Thank you for joining us on our quest for Tristan’s wellness.
For those of you who know us, you may be feeling sad, confused or overwhelmed about how to be supportive during his latest medical experience. What we ask of you may seem simple, but it’s actually quite challenging: we ask that you seek out joy and gratitude for your life, for the lives of your friends and families, and for us. What the world needs is more people who live each day with joy and humility instead of sadness and anger. So, we just ask this one thing of you: please be well.
Some of the updates on this blog are not happy, some are emotional, but ultimately it is an honest depiction of our lives as we try to figure out how to navigate through something most people under 30 will never have to go through (thank heavens for that!). We don’t know what we are doing, but we are doing it. Thank you for sticking with us through the unknown future.
A little bit of background
Tristan’s kidneys were damaged when he was three years old, and the 26 years since have been a roller coaster of health challenges that have nearly taken his life more than once. At present, Tristan has his second kidney transplant scheduled at Stanford Medical Center on November 18, 2015 (the transplant has been postponed to January 13, 2016). We have been keeping this blog since 2014 when the latest medical crisis turned into two hospitalizations and dialysis, and we will continue to do so through the upcoming transplant.
Explore Tristan’s full journey to date for more detailed info about his medical history and current situation.
Read the latest posts to keep up with the latest news and thoughts from us.
I’ve always had a really hard time being open and communicative about what I’ve been dealing with in regards to my health. Because this all started when I was 3 years old, I’ve internalized a lot pain, anger, and suffering, and I’ve unconsciously defined my life by these complications.
Being a person is stressful enough – growing up, going to school, college, working, paying bills, being in a relationship. Life throws a lot at you – lots of good things, and sometimes lots of challenging things. For me, and many others who have dealt with serious health issues, it sometimes feels like there is a dark cloud hanging above your head through everything in life. It sometimes feels impossible to think about anything else besides what’s going on inside my body. Specifically, what’s wrong? And how can I fix this? Am I doing the right thing? It’s stressful and draining at times, and often leads me to feel depressed and depleted of energy.
But I do not want to define myself by these things anymore. I want to get through these challenges that I’m now facing and find a way to truly heal, whatever that may mean. Facing something like this with someone you love is both amazing and heartbreaking in its own way. It’s amazing because the love and support you get from your partner helps you stay positive, and the comfort and compassion they give you cannot be replaced. The heartbreaking aspect is observing your partner as they watch you suffer, and knowing that they are vicariously experiencing that suffering too.
Thankfully, Alisyn is the most amazing partner anyone could ever ask for. Because I love her so much, I see that I have to do things a different way this time – it’s impossible to keep all these thoughts and feelings to yourself when you share your life with another person. I feel more motivated than ever to transcend this situation, learn its lessons, and live my life as fully as possible. Even though things are a little crazy right now, I know they will get better, and I know Alisyn and I will get through this stronger than ever.
I hope that by sharing our experience through this journey we can give inspiration and hope to others, regardless of what they’re going through. It’s important to me that my friends and family are able to be a part of this journey with me, because this time it feels so much better to be open and honest about what I’m going through. My goal is to learn as much as I can, document what’s happening, experience the healing that I need, and grow as a person.
When you love someone, their pain is your pain and their struggles, triumphs, and decisions are yours, too. This is the situation with Tristan and me. After sharing our lives together for over 7 years, there is no his and hers … it’s ours. All of it. Meeting and loving Tristan has changed my life, and though no 29 year old should be dealing with this, we are, and it’s nothing if not humbling. There is nothing more serious than life or death, yet here we are, embracing and living life with everything we have.
As a person who has not grown up with a chronic illness or health problems, the medical world is a mostly foreign place to me. I consider myself pragmatic–the yin to Tristan’s yang–but the medical system is trying for me, too. It’s really messed up, to put it bluntly, and it’s not an easy world to operate in when you are dealing with crisis. Still, with all crisis and struggle comes peace and strength. I hope you will travel along this journey with us, and even provide insight into your own experiences to help us on the way.
Expectedly, I would give anything to not be going through what we are dealing with, but unexpectedly, I am filled with gratitude for this gift of perspective. Here are some pieces of the perspective I’ve gained:
- I didn’t realize I was equipped to deal with something like this. I am.
- Those little things that brought me so much anxiety and stress before really don’t matter at all. The small moments of joy and triumph are WAY more powerful than little moments of worry.
- The act of loving someone so much that you wish you could trade places and take away their pain is real, and it’s unlike anything else you’ve ever felt. It changes you.