risks. I lay awake anxiously at night knowing that the alternative is unacceptable but the reality is terrifying.
If anyone told me two years ago I would be going to live at University of Chicago while I wait for a heart I would have thought they were nuts. As someone who regularly ran, rode my bike and played tennis, I never imagined I would be the victim of heart failure. When I first noticed that I couldn’t complete my favorite work out class as I previously could, I attributed it to increasing age. When I couldn’t walk briskly enough to keep up with my children, I realized I could no longer deny I had a problem.