Another World

By: Erin Rose Hennessy

A close family member of mine had major surgery last week. It was a solid organ transplant, the donor being another family member of ours. The surgeries both went beautifully and the transplanted organ is working as it should so far. Both my family members are superstars and totally rocked the whole hospitalization thing. After awhile, you’d have thought we were just sitting around someone’s living room talking.

It’s an amazing thing – someone giving an organ so someone else can have a renewed chance at life. This experience has changed my entire family, has changed a lot of dynamics, and has given me a different view of the world (or at least parts of the world) This past week has been truly eye-opening.

For one thing, the intensity of my focus on my family members, on being helpful, on making sure everyone had what they needed and was doing okay – the world outside was like an alternate reality. I’d pop on Facebook once in awhile and it was like looking into life on a completely different planet. It’s totally discombobulating. I had a hard time remembering what day it was at times. The rest of the world just kept going while my world was my family and getting them healthy.

I have always been petrified of hospitals. Like, I have a hard time even stepping into a hospital. Forget thinking about myself ever being in a hospital. Visiting a hospital, and being with my family, seemed to make it a little easier to stomach the idea that I was in a hospital. A panic inducing, oh my god, what sort of things happen here, hospital. I have so much admiration for my two family members who (at least to me!) seemed to take the whole thing in stride. They had NCIS to watch, coloring books to create in, the nurses were so nice, and the cafeteria food – wow. Not the “gross hospital food” TVs would have you think it is. Sausage and green pepper pizza, grilled chicken, pasta…..they could order just about anything they wanted from a restaurant style menu and it was brought right to their bedside.

I was also touched by the outpouring of support my family and I got from people. Times like these, you really know who is in your corner. There were people I had known only a few months following our support page, and commenting, and truly relieved that the surgeries went as well as they did. 

The human body is an amazing thing. That you can just take an organ out of someone and put it in someone else, and they can both just go on living their lives is pretty awesome.

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