Friday, May 6, 2011

Cindy in Chicago - Day Fifteen

Average wait time at the University of IL: 180 days. Days I've waited on the list: 182

I have lot's of pictures today. I know this post is late, but had lot's of calls last night and Skyped with my sister-in-law. Gave her a tour of the apartment!

I had to be down at the UI hospital by 10:15 AM for lab work. I planned a bus route and left early. Kind of cloudy and still cool today. But sun in the afternoon.

The bus was easy to figure out and I walked to join the others at the bus stop. No food or coffee--even though I was allowed to eat with this blood work, I figured it was better not to. Boarded at my stop and we had only went a quarter of a mile when I got off thinking it was the wrong bus. It was the one I wanted, but in a closed in bus with people coughing and a sick baby, I decided to get off and walk.

Armed with water, my hiking bag in place of a purse that wouldn't be practical, and my NEW Keds my mom sent me, I took the trek to Taylor Street. It was a good hike and I used my iPhone to keep an eye on my location. I arrived at the transplant building as an ambulance sped past blasting the familiar siren. The loudness and rumbling tires made me look to my left. There I saw two woman standing by their car embracing tightly. It made me pause and walk slower. They lingered--not noticing anything around them, crying and holding each other.

Someone must have died.

My head spun with the possibility their loved one was a donor. Oh my God, what is wrong with me? How can I think of myself when they may have lost someone? I was sick over my reaction and disgusted with myself. But if they did lose someone and the person was a donor, they will find comfort much later when they learn of the many people who were helped.

I studied their faces. I wanted to remember them so if I did receive a donated pancreas, and it could be their loved one, I want to remember their sadness and hopefully turn it into joy.

This is what it's like when you're waiting for an organ donor that is needed to either save your life or prolong it. When I received my heart transplant on July 14, 2005, it was to save my waning life. Want to know more? Use the links to the top right to order my first book, A Heart Like Mine, or pre-order the second book, A Heart Like Yours.

So I continued to the lab and after blood work got a salad and some eggplant parmigiana in the cafeteria.I studied the routes on my iPhone and found a train I could take back. I liked that idea better--I could move around if someone was sick and the area is more open.

Took the Pink Line to the Loop and when I got off, did some exploring. I visited the French Market and browsed fresh produce, seafood, baked items, and oh man...truffles to like die over--literally. I purchased one and ate it a while ago. I'm still in euphoria.

The market was great and housed a CVS where I stopped and got some items then off to walk toward "home." But before I had gone far there was this traveling bakery-in-a-truck. Look at the license plate below--and I love it that it's totally pinked out with FLAMES painted on the front. So I got a birthday cake pop on a stick and partied tonight.

After all it is Friday.

After all, I'm here 15 days, alone, and survived so much turmoil to finally be safe where I am.

After all, I walked more than 2 miles at a brisk pace.

After all...that's all I have to say now... (thank you Forrest Gump)

Pictures of my day today:

Steam plant at University of Illinois Hospital

Adorable hand painted bench at the train station

I take the Pink line!

My cake pop and truffle. So delicate...

Truffles, oh truffles, wherefore art thou?

Beautiful but banana not my style.

Will try one of these next time.

This is the one I had.

YUMM is right!

The cupcake mobile!

University hospital

Escalator to Heaven?

Waiting for the train.

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