Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Thing Worth Mentioning

     It was the day after my brother's heart transplant surgery. Up until this point, I had been calm, collected, uplifting and encouraging to those around me who needed it, and kept it together remarkable well considering the fact that my beloved brother, almost a son to me, was going through unspeakable traumas and procedures and having a staring match with death, practically. Yes, up until that day, i had been just fine and dandy. I knew I was in shock; i wasn't so naive to think i could deal with all that so well. My brother's heart was practically useless, we were looking at having to wait months to get a transplant, maybe even longer, and the prospects were grim that he could even make it until then.
BUT miracle of miracles, only 4 days after being put on the transplant registry, my brother received a heart. I was thrilled when i got that call, saying he was having surgery that night to get his new heart. I'm not sure of a moment in time when i have felt happier and relieved than i did at that moment when i received that call. Complete joy and happiness, no complaints, no fear, no worry.
       I spent a large portion of the next day after his surgery sobbing in a crumpled mess in the backseat of my car.
       The procedure had gone perfectly well, his new heart was beating like a champ! my parents and i wanted to be there when they "woke him up", took him off his sedatives. So the three of us arrive, and don surgical masks and gloves (after sanitizing hands more than once) and brush past the curtain to see him. There he was. There. He. Was. Tubes protruding everywhere, bandages, monitors, PIC lines, you name it, he had it. He was "sleeping" under the sedative still, so he was incoherent. Looking at him, lying there, so huge, so pallid, so weak, so entangled in all this medical tubing draining gastric fluids or blood, or pumping medicines into his veins, and then there was his breathing tube. The savages left the breathing tube in while they tried to wake him up! imagine the terror that would ensue upon waking up with a pipe down your throat.
       I gazed upon this sight, taken aback by it all, really. Could this be the same little boy i used to run around with at the park when we were kids? Could it be the happy little child, always quick to smile and be of good cheer? i slowly walked over, arms shaking, and held his hand. Tubes that were draining blood were right at my feet. I shuddered and tried not to look. After he came-to a little bit and stopped flailing around trying to get the tube outta his throat, he calmed down, lay back down, and held my hand. I looked at his face. His gentle eyelashes were matted together with his wet tears... A single tear rolled down his cheek, and I knew he was in misery. Arm shaking, i stroked his forehead, told him things will be alright, and that i would return, and i loved him, and left to the lobby.
      Walking through the lobby, i could feel the tears streaming down my own face. I tried to walk quickly to my car so nobody would notice or stop me, but the tears just kept coming. To see him like that, my precious little angel from Heaven, in that state, it was too much for me.

                          I BROKE

All the confidence and calmness went out the window. Even though i knew he was in no real danger anymore, to see him suffer like that is what killed me. and so i lost it. I got to my car, crawled in the back seat, and i lost it. Why couldn't it have been me. It should be me on that hospital bed recovering from surgery. Why did this happen to begin with. I also have PTSD from medical traumas, so hospitals terrify me something fierce. i was also having flashbacks pretty badly that day, and had nightmares the previous night. It all became too much for me to bear, so i just cried and cried in my car. Crying out to God, beseeching Him to intervene and give brian the comfort that only God gives, to give my parents the strength they needed, to help me get over my own idiotic problems so i could better help my own brother. I thanked God, too, for all that He had done for my brother and family, and for all the opportunities that had been provided to share His glory. But i cried and prayed for a long time, and generally felt worse than i had felt in a long time. Time dragged on, eventually tears subsided and my eyes shut and fell victim to exhaustion. I slept for a while. Never very peaceful sleep, but when exhaustion sets in, you'll sleep anywhere.
     2-3 hours apparently pass. I'm still sleeping. All of a sudden, I get a knock on the window. Mind you, I'm in a parking structure in East LA. My first thoughts are "OMG it's the cops!" or even worse "Oh man i'ma get SHOT!!!" slowly and sleepily i looked out the window, only to behold the face of an angel.

                                                                    ::knock knock::

Sleepily i brushed my disheveled hair out of my face and slowly opened the door. In shock, all i could stupidly say was "what are you doing here?" and she replied with "i came here to give you an apple pop..." at which point tears welled back up in my eyes. She handed me the beloved caramel apple pop and sat in the back seat with me, and we talked for a long time. She put up with my nonsensical complaining and fears, and just listened, cried, and prayed with me. I never asked her to come down there that day. She showed up at perfect timing. Just when i was at my very lowest point, she is there, ready and willing to love and support me. I was overwhelmed with gratefulness that she is my friend. To be able to talk to someone openly, to vent, even, was such a relief to me. To feel that someone cared for ME was a huge relief to me. My parents were too stressed out with everything with my bro, it would have been tacky if i had gone to them with my problems. And i typically don't like talking about my problems to anyone else for fear of burdening them. But no, Sarah approached ME to make sure I was alright. And i was able to speak freely with her, listen to her input, take her advice, and get a grip again.

