A reminder from a girl I’ve never met

For over a week, my chest itched. Not just any part of my chest, but right along my transplant scar. I scratched until I bled, but the scores I made with my nails would not stop the sting in my skin, somewhere deep underneath muscle and bone.

Over time, I have learned to listen to my body, so when this happens – as odd as it sounds – I believe it’s my donor reminding me that something is amiss with my either my body or my spirit.

When you become a transplant recipient, you enter into a duty of care. My lungs are a shared responsibility between me, my donor, her family and the doctors who have kept me alive for close to fourteen years. And so the penny dropped last night – I needed to start respecting my body again. For far too long, I have played with fire with the manifestation of diabetes many years ago, for there are times when I look after myself and times when I want to forget about it because I have an obnoxious sweet tooth.

We had a little chat last night about what I could do and the first flag that waved in my face was exercise, closely followed by diet and the re-addition of daily meditation and yoga. And so this morning, with intention (and 2L of glucolyte), I went for a walk that tested my body and my mind. Hill climbs were the best and the most painful, but it reminded me that I need to keep going.

Don’t stop. Don’t stop for anything or anyone.

With the city cast in a thick fog, I took my donor for a walk this morning – a heavy breathing scenic tour of my suburb because it makes sense to me that everything I see, she sees. I am taking her on a journey that she never got to go on herself. But I like to think that she only sees the beautiful things – other peoples joy, flowers, sunshine, the ocean and the mountains, my owls, my books and my collection of tea and typewriters. And my words. I hope she sees my words. She has guided me time and again to words.

Allowing me to take her everywhere, I can only hope that we have met halfway. She has given and I have taken. I have lived and she has not. I hope she can forgive me and that I do her gift the justice it so wildly deserves.

13 thoughts on “A reminder from a girl I’ve never met

    1. It was strange – I couldn’t see the city (even at 8am, it was still covered in fog). It was all very ‘Wuthering Heights’ 🙂 There’s a whole lots of new places I want to show my donor – and myself 🙂


      1. What a deeply moving exploration into that psychic and visceral connection that you share with your donor. Good for you in listening to ‘her’ and doing kind things for your body and yourself!


  1. You and your donor are like a mars bar cuppy from our fave haunt. You’re the delicious cake and icing she is the gooey goodness inside. And well, when you’re that sweet who needs sugar!! Xx


  2. Popped in to read this again today Carls. It’s been 17 years for me today and if only I could express it all so eloquently as you. Love that last paragraph. Here’s to many, many walks to come and years of breathing easy xx


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