Tuesday, February 5, 2013

From my transplant journal, Feb. 1980

Feb. 11, 1980 Monday Clear, cold--etc

Observations about the laminar air flow room: 

The constant hum of the air flow

The red lights outside the room on the "control panel" indicating that all things are working

Metal bedpans

Blue, sterile cloth wraps

Floral design on electric curtain

White, lift-top table with mirror in it, rolling feet

Though I had been released from the transplant unit at the hospital, I had to remain in a kind of solitary confinement at my mother's apartment. It was wonderful and strange to be "out." At the same time, I was not allowed to see anyone except my mother, my boyfriend, and my father. My parents were separated at the time. It was the flu season and my immune system, immature and vulnerable, made me highly susceptible to life-threatening infections.I also still had a shunt in my thigh, a kind of plastic umbilical cord that had been surgically implanted in my leg before my transplant so that medications and blood could be monitored without sticking me with needles all the time. The shunt was a daily reminder that I was not yet fully birthed from this womb of my former disease.

A page from my transplant journal: Please Sterilize Immediately

and these drawings for a book cover for a book that I had not yet written.

Here, I have not yet lost my hair.
Good and bald, now.
Those people under the clock are some representation of my doctor and my primary nurse.

I often felt as if my hospital bed were some kind of canoe, that time was a river on which I was traveling, riding waves of  memory and desire for my future.


  1. Amazing. Everything about this. <3

  2. This is so moving, touching and valuable. Thank you so much for sharing it. <3

    1. Thank you so much, Joyce, and for taking time to comment here.