Ana and Emily are sleeping over their grandma Janne’s house tonight (thanks Janne!) with their cousins. It’s a nice and somewhat unexpected break for Jim and I. Ana was so sick this past week we thought she might want to come home rather than sleep over, but when we spoke to her at 8:00 or so (via Skype) she sounded happy and said she “felt fine.” She did have that damnable fever, but she took a Tylenol and said she didn’t have chills or anything (her temperature was about 100.2).
It’s very rare to have an entire day (plus night AND morning) to ourselves these days. It gave me some extra quiet time to contemplate everything that’s going on. So that pretty much means I got to take a nap (I love naps!) But…I couldn’t do it. I was just lying there feeling extremely impatient for the transplant to happen, but simultaneously dreading the transplant (and not because I may be Ana’s donor). How is that even possible to want something so incredibly much, and at the same time not want it at all? If Ana doesn’t get the transplant, she doesn’t get better. If she does get the transplant, she’s got a 10 hour surgery to get through, followed by three months of recovery followed by a lifetime of antirejection medication. So, it’s kind of hard to be excited about THAT.
The pressure of these two opposing desires felt like an actual physical pressure in my head – which totally got in the way of a good nap. For some reason, it reminded me of the movie Wargames. Remember that one? Ahh…the eighties. High waisted jeans and computers the size of refrigerators. I was about 12 when Wargames came out. I was kind of a computer geek in the 80’s, thanks to my father who was probably one of the earliest systems administrators in existence. We had computers before anyone had computers. So anyway, I loved Wargames. The whole concept was so timely too – I mean, we were all scared of nuclear annihilation and we were all excited about the possibilities that computers offered, but we were also kind of worried that computers would take over (e.g., The Terminator). So I abandoned my nap and came downstairs to see if Wargames was available on Netflix streaming – which it was!
Jim walked in during the first 5 minutes of the movie and recognized it immediately, after which point we were both RIVETED. And after watching it (and loving every second of it), I realized that our situation is not quite like the movie. I mean, the transplant will make Ana better. She’ll win the game. That’s the hope, anyway. But what I really related to with that movie was the feeling of being completely deadlocked. My mind keeps running through all these scenarios over and over again, which play out like this:
Ana is so sick right now, I can’t wait for this transplant! Why is it taking so long? Will we get the call tonight? If we get the call tonight and she gets the surgery, then in a month she can start to feel better and in three months, she may really feel better. But what happens when she gets the surgery? It’s such a long surgery. Plus where will I be? What if I’m her donor? I won’t see her for at least a week, and then what about Emily? WE’RE NOT READY! I hope we DON’T get the call today and we can schedule this and have another month, but what am I saying? She’s so sick now. Why is it taking so long? We need to get that call NOW! But are we ready right now?
And so it goes until you hear that sort of fizzling, popping sound of wires short circuiting and everyone jumps back as the monitor begins to smoke and bursts into flame. That cheesy effect DID HAPPEN in the movie, by the way – and I turned to Jim and said, “That! That right there is what’s happening in my head right now.”