Thursday started off just like any other day. I had an appointment to attend at the hospital followed by an ultrasound and a dietician review. All went well and according to plan. There was nothing but positive feedback from the doctors and my consultant even mentioned that he would talk about me with the rest of the liver team, to decide if it whether to keep me on the transplant list. He always said that I looked so well whenever he saw me. My bloods continue to remain stable and my score remains low. This is the perfect position to be in when awaiting a good quality liver.
Once I had seen my consultant, we waited a long while for my abdominal ultrasound scan. After 20 mins of waiting, my dad’s phone went off, but just before he was able to answer it, it had stopped ringing. It was an 0121 number (Birmingham) and as soon as we worked out that it was from the hospital, my mum called my dad. His facial expression suddenly turned serious, and from that I knew what it was about. Was this the moment that we had been waiting for? The new lease of life offered to me? The gift of a new liver?
My mum told me what to do but I couldn’t control my emotions and was soon in floods of tears. They were happy tears and couldn’t believe that this was happening! It seemed so soon. Too soon. I had been telling myself that I have to wait up to 3 years!
As soon as I was off the phone to my mum, the transplant co-ordinator phoned me. She instructed me to head to the ward once I had had my scan. Thoughts, feelings and emotions rushed through me. I couldn’t take in what had just happened…. it was unreal! I I told myself to remain calm and expect it to not go ahead as i didnt want to get too upset if was to be cancelled for me.
All they had told me about the possible liver i may receive was that it was to be split and shared with a baby. I was called as a back up and that the baby was the priority patient. If all was to go to plan then the baby would get the left lobe and i would receive the right lobe.
Once I had got to the ward, I was greeted by a couple of nurses who told me they were expecting me. We were told to wait in the relatives room until my bed was ready. Whilst waiting, I was seen by a transplant co-ordinator, a medical registrar, junior doctor, health care assistant and a nurse.
Zoe a close friend who I studied with and now works in the hospital, came to visit and gave me a big hug. I told her what happened and when to expect to hear about the liver. She was so happy to hear this news but told her not to get too excited.
Various tests went ahead during the wait, to see if I was healthy and fit enough for the surgery. Whilst this was all going on, my mum arrived with some belongings in case I’d have to stay in. My phone was going off what seemed like every second. Family and friends asking for updates on what was happening.
I kept everyone posted on what was happening. I felt pretty calm compaired to everyone else. I guess it’s because I’ve had time to think and mentally prepare myself for so long.
6pm arrived and originally I was told Id find out about if the liver was suitable for me by then, but no one came. I asked a healthcare assistant if they knew how long it would be until I’d hear from from the surgeons… to which he replied.. ‘around 8 or 9 o clock i recon!’
My sister Maya and Zoe came to visit me again whilst I remained waiting. When Zoe was about to leave, the doctor who had examined me poked his head around the curtain and shook his head.
” Sorry but the Liver isn’t suitable enough… I don’t like giving this kind of news, but someone has to do it!”
“Don’t worry” I replied. “It’s fine”
I took it quite well as I didnt think it was my time.
I’ll be starting work soon, heading to London over the weekend and so much more to look forward to. I didn’t feel ready to have my surgery yet and for the first time I realised that actually I’m learning to cope quite well with waiting on the list.
I’m lucky to be very well, to be as fit and active as I am now.
Maya blurted… “Let’s go and smash a curry!” …in order to try and lighten the mood. I was absolutely fine and didn’t feel affected by the situation at all. I was quite suprised myself with how i took the news.
We soon left the ward to head off for our well earned curry. I had been nil by mouth for 24 hours so was starving. My eyes proved bigger than my stomach so I ended up taking most of it home to eat the next day. 😀
I’ve been relatively calm about all of this recently and hopefully I will remain that way. I’m expecting to be called in again in a few months but you can never tell. Hopefully it means I’m close to the top of the list after nearly 11 months of waiting.
So the wait continues but life is getting back to normal again so I’m happy. This experience will be treated as a trial run so ill be more prepared next time. :).
Maya showing me all her lip balms with my mum and dad.
In london that weekend with my younger sister Harriet.
Here she is teaching her cat to lye around her neck.
As Maya would say… “Smashing a curry”
10 downing street.
St James Park. A view of Buckingham Palace
Me in sweet heaven 🙂 – Cyber Candy, Covent Garden
Harriet in one of Dad’s favourite shops (Stanfords) with her lollypop from Cyber Candy.