I HAVE BEEN TRANSPLANTED!
Posted on March 14, 2014
So… it’s been a while. Saturday morning (March 8th, 2014, day 39 on the list) I got a canvas from the hospital, and some paints. I painted a bunch of different hearts, all different sizes, colors and shapes. Some of them I colored in and some of them I didn’t. None of them were colored the same as the outline and some of them overlapped. It was kind of early in the morning, so when the resident came in to do his usual assessment he said “Oh! You’re awake! Well, get your parents on the phone because the doctor will be here in ten minutes and she has a surprise for you!” I called my dad and told him to get here but couldn’t tell him why, because they couldn’t tell me why. The resident left and then I continued onto my painting. I set up a bunch of paper towels and then splattered some bright colors on it, then I let that dry and wrote in black paint “fight for a cure” in cursive. I was pretty impressed with myself. The irony is, right as I was done cleaning up the paint I got on the couch is when I got my temporary “cure.” The doctor came in and said we have a really good donor and it could happen at 8 or 9 pm that night. Of course times for procedures, especially ones these, change all the time. I was so happy and excited and didn’t know what to do.
Later that day, almost my whole family happened to be in San Jose for an event, so they all came to visit and be super excited with me! Some people cried, some people had a painted smile… everyone was over the moon happy, including me. I got my last meal right before 5pm (by that point the surgery had been pushed to midnight). It was a caramel sunday and some mcdonalds fries, and I scarfed them down with my Mountain Dew as fast as I could before five and made it just to 4:59pm.
I had so many things planned to do before the surgery, like a final broadcast with these lungs, or a blogpost talking about how I got the call. After I had visited with my family, they went to dinner and I decided to take a little nap. I expected my family to come back and wake me up so then I could do those things I wanted. Nope. They woke me up to take a pill and said they were coming for me right now! So that’s why I didn’t do those and I apologize.
I have extremely bad procedural anxiety due to many years of attempted IVs that have blown, or PICCs that kind of traumatized me when I was young. I was expecting to be super nervous all day, but surprisingly, I only started getting nervous right when they woke me from my nap and it was time to go.
With my entire dad’s side of the family in tow, they wheeled me up to the waiting area in a wheelchair. This was different for me because every surgery I have ever had they have wheeled me in a bed, but it’s a different hospital so they may do things differently. I had a blanket over me and a stuffed cat. This particular cat is special because he simulates me: he has a g-tube and a MediPort. My mom pinned a miraculous metal to him because I couldn’t have metal.
Doctors, surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists came in and talked with us about various aspects of what to expect and to get a consent form signed by my dad. They then put me on a gurney with a warm blanket (even though I wasn’t cold, but when I get nervous or am in pain I shiver, so they thought I was cold). I got into the operating room and I moved from the gurney to the operating table. I remember saying “Oooh this is all nice and warm,” because it had a mattress type thing that was like a barely blown up raft with hot air. I remember being told to “scootch” upward a little bit. I also remember untying my gown, and putting a bunch of probes on. The next thing I remember is my aunts were visiting me with their masks, gowns and gloves on and I think they were doing my hair or something.