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Overcoming fear

Reid and I just traveled to Los Angeles (if you haven't seen the overload on your social media feeds.) We had such an amazing time. But let me tell you what you didn't see in your feed... fear.

I had so much fear going into this trip. Reid's parents gifted us money for Christmas that was to be used only for a vacation. What an amazing gift, right?! My first reaction was excitement. And then the fear set in. Can we really travel right now? They knew we've been afraid to travel since Reid's cholangitis attacks last year, and after him being listed for transplant. We also haven't exactly had the discretionary funds to travel.  I struggled for the three months leading up to our trip. I was so grateful for this amazing gift, but I was also so fearful. What if Reid gets sick while we're gone? What if he gets sick on the plane ride? What if we get another call for a directed liver donation? What if Reid ends up in the hospital and we have to cancel our trip? What if something happens to one of our family members or friends while we're gone? Seriously. I wish I was exaggerating, but every single one of these things came to mind multiple times in the months leading up to the trip.

My anxiety over the last couple of years has definitely increased. I think even more so the last six months. Which I blame the IVF hormones for, but who knows. When you deal with some of the situations that we have, you learn that anything can happen at any time and it can turn your life upside down. And sometimes that cripples me with fear. But I had to put it aside. I had to calm my anxiety, and push forward. I was determined not to let our current medical situations dictate our entire lives. I know this is temporary, but I have no idea how long it will last.

Am I really going to not travel until we're through all of this? No, we needed the trip.

If you've ever dealt with anxiety and fear (I mean, who hasn't?), then you know it's not so easy to just push aside. I've learned lately the things that work for me... but they don't always work. I'm a logical person, and a planner. So when the anxiety sets in and fear takes over, I have to have a very honest logical conversation with myself and plan out my response.

If Reid does end up sick in Los Angeles, what do we do? So I researched hospitals (and researched them again once we got there and anxiety was keeping me up the first night). I knew where the closest hospitals were, and which ones were better. We also travel with a flash drive with all of Reid's medical records. If he has a cholangitis attack, I need the doctors to trust me when I say what is happening and what medication he needs, and that flash drive is my back up.

If he ended up sick on the plane, I have heavy antibiotics that the doctor prescribed for that situation until we could get him to a hospital. Those antibiotics were in my purse a couple days prior to our trip and I must have double checked that ten times before we boarded.

If we got a call for a liver, which is very unlikely right now, then we'd do everything in our power to get home as quickly as possible.

If Reid ended up in the hospital before we left... we got travel insurance for that reason. And we would get through it just as we had before.  

I'm not kidding... I had each of these conversations with myself.

But it helped. We had such an amazing time, but I will tell you it wasn't without its moments. The first day, as the plane was taking off, my heart started to race and I was sure I was going to throw up (I seriously started looking for puke bags). There's no turning back... is this really the right decision??

Why am I sharing this? So often we see the picture perfect life that people choose to share on social media. But we don't always see what's behind the curtain. We had an amazing trip, but I had to overcome some real fears in order to get there. And I'm proud of myself for that, and so glad I did. We needed this trip, and are so grateful to Reid’s wonderful parents for this amazing gift!


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