Harry Potter, the Horcruxes, and My Liver Transplant

Image @pottermore

Image @pottermore

During one of the most difficult months of my life I was reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

That month, I went from functionally sick with my PSC to being scary sick. My bilirubin shot up to over 130, my skin and eyes turned an alluring shade of daffodil, and I couldn't do much more than shuffle between the couch and my bed.

One thing that I could still do though, and it was an absolute life saver, is read. I rocketed through the Harry Potter series for the fourth or fifth time. It is always a source of wonder to me how literature manages to speak to us and to our situation more eloquently and helpfully than a slew of self-help tomes.

I was re-reading Harry Potter with completely different eyes that time around - in particular the last book of the series - Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.

I remembered in previous readings the first two thirds of The Deathly Hallows seemed slow. I had found myself getting annoyed at Harry for being so lost and overwhelmed for such an extended period of time as he, Hermione, and Ron (when Ron wasn't AWOL) tried to figure out what the remaining Horcruxes were and how to find them.

Harry was the hero after all. Shouldn't he be braver? Shouldn't he...you know...be significantly less confused?

That month, I completely GOT Harry's uncertainty and floundering. Not only could I relate to Harry, but I found his fumbling immensely comforting.

There are several occasions in the book when Hermione and Ron look to Harry for leadership and guidance and, frankly, are let down by Harry's lack of direction and confidence.

I felt exactly like Harry in that moment.

People would ask me questions like, "what is the timeline for transplant? will you qualify? what are they looking for in a donor?" I wish I knew solid, definitive answers to those questions, but I didn't.

The transplant world is a constantly moving target. So many things could happen to derail, delay, or expedite a transplant...honestly, just like Harry I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing, except that I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Like Harry, I educated myself to the best of my ability, but I was overwhelmed and scared. I felt woefully unequipped for the fight ahead of me, let alone leading anyone else.

Also like Harry, I was determined to fight anyway.

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