I was talking to my boyfriend the other day about my friends. I have had so many friends having a difficult time this year it has been a little overwhelming at times. I have struggled this year and it has made me realize, even more than I have in years past, that my post transplant experience (up until this year) has been amazing and I have been amazingly blessed.
It is odd to me how so many of my friends that are post transplant have struggled with chronic rejection issues this year - or just an increase in health problems overall. I have had friends near death that have fortunately managed to recover. I have had friends that ended up in the hospital at the same time I was in the hospital early this year. I was lucky enough to make it home, while they were not. Quite frankly it sucks. I was telling my boyfriend about how I hated going online sometimes because I have so many friends online that have health problems like me, and how unpredictable those health issues can be. It is like a crap shoot sometimes when I go online. Sometimes I just hold my breath hoping I don't see a death notice of any kind. I was running down a list of friends that were struggling and how lucky it made me feel that even though I was having issues I was recovering, coping and my body was adjusting to the changes. I am still able to pursue my goals and dreams and even though I am having to make some small changes here and there everything seems to be working out.
It hit me in my conversation with him how not "normal" my relationships are - how not normal my life is. He just looked at me as I finished rattling off my list of sick friends and how I wanted him to go with my to visit a friend that was extremely sick at the time. He looked at me and said ok I will go, but holy cow you have some depressing friends. To some that comment may seem offensive, but I know what he meant. He meant the situations that my friends are in. The fact that I have friends that are dying or struggling to survive, and that it isn't just one friend but a whole list of people that I am worried about. It is not only a lot, but it is something that most people my age don't have to deal with let alone to the same degree. My boyfriend hasn't ever had friends his age "die off." In fact I know people twice my age that haven't lost as many friends as I have in just the past 5 years.
It is sometimes just an eye opener. I sit and look at my emails from friends all over the country and world and all of my closest friends just seem to not be around anymore. I mean heck I have made a fb friend list and labeled it deceased. I can't bring myself to delete them because seeing their pictures and reading everyone's thought and messages to them makes me feel better sometimes, almost like they are still around. I have about 20 people on that list, and that isn't even all of them. There are things about having CF that suck, there are things about everyone's lives that suck, but I can say that despite all the health struggles the hardest part is still losing people. I remember when I was younger and I decided I didn't want to make friends with anyone with CF anymore because it hurt to much. I went years without meeting or talking to other people with CF. Then I got sick and I needed support from people who understood, now here I am post transplant 5 years and it is starting to become obvious to me again - having CF and now transplant hurts. I still have my friends and want to keep them, but it has made me bitter in a way. I want to look at people that complain about their health or how difficult their lives are smack them and tell them they don't know what hard is. I sometimes just want to call up my friends and talk for a few minutes, I have even considered calling my friends old numbers to see if anyone answers or if I get their voice mail message. I just want to hear their voices again. Then there are times that I would trade anything just to have them back for a few minutes. I would give up a piece of my health just to give them a little more time.
Then that leads me to things like this. Lying in bed thinking ... wishing they were here to talk too and then crying because they aren't and I won't get to hear their voice again any time soon. Dying is very much an affair for the living. The dead they are rejoicing on the other side - kicked back enjoying all the ice cream and cookies they can handle, while we sit here wishing they would stop stuffing their faces and pay us a visit. Then if they do pay us a visit, that we are able to get the message and know for sure that it is from them.
.... but when it comes down to it I wouldn't trade my "depressing" friends for anything because there comes a point in time that everyone of us will be someone's depressing friend because one day we will all die.