In the few days before my transplant, when we were waiting for a donor organ to become available, I have very few memories. Toxins had started reaching my brain and if I wasn't asleep, I was confused most of the time.
I'm unsure if I really was at peace with the thought of dying, or if my body and mind were just too exhausted to realise it. I like to think it's the former, but there are two instances that suggest otherwise.
I have only two very clear memories of the three days I was on the transplant list. One I don't like so much, the other I want to remember forever. Here's the first:
I'm waking up, slowly and drowsy, there are lots of nurses around me, I know they're nurses because they're moving me and repositioning things all over me. I'm somewhere I don't recognise and I realise I must be waking up from the op. That means they found me a donor liver! I'm OK, I'm saved! I try to check, in my half awake state I remember trying to ask one of the nurses "am I OK?", my voice was so tiny it took three attempts. But the answer came back affirmative. I was OK! I didn't ask any more questions, I let the nurses do all the faffing they needed to. Questions didn't matter, I was OK and Paul would be here soon.
It was a little while until my mum and Paul walked in, smiling at me, I was so happy and so relieved, though still groggy and confused. I could only lie my head one way because there were lines in my neck, so Paul walked around to that side and in my tiny voice I said to him "It's over! I've had the op!!".
The look on his face, his smile disappeared and a panic filled his eyes. "No baby, not yet, but you're OK, you got a bit worse in the night so you've just been moved to intensive care, but you're OK, they will find you a liver, this will be over soon."
That was the first time I cried and the first time I remember real fear. It stayed with me a little while, but was soon replaced by concentrating on breathing, trying to process what people were saying to me. All the little things we do without noticing were the things that took all my focus. Thankfully.
My second memory is a much happier one, one I never want to forget. Read it here >>