I had a swim lesson today. My coach knows about my heart transplant, my scar, and the fact that I’m immune compromised. She tells me if I need a break, then I should tell her.
It’s amazing that I’m swimming so long. Before transplant, I did swim but only 10 laps. What happened each lap was:
- ¼ through: I run out of breath, my heart starts beating faster
- ½ through: I gasp desperately for breath, my heart starts beating faster and louder
- ¾ through: my heart is beating furiously, pain builds up inside my chest
I don’t feel any pain in my chest after swimming, which is a miracle. I run out of breath in one lap, not a ¼ lap.
My city, Pleasanton, is a very athletic city. Every one of my classmates is either doing soccer, football, hockey, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, tennis, golf, swim, water polo, marching band, or cheerleading. I think “I could’ve been that.”
In the lane next to me are kids my age swimming like pros. They have swimming scholarships towards a D1 school, and I can’t help think “I could’ve been that”. I was born normal, and if it wasn’t because of stupid hypereosinophilic, I could’ve played sports.
After transplant I have a new life. Instead of “I could’ve been that” is “I can be that”. In a few years, I can catch up to them and be as good as them. I have a chance, and that’s what matters.