I think John Wayne’s a pretty smart guy – and liver news.

Post date: Mar 22, 2011 4:26:29 PM

Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway.

John Wayne

My little Natalie is not so little anymore. But she remains the most courageous person that I have ever met. Even if she doesn’t think so.

(She wants to know if I can see up her nose here.)

She’s become more aware with age. More aware of things that scare her. More aware of nervous butterflies in her stomach before a big event. And then again, there are times when she charges in, unfazed by the events that are about to unfold. Take Thursday for example. She’s got her check-up at Children’s this week. Her annual transplant-anniversary appointment. And she’s pumped.* She had an ultrasound already in December – when we had our last little scare – so that doesn’t need to be repeated. So it’s just labs (just labs, listen to me. Remember when lab draws were a major event?) and her appointment with Dr. Alonso.

In December, her platelet level plummeted and Children’s told us she needed to have an ultrasound done to check her portal vein, and “no, it cannot wait until after the first of the year, Mrs. Ketter.” So we went and had an ultrasound done and though the nerves persisted, Natalie climbed on up on the ultrasound table. And once the tech turned the computer screen to face Natalie’s direction, she was bombarded with thousands of questions. “What is that?” “That’s my heart.” “Is that my liver?” “What are those blue and red colors for?” “Who is looking at these pictures, anyway?” “What’s a pancreas?” “Is that my stomach?” “I’m hungry.”

And then we were told that everything looked wonderful. Crisis averted.

So this week is just a chance for her transplant team to get to look at her and make sure all is still on the up and up.

*It could be because after the appointment is over, she gets to go to “Aunt-Amy’s” house. Try as hard as I might, I’ll never be as cool as Aunt Amy.

A second quote:

Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid.

John Wayne

I just need to get this off my chest.

Sometimes I feel really stupid. I’m 33. Some days I wonder why the heck I can’t pull it all together. I am a mom and a banking professional with a full time, 9 hours a day, 5 days a week, job. I volunteer at my church, teaching religious education. I volunteer in my local Rotary club – where we make sure that kids have milk for snack time at school and donate dictionaries to the local 3rd graders. I am a Daisy Girl Scout leader. I try to pop in to her school and help when I can. I run Natalie to her activities and make sure that she is a healthy stable 7 year old who just happened to have a transplant. I gave her part of my liver. I am working a second job (www.mythirtyone.com/bketter) to help us make ends meet. What am I doing wrong?

I feel like I am in junior high again, some days. I wonder what it is about me that some people don’t like. Did I wrong these people? Or do they just not like me on principal alone? Why is it that some people go out of their way to be mean to me and my family?

And then I remember.

They are stupid**. Their lives must be hard. I must remember to pray for them. Even and especially when I don't want to. And you may ask why am I posting this here? Should Natalie ever feel the same way, perhaps it will serve her well to know that she is not alone.

**Don’t tell Natalie I said this. We aren’t supposed to use this word in our house.

By the way, to comment – go to the guestbook and share your thoughts.