Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Another late-night Harefield excursion

Posted by Oli on Wednesday 15th August, 2007

I don’t have much to ramble on about this morning, I’m tired and I don’t think my brain is working properly.

I got another call from Harefield last night, around 6pm (the Tx-coordinator actually interrupted the end of Neighbours, the cheek!).  It took me a while to grasp what she was calling about as I’d phoned her earlier and thought she was returning my call, so I was merrily chattering away to her about this that and the other before she manage to slip into the conversation that she wanted me to go down.

It was a very different experience this time, although I can’t quite put my finger on why.  Feeling completely serene (at least for my part), we drove the back roads so as to avoid the rush-hour motorway traffic and got the the ward just before 8pm, where I slowly went through the battery of tests they perform to check your suitability.

For the first time on any of my calls, I saw one of the surgical team, a really nice German/Austrian doc who talked through everything with us in immense amounts of detail which managed to be both petrifying and completely reassuring.  Not quite sure how that works.

The combination of it being early evening rather than late night and the collection of tests and assessments being strung out over a longer period of time all seemed to help the time pass much quicker than on previous calls.

By 11pm I was showered, shaved and scrubbed in my gown, lying in the bed ready to go, waiting on word from the team.  Almost to the second around 11.15pm I started to feel the nerves kick in and then they somewhat ran away with me.   It’s a strange kind of fear that I felt, centred largely on not knowing what I was going to wake up to.

Strangely, I don’t have any fear of dying on the table, or post-op, nor do I particularly fear any of the rest of the process, but what bothers me is not knowing how it’s going to feel and what I’m going to see when I come round the other side.  Everyone reacts totally differently to the op, so it’s impossible to judge by anyone else’s experience how it’s going to be, which in turn means there’s nothing I can do to prepare.

As nervous as I was, though, I was confident in myself and my decision to go ahead with things, and still excited at the prospect of my new lease of life.

Unfortunately, the coordinator came in just after midnight and let us know it was a no-go.  They had apparently all had very long discussions about the suitability of the lungs, but in the end they’d had to err on the side of caution and decided it was just to dangerous to transplant them in their current state.  It was odd, though, as the coordinator seemed almost as gutted as we were – I think everyone there was convinced that this was our time.

I felt completely gutted, in a very literal, physical sense – it felt like I’d been hollowed out in my stomach and left gaping.  The three previous false alarms had been disappointing, but have never caused such a swelling of negative emotion in me.  The journey home was a long, tough one last night.

Of course much of an adverse reaction to things like last night comes through pure tiredness – lack of sleep does all sorts of odd things to your emotions and thought processes.  I know that things have to be 100% right for me to stand a decent chance of coming through things, so I know the docs are doing their best by me.  I know also that they are thinking of me and will get me up whenever they can.

I still feel tired and flat this morning, but I think it just needs 24 hours of bed rest and I’ll be back on all-cylinders again.  Apologies for typos in this, spell-checking is lower on my priority list than sitting doing nothing at the moment.


12 Responses to “Another late-night Harefield excursion”

  1. Katie said

    Oh Oli, I’m so so sorry that it was still not your turn last night. My thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with you to overcome the tiredness and all the frustrations, and of course for your ‘go-ahead’ call to come very soon.


  2. Emily said

    hugest of hugs hon…xxx

  3. Pete said

    I have my fingers crossed for you so tightly that I think I might have fractured my index.

    Hang in there buddy.

  4. Frizzymum said

    All my love Oli… as you say yourself, everything has to be right, at the right place, at the right time, for things to happen – but everyone is working to make it happen, and happen it will. Hang in there. Xx

  5. Suze said

    Totally gutted for you babe, really got a bit upset to learn you’d had to go through that all again. As you say though, right place, right time – you know I’m a firm believer in that and I’m sure it’s round the corner. Much love, S&G xxxx

  6. Ben said

    Next time, Gadget. xxx

  7. jen said

    hi Oli,

    I’m totally gutted to hear this, the next one HAS to be the one!

    Jen x

  8. suzie said

    Oli, you’re doing brilliant at the mo and only the best is good enough, they’ll get you there. Hang on in and keep that positive mode thats been so present lately, easier said than done I know, so sending many ‘stay strong’ vibes your way.

    Sue x

  9. Jayne said

    Ditto all the above (I’m a cop out).


  10. susie (lollipop) said

    Thinking of you Oli, hopefully the ‘right time’ will be the next time and come really really soon. Can’t imagine how your feeling but hang in there and your time will come, and it will be so worth the wait.

  11. Jax said

    Soooooo sorry these weren’t the lungs for you.

    Hugs, Jax x

  12. Emmie said

    Just wanted to send you a huge hug Oli. I’m so sorry that you went through yet another false alarm. The emotional impact of all that must be immense. I know though that when it’s right it will be right and it will happen. Last thing that you would want was to swop one pair of dodgy lungs for another, and you real set will be sparkly and shiny and perfect. Thinking of you xxxx

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