- they always knew it was coming. at first we only used words like <fix daddy's lungs> or lung medicine, but in the last 6 months, we have been very matter of fact about transplant: Daddy will get new lungs from a person that will pass away and give their organs to help other people.
- Our kids happen to be adopted so we have always been quite connected with therapists and other professionals. we got a lot of help in the last 2 years to prepare for dealing with this.
- Still, a not-quite-7-y.o. will have a hard time, at some point. it's ok. that is what I have been telling her over and over: it's ok. it's scary and happy and sad all rolled into one. But in the end, it's happy, very very happy. so feel what you have to feel but remember, Daddy is coming home.
- Our so-very-anxious 9 y.o. dealt with it better than we could have EVER anticipated. A) she was not here, thank g-d for sleep-away camp! (something I NEVER thought I would say!), but B), she knew from the second she saw me that her Daddy would never miss picking her up and if he wasn't there, it was because he got his transplant. Makes all that work we have done on attachment building finally show. a second miracle.
- even if the books say there are no visits, nurses are human, and if you ask nicely and it's not a danger to the patient, they will let the kids see their parent, so ask nicely.
- Encourage your kids to talk about it with their friends. It just happens that about a month ago, SQ and her friends were at a big event and I found myself explaining the ins and outs of lung transplants with 3 9 y.o. girls. It was a truly weird conversation to have (in a public bathroom no less) but it made our girls feel like they weren't keeping a secret. And SQ's friends have written to Jay because they understand what is happening to him.
Remember that the transplant is not only happening to the patient. It's happening to everyone in the family. We happen to be VERT fortunate to own our business and make our schedule and have fabulous staff that is pulling together to let me spend all the time I need with both Jay and the girls. I simply cannot imagine what my day would be like if I had to go to work right now. And the girls... they are doing SO SO well, but it's very hard on them. They are worried and excited at the same time. SQ said it best: the waiting is over, we can do whatever we want now..... Not quite yet, but soon enough!