I thought there would be a thousand things I wanted to do when I could, and my list would be full of Eiffel Towers and Taj Mahals. But those things feel too abstract right now. I don't even have a passport.
I suppose what it all comes down to, really, is one thing: I'll do what I feel like doing. I won't worry about whether I can, what might go wrong, or what the implications are. I'll be impulsive. Unmanaged. (As far as anyone on anti-rejection meds can be impulsive and unmanaged.) I'll be normal.
My question is which of these will make me feel most alive?
1. Climb a high thing
2. Get a fright
3. Dance, dance, dance
4. Switch off my phone
I'll leave the poll open for a week, and look at it when I'm back from transplant-land. Because, mark my words, I'm coming back.
See you on the other side. BlueHeart xxx
1 Climb a high thing 25%
2 Get a fright 19%
3 Dance, dance, dance 36%
4 Switch off my phone 14%
5 Queue 6%
12 October, 2017
Consciousness, it seems, is liquid behind glass: moving, ungraspable. Closing her eyes doesn't stop the fairground-ride heave of it, but it makes it easier to bear. She sleeps again.
'How do you feel?' people ask, what feels like every fifteen seconds or so. 'Ailsa? Ailsa? Can you hear me? How do you feel?' She wants to say: I feel as though I've been kicked in the heart by a horse. I want to get out of here. Pass my shoes. Pass my eyeliner. Get me a five-year diary.
But her tongue is too tired to move and her teeth are heavy and gummed together, impossible to separate. Something hurts her throat. A tube? She tells her arm to move, to find out if there is a tube going into her mouth. Her arm ignores her.
She opens her eyes. Her vision fills with faces, smiling or questioning, and just the thought of trying to focus on them, to remember who the eyes belong to or to try to make sense of the words coming out of them, seems more impossible than flying. Flying, in fact, feels like something she can remember, something that she could do: if she could just untether herself from the blankets and the noises, she could float. She thinks she was floating, a little while ago.
Her fingers, back to babyhood, grasp involuntarily when other fingers touch her palm.
And she goes back to sleep, for what feels like no time at all, and when she wakes, it's the same thing, over.
15 October, 2017
'Fucking hell, Ailsa,' her mother, Hayley, says, the first time she opens her eyes and doesn't immediately feel them drawing themselves closed again, as though her lids have been replaced by bulldog clips. 'I thought you were never coming back.' Hayley's smile is bright but she's paper-pale; her eyes have the horribly familiar I've-been-crying-but-if-you-ask-me-I'll-deny-it look. Ailsa can only see her mother's face, her hair and the scarf around her neck, which is one of Hayley's favourites, a yellow-gold silk rectangle that Ailsa chose for her the Christmas before last.
'Is it...?' she asks. Her voice is whatever the opposite of silk is, harsh and scraping.
'It's all good,' Hayley says. 'Six days since the operation. You were out for the count for the first forty hours, and you've been drifting up and down ever since.'
Ailsa nods, or at least thinks about nodding, but it doesn't seem that her head moves. Her hair feels damp against the pillow. 'Mum,' she gets out.
'I'm here, hen. I've been here all the time.' Her mother's tears are coming now, and she starts to talk, quickly, as though her voice will drown them out. 'I told people not to come but they didnae take the blindest bit of notice. It's been like Waverley Station in here some days. There's a stack of cards for you, and chocolate, and somebody brought gin, but you'll not be wanting that for a while, I should think—'