Before I continue telling you about my primary school experiences (if you missed it, you can read it at, ANOTHER NEW PLACE), I’d like to type about my liver transplant. Before I had my liver transplant, I was on a waiting list. The doctor told us that the wait was most likely going to be a looooooong one, some people wait for years and some don’t make it, because the wait was too long. But for me, in less than 2 months! We got a call saying that there was a liver waiting for me (literally).
It was the morning of a March day, I remember being woken up by someone (either my mum or dad). It was early and I was tired. Everything was going by slowly, we got ready slowly, we got onto the car slowly and the ride to the hospital went by slowly too. I remember we were all half asleep and everyone was silent in the car. Okay, there were a few being said, but other than that it was silent. I was 13 and a few months old, so I didn’t know the full meaning of what a liver transplant. I mean, I knew that liver transplant meant that, the doctor was going to put a new liver in me. I knew that part of it, other than that, I didn’t know enough to worry about things like, the risk involved, the details of the procedure etc. I was near 14, I was a kid, so even if I wanted to worry or be afraid of something, I wouldn’t know what to worry or be afraid about. Get it? So there I was in the car, on the way to the hospital, feeling nothing, but tired. The walk to the lifts was also a silent one. The silence continued on until when we reached the ward. I think it was either ward 5 or 7? I can’t remember… or ward 3?? Anyways, I remember sitting down watching The Saddle Club while waiting. We were waiting for the surgeon and the anesthetists. I also remember a lady coming over to see me (I think she was the chaplain). Whilst I was enjoying The Saddle Club, the people in blue (or maybe green? I’m colour blind…) scrubs arrived. They introduced themselves and took us to the theatre area.
Layed on the bed, the anesthetists did their thing, preparing, and then, the mask was finally put on top of my mouth. And boy! I don’t even know how to describe to you the smell of anesthetic! It’s terrible, horrible, makes you want to vomit, makes you cringe, in short, it ain’t good! And after about forever, smelling the disgusting anesthetic, I fell into a deeeep sleep. I was knocked out for 12 hours. The whole transplant procedure took that long. And yep, that’s the longest operation I’ve ever had. All the ones like, liver biopsies, heart catheter, jaw surgery (still on the waiting list for this), dental something, are all little, mini procedures.
I remember the first few times when I was awake, everything was so blurry, so, blurred. The anesthetic was still in my system. So I was half awake and mostly asleep. I wasn’t fully conscious or alert. When that phase was over, I went through another phase. And in this phase, I was still in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). I was awake now, and not only was I awake. I was awake and I was forced to stay awake. I was extremely tired, like, extremely, extremely tired, but I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, and I even asked for more morphine, in hopes that it would put me to sleep. But I just couldn’t sleep. There were so many wires around me, big ones, thin ones, small ones, coloured ones, you name it all! It was all on me, beside me, under me, over me, oh my goodness! I could not sleep! It was a terrible experience. Crazy!
I remember missing my mum and wishing she was next to me. I would look and stare at the ICU door, wishing and hoping that the next person opening the door would be her. And every time when it wasn’t her, I would be devastated. One day a women came through the door, it wasn’t my mum, but I missed my mum so much that, I actually thought it was my mum disguising as a radiographer. I was so overly overjoyed that I think the women must have thought, “Wow, I’ve never seen such an alive ICU patient in my working life.” Yep, that was how crazy I was and that was how much I wanted my mum.
I also had another bad experience whilst I was in the ICU. So it was time to take my medicines. And again, I was feeling “urgh” and so I didn’t wanted to take my medicines. I just wanted to be left alone and not be disturbed. And the nurse working that night was so danging impatient! She was forcing it into my mouth and when I didn’t opened my mouth, she threatened to put a tube. I was mad at her. We kinda had a little mini fight… oh boy. This is just one unpleasant incident that I had with a nurse, other than that, the nurses are great at the Royal Children’s Hospital!
Slowly, as the days and weeks went by, things started to be gone, one wire/tube at a time. Finally, the day came, I was allowed to go to the ward. The nurses from the ward came and pushed me up to my room. Yes, I had my own room. I needed it, because I just had a transplant and that means my immune system was super low. And it was very easy for me to get sick or get an infection. Overall, the stay at the ward was ten times better than the ICU. The nurses and the doctors were really great! I could sleep. I could walk around the room. I could draw, colour, use the laptop (from the hospital), in short, everything was good. Hmm, besides the 12 different types of medicines that I had to take every single day… all was back to normal. At the ward, my stiches (at the right side of my neck) were taken off and my last, thin tube that was connected to my liver was cleaned by the nurse everyday. I couldn’t have visitors, but I received gifts, get well letters and so on. I also got things like, a Melbourne 2006, Commonwealth Games blanket from the hospital. And, as I said before, I couldn’t have anyone coming in to my room, visiting me, so the whole time I could only watch from the inside of my room. For example, when the bunny visited for Easter, I could only watch it walk pass from my room. Nope, the bunny wasn’t allowed to come in (not that I was sad or anything, because I wasn’t into Easter bunnies. Easter time isn’t about bunnies). And if you were wondering, yes, only my parents or my siblings were allowed to come in to my room.
The surgeon, Prof. Bob Jones, told my parents that the liver was a perfect match! And for the first time in my little life, my LFT (Liver Function Test) was normal. Woohoo! God has given me a perfect liver in less than 2 months! God is good right? Yes He is 🙂
I actually have a picture of me just after my transplant, but it’s somewhere in the boxes in the garage. And I have no clue which box it’s in, so… no picture to show for now, sadly. Anyways, this has been a pretty long post, so I will stop right here.