The Dance of Her Life - Page 5
“When I think of the countless hours my mother has not slept, worried about me missing my medication, the countless hours she’s spent in the hospital with nothing to do,” she says tearfully. “Her life stopped to keep mine going.”
She thinks about the dance studio her mom ran for 23 years. She thinks how her mom named her Melody because her name had to be musical. She thinks how her mom was dancing pregnant in a recital the last week of June; Melody was born the first week of July.
Then Lynn does what she does whenever she thinks about her pulmonary function number – she sees her life, her number rising higher and higher. She turns to her new hope, Jen Likness.
On Dec. 2, Likness celebrated the one-year anniversary of her lung transplant.
“When you need a lung transplant, you’re not scared of it, you’re hoping for it,” says Likness, who met Lynn in November.
She told Lynn stories of going to Disney World with her family. Her firefighter brother-in-law sat down because his feet hurt. Likness looked at him and said, “I’m breathing, you’re walking.” She told Lynn of her recent trip to New York City. Walking the streets, she had to stop to thaw her hands – not because she couldn’t breathe.
Now 29, Likness knows her lungs came from a college student in Alabama, and that’s all she knows.
“I know her life was able to move forward, that’s all I needed to know. She’s more than two years older than me, and that’s a lifetime when you’re talking about something that’s taking your life,” Lynn says, eager to start the preliminary tests for her own lung transplant.
Once all her tests are complete, Lynn will be put on a list. A phone call may come at any time, day or night, to let her know: New lungs are available.
“So I’m going to take a semester off before I start my master’s and do this lung thing,” is how she explains it to her mother.
Her mother says that without the stage jitters, the performance would not be as fulfilling.
Her daughter, the dancer, now waits for her phone call.
Since graduating in December, Lynn has been in limbo. Without her consent, she says Medicaid changed her insurance provider to one her pulmonologist does not accept. Hence testing for her pending lung transplant was delayed by paperwork. Lynn says she was able to start scheduling appointments Feb. 1.
In the meantime, she treated herself to a haircut and got caught up on her dental hygiene, having four wisdom teeth extracted and 13 cavities filled on the same day – Friday, Jan. 13. To ward off painful dry sockets in her mouth, she was unable to use her aerosol treatments so her arthritis flared up. And she had to sleep sitting up in a recliner in her living room for two days.
She also auditioned for “Chicago,” running March 16 to April 1 at the Cultural Park Theatre in Cape Coral. Casting called her back and she awaits her second audition as Pinnacle goes to print.