When I got the call from the transplant team four months ago, going through the motions of getting prepared for the hospital and prepped for surgery felt dramatic; real, important and life changing. When the operation didn’t go through I was frustrated, but expected I would get another call soon. Afterall, the first call came after only one month of being on the list.
Tonight when the phone rang, I felt very different from the first time around. My bag was already packed, and over the last few weeks it was beginning to sink in that the life I have been leading over the past months would not be sustainable for too much longer. My thought began to turn daily towards getting the call. After I had a brief conversation with the transplant coordinator, my first thought turned to my son; who should be at the hospital with me, who should stay behind to ensure Louis understands what is happening? I have been speaking about “the operation” to him and he understands the situation, but the most important thing for me is that he is well nurtured while I am absent.
Since it is a heart beating donor (that’s all I know so far), I won’t know if the surgery is a go until around 6am, when they take the potential donor off life support and open them up to assess the quality of the organ. If it is good, I will be taken to theatre around 8am.
I have been thinking of this other being for months, wondering if they have had to suffer, if they had any idea of their imminent death or how heroic they would become, to save the life of another being. No words could describe this type of gratitude and sorrow for the loss of another being’s life that may in the end, spare mine.
Being back on the liver ward reminds me of the passing of time, as the registrars (the young doctors who do most of the ground work) have all moved on to different hospitals and I’m meeting a new team. It also reminds me of all the various states of well and unwell the ward has supported me through, and that this time tomorrow, if all goes well, I maybe in a large amount of pain in a different ward, the intensive care unit.
Whatever happens, I feel ready and able to manage the next stage of this process called life. I feel so extremely blessed that I have had several months of wellness to create stability for my son after a challenging first part of the year, and blessed to have such incredible, holy beings surrounding me providing me with grace, keeping me well nourished with love.
If this liver doesn’t work out to be “the one”, there will be another. It is out of my hands and in the fate of the universe, a force of which I have complete faith and unshakable devotion. Things have a way of working out.
If it does go through, and at 8am later today I am wheeled into the theatre for this gigantic surgery, it will be the beginning of a whole new life for me. One that may take some time and attention to cultivate, but in the wider scope of things, has the potential to be far greater a life, far more beautiful and precious, than I ever could have imagined. Watch this space.