As I shared in my previous blog, because my brain had swelled when I was in a coma, I woke up with the brain of a 5 year old. I had to be reminded what a fork was called. I had to learn how to swallow pills. I even had to be prompted to eat for a while because my body had lost that sensation.
But as important as those things were, they seemed like I nuisance. Being the extrovert that I am, I loved the attention. And because I am an evangelist at heart, I loved sharing what God had done.
I was really good at being a miracle.
I loved it. I loved telling the story. I would tell anyone and everyone who would listen (or pretend to) about how God saved me. I was recovering at lightning speed. I was exercising within several weeks of my transplant. I was asked to speak at youth groups. On command, I would pull up my shirt and show people my scar.
In the midst of me thriving in my new role as a miracle, I had to get my blood drawn a couple times a week to make sure my new liver was settling into my body like it was supposed to. It quickly became another annoying thing I had to do.
How inconvenient. Of course everything was fine, I was a miracle.
Then one day, about four months after my transplant, things weren’t fine anymore.
My liver levels were high (they are supposed to be low) and they kept getting higher.
My body was rejecting my liver.
Since my transplant, and for the rest of my life, I’ll have to take medication that suppresses my immune system. My new liver is considered a foreign object and the immune system’s job is to attack and get rid of anything that does not belong in my body. A suppressed immune system equals a happy liver. The medication I had been taking was no longer working. My immune system was alive and well with one goal in mind; we must get rid of this liver. They tried a few different things to stop this from happening, nothing seemed to be working.
I ended up back in the hospital. They had to bring out the big guns.
They had to kill my immune system so that it would stop attacking my liver. It was chemotherapy, but instead of killing cancer cells, the goal was to kill off my immune system so it would stop attacking my liver.
This time around at the hospital was a very different experience.
I didn’t want people to visit me. I could barely see straight. I was throwing up. I was in extreme pain. To give you context to the strength and magnitude of the treatment-one nurse cried when she administered the drug to me because she knew how painful it would be. I’m sure people were praying for me, but this time around it sure felt different. No one sent me flowers or balloons. The waiting room wasn’t full of people waiting in holy anticipation. I walked into the hospital with my parents by my side and walked out the same way. No one stood and clapped for me.
I didn’t want to be a miracle anymore, not if it looked this.
Things began to change…