Things in Erin’s Head


Do you remember the last time you fell?

And I’m not talking about falling in love (although I fall more and more in love with #NotMyCat every day and it’s bordering on an unhealthy obsession because I just *might* love her more than she loves ME).

No, I’m talking about FALLING. On your ass. Like one minute you were UP and in the blink of an eye you were DOWN and you couldn’t stop it and really aren’t quite sure how it happened. But there you were, in a sloppy heap on the ground (hopefully without your panties showing).

Monday, I fell like that. I creeped into Jerry’s office to file something (serves me right for FILING), my right foot stepped on a loose piece of paper and it just slid out from under me like a seal slides across a glacier on a crisp fall day. Down I went.

I landed in kind of a pretzel position: Right leg kind of off to the side. My left hip slid down the corner of a box. I tweaked my right ankle, skinned my left toe, and my left leg was somehow bent under my chest. I hyper-extended my left wrist, likely in an instinctive attempt to catch myself. And the wind got knocked out of me with a non-gracious “OOMPH.” So much for not interrupting Jerry’s work. 

After I landed I didn’t MOVE. I assessed my position, caught my breath, and while it sounds dramatic, I slowly started to wiggle things really gently to make sure nothing was broken. I came out of the clutzy moment rather unscathed (just the darn bruise on the hip from the box). And I felt lucky. 

Because I had been stretching. Hand to the heavens, I swear, that’s what I thought! You see, I have been running a stretching challenge in my Taking the Pause group, so I’ve been doing a little stretch every morning, a little stretch before bed, and in between if things were feeling sticky, I’d take a minute or two to relax into the stretch that best supported me (lots of low back and hammy stuff). Honest to goodness, I feel like if I hadn’t been doing my stretches my body would have been more sore than it already was, and I could have been more severely injured by my two left feet. 

In addition to stretching my body, I’ve been continuing to stretch my mind. My talk for the Society for Transplant Social Workers in October is shaping up nicely. I am speaking in a General Session on the second day of the conference, right after morning coffee, so everyone will be energized and excited to be there. I had been feeling kind of stuck on how to best address this audience and finally surrendered and simply asked, “How can I best serve these social workers?” And the answer came to me instantly, “Tell your story.” I started to dismiss it, but then I took pause. I may not be a scientist, or a physician, or a social worker myself… but I have LIVED it. I have the very unique perspective of having been by my husband’s side as his sole caregiver during the transplant intake process with FOUR different medical centers in THREE different states. We both lived through one of the rarest transplant complications there is (Graft vs Host Disease). He got better. I joke that it took me at least a year longer to recover than Jerry… but I did recover. 

I will never forget what Jerry’s transplant nurse told me when I was publishing my book,

“The work you’re doing is just so important. I’ve worked in transplant for years and I try to tell families what it’s like, but I don’t really know, because I haven’t lived it.”

But I know. And I have the amazing opportunity to share that experience to help support caregivers (past, present, AND future) across the globe.

So tell me, dear Reader, how can I best support YOU today?

Because it’s all about love…

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