     I'm back on track again now. I have no fears, no worries regarding my brother's condition. hospitals still scare the bejeezuz outta me. it still hurts my back a lot to drive all the way down to USC and back every few days. and i'm still keeping up with school to the best of my abilities. but i'm back on track, and not letting it all stress me out anymore. I try and visit bri when i can, providing of course that i have no major school assignments due or my back isn't too terrible, i go and see him in his room. It still hurts me a lot to see him like that, in so much pain, so miserable... but God is good, and has restored control in my life again, and i think i can manage now. Also, God is good to bless me with such amazing friends as Sarah, who show up at literally JUST the right time. I will never forget that day, when an angel bearing a caramel apple pop showed up and made my life bearable again. <3

Monday, April 23, 2012



            Spiderman got bit by a spider. It made him real sick. You got real sick, too. But spiderman got real cool powers after he finished being sick. Spiderman gave hope to a lot of people, just like you. Everyone thinks you’re awesome (I know I always tell you this anyways) and everyone loves you. We all want you to get better so you can do cool stuff. (maybe once you’re healed you can climb walls or something, that’d be cool.)
 You’re super cool like General Grievous from Star Wars. General Grievous also had a weak heart, but he was still awesome. (except he was bad. Don’t be bad.) General Grievous was a fighter, just like you. He never gave up, he just kept on fighting. That’s what I want you to do, just like you already are. Never ever give up!           

 Darth Vader is famous for having breathing troubles. You’ve got asthma. Darth Vader never let that stop him from being the galaxy’s coolest villain ever. The force is strong in you, my boy. Do or do not, there is no try. You must get better. The Galaxy needs you.

 Cyborg is part human, part robot. You’ve got a bunch of screws and stuff in your knee. That’s pretty cool. You’ve got so much hardware in ya, you’re like a walking home depot. But that’s pretty cool, you’ve got some pretty cool battle scars to show for it. Cyborg uses his powers for good, and doesn’t complain about his robo-parts, just like you don’t. you’ve got that crazy knee, but it doesn’t bother you. It just makes you cooler.

            Last but not least, Iron Man. Iron Man gets all the ladies (just like you!) AND he had to get a new heart (again, just like you!) Iron Man protects himself with his awesome suit, kind of like how you protect yourself with the armor of God. The difference between you and Iron Man, though, is that Iron Man is arrogant and selfish, but you’re the sweetest and most selfless person on the planet. You are so sweet and loving, even when you’re going through rough times, you still manage a smile, you still crack jokes, you still care about other people. And that’s why you’re better than Iron Man.

         Brian, you’re better than all those superheroes combined. You are so brave and courageous, you just keep on truckin’ through all of this without complaining. I am so proud of you, you have no idea. I always call you the baby, but you’re more of a man than anyone I know. You’re the kindest, sweetest, bravest, most courageous guy out there, and I’m proud of you for not losing hope through all of this. I know it’s scary sometimes, but please always know that God is there for you, to comfort you and support you. Stay strong and remember what Jesus went through on the cross for you; He died and suffered for YOU, my dear. He knows everything you’re going through, He’s always in control. Don’t lose sight of that. I love you so so very much, please always know it. I will ALWAYS be there for you, no matter what! You’re my beloved bribri babycakes, and you always will be. But you’re also my hero, and I want you to know that, too. You inspire me to be strong, even when it’s scary. I will always love you to the moon and back! You’re my precious angel from Heaven.

Love Always,
            ~your sidekick, Kristin

Monday, April 9, 2012

SPRING BREAK 2012!!!!!!!!!!1!11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111!!!!!!!

Spring Break. Those two monosyllabic words inspire visions of crazy teens being reckless, living life to the fullest, getting drunk, playing beach volleyball in skimpy clothes, wildly dancing at raves or bonfires. Well, my spring break was pretty whack this year, if i do say so myself.

"PARTY AT MY PLACE!!!1!!1!111!" -parents were out of town. best friend and boyfriend were also out of town. Spent half the week at my house with just my bro.

"OH DUDE I GOT SO DRUNK!!1!1!!!!11!!!!" -had a glass of moscato. it was sub-par, at best.

"OH MAN I TOOK SO MANY DRUGS!!!!!1!!1!!!1!!1111!" -i took 4 advil one day cuz i had a killer headache.

"PARTY AT THE BEACH!!!!!!1111!!!!!!!!" -i actually did go to the beach. i fell asleep on the sand and forgot to tell my bro to wear sunscreen, so he got a killer burn on his legs.

"DANCE PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!1!!!!!!" -listened to the Beatles and sort of danced around. sort of.

"DUDE THAT WAS SO SICKK!!!1!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" -brian got pneumonia. he also got sick and i ended up cleaning vomit off the bathroom floor.

"I TOTALLY HOOKED UP WITH THAT ONE GUY!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!11!!!" -a hobo came to my door and asked me to give him cash or a check. I had neither so i turned him away.

"PARTY AT THE HOTEL!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!!!!1!" -spent saturday of spring break in ER with bro and family due to pneumonia.

"BREAK ALL THE RULES!!!!!!!!!!1!!!1!" -brian and i stayed up until 4am watching "scary" movies one night.

"DUDE I CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!" -i literally forgot because i did nothing worth remembering.

"REMEMBER WHEN THAT ONE GUY GOT SO JACKED UP?!11?/!1/???" -my dad and i were cutting down a tree in the backyard and he fell out of the tree and hurt his back.

"DUDE THINGS GOT OUT OF CONTROL!!1!!!" -the dog got out one time. it took me like, ten minutes to get him back.

"I TOTALLY DIDN'T DO ANY WORK OVER THE BREAK, MAN!!!!!!!!1!!!1!!!!" -it's true, neither did i.

my spring break wasn't super epic or crazy. but it was still pretty great (aside from brian getting pneumonia, of course) and i had a lot of opportunities to just get away and meditate for a while. it was nice and peaceful, for the most part, and Good Friday and Easter were great as always.