The Fine Line 12: Acceptance

The Fine Line is a series of stories from Rick. Check out parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, & 11!


As the night crept onward nearing 3:00 AM, I pushed my call button to see if maybe they’d found out sooner. My nurse came in, turning the lights on she explained that they still didn’t know the details. But in the next breath, that one of my offers was no longer in play. I received the somber news as best I could.

Trying Times

Moments like this test you in a way no one is really prepared for. Just like any period of anxiety before a moment of truth, it’s a test of patience. But when your life is at stake, it can feel like you’re being toyed with in a way that can make someone feel worthless. In these moments I reflected and absorbed all of it, every awful feeling. When you watch hope slip away, when it’s so close you can see why acceptance is so hard, because it means the death of hope. Hope does not itself breath resilience into you, is the clearness of mind that comes with acceptance which gives us the fortitude for persistence. Because it is the birth of courage when there is nothing there but you. In this, it becomes a question of what you stand for, and what you’ll live for.

It is dismal dark moments that a fire can burn itself out because it knows not the bounds of its existence, which is why acceptance and temperance become key in managing the will within.

As time etched forward my nurse came in again, the room still lit from before, she indicated that they still don’t know, but hopefully would know by around 7 in the morning. She flipped the lights off as she left the room.

Rick NashI sat in the darkness, watching it, as if it were more familiar than the backs of my eyelids. I said nothing aloud after she left, the room’s silence was too deafening to speak. My eyes refused to droop, a determined stare replaced any unusual facial expression I’d adopted to obfuscate my personal feelings in front of her.

Around 6:00 AM, I heard the breakfast carts moving about. I smelled their sweet aroma, I asked my nurse if they’d learned anything new.  She shook her head and said, “Around seven, that’s when we’ll know.”

Hope Turning into Doubt

“I had narrowly escaped death, just a few days ago for the fifth time.” I thought to myself. Encouragement in anticipation for the moment of truth. I was skeptical of this last liver back-up offer. My hope was turning to doubt in the last moments and I needed to remind myself that worry is the fog talking. Stress and Hepatic Encephalopathy do not mix well, and in order to realize that HE is happening it usually needs an outside perspective.

At 7:00 AM, Shift change occurred and after introductions, my new nurse indicated that she’d update me soon. After breakfast time was over, she took me off NPO and asked if I need anything. My last liver offer proved not viable.

I asked for four boxes of Rice Krispies, three Jell-Os, two milks, and every snack item they could consider breakfast. She was a dear and with an understanding smile managed to get everything I’d requested. She opened a Jell-O for me and helped me with some of the containers. She asked “On a scale of one to ten, how do you rate your pain?” I replied with a chuckle “It’s just a seven, I don’t need anything yet.”

The rush of it all, I knew. After half a bowl of Rice Krispies and most of a strawberry Jell-O, I couldn’t eat anymore. The stress had weighed on my stomach and my time in the hospital was impacting my appetite. Not ten minutes later she came in and took the food away. I had another liver offer. I asked her about my IV, why It wasn’t hooked up when I was on NPO. She explained that I should have been, and brought in an IV bag, stat. She’d turned on the TV for me, and I changed it to the news to watch the election results.


Check back for more from Rick’s series “The Fine Line”

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