Author Archives: Christie

Keep the Whole System Running by Maintaining the Parts

The medical facility at the military base where my husband is stationed is enormous. Almost every specialty you can imagine is under one roof. The first time I had an appointment there, the scheduler instructed me over the phone to visit the “Jay Team”…

Embracing Caregiving: Learning to Accept a Diagnosis

Receiving a pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis is a life-changing event. Accepting this new reality may initially seem impossible. There are so many new things to consider that never were on the radar before they suddenly became important. In addition to finding your footing in the present, you must…

Lung Transplant Memories: Greatest Hits

I’ve been going through a second (Third? Fourth?) wave of grief for all things pre-pandemic. I am still mourning things that once brought me joy but are currently off-limits — rugby, concerts, being a wedding photographer, and date night out, to name a few things. I’m still hurting…

My Hardest Days as My Mom’s Caregiver

Two weeks after my mom, Holly’s, double-lung transplant, she was discharged from the hospital. Although she was weak, she was walking, talking, eating, and, best of all, breathing on her own. After three months on a ventilator, the transplant brought her back to life.

The Transplant Caregiving Crash Course I Wish I’d Had

As I sat in my mom’s hospital room on the day of her long-awaited discharge, I felt like we were bringing home a very fragile adult baby. Her body had been through a series of assaults starting with an acute exacerbation of IPF and ending with a double-lung transplant.

Mourning the Deaths That Can’t Be Counted

There is a phenomenon in psychology known as “lost possible selves.” Possible selves are the heroes in our life story that we create within our inner narrative. They are made from goals and wants, fears and risks. They represent the infinite possibilities, expectations, and desires for our lives.

6 People You Will Meet in an ICU Waiting Room

When I recall the times that loved ones were in the hospital for extended periods, I can still feel the energy of the waiting rooms. ICU waiting rooms have a particular hum about them, a palpable tension created by people in limbo, including those often too stressed to…

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