I have been meaning to update but, needed to first gather my thoughts and slow things down a bit. So I will begin and stop procrastinating. On Monday the 15th of January I was admitted to the Groote Schuur hospital to begin a week of thorough testing. I was set up in ward D24 but my transplant clinic is in ward D22. This is the very same ward Dr Chriss Barnard used for his heart transplant success exactly 50 years ago. The lung transplant clinic has only just come online and is the first for state hospitals in South Africa.
The tests started the same day and included lung volume tests, 6 minute walk test, ecg and x-rays. The rest of the week was jammed with tests such as HRCT scan with contrast, angiogram or heart catheter, ultrasound, gastroscopy and colonoscopy, bone density test, dentist and finally a visit from the social worker. With such efficiency the tests were all concluded by Friday. The word from my Doctor before I was discharged was that all seemed good but, I would have official notice by Tuesday the following week as to my inclusion onto the transplant list or not. At this point I was still trying to process everything. Everything happened so quickly like being plucked out of a hammock on a distant tropical island and dumped into the maddening Christmas rush. Filled with excited anticipation but still having to hold onto a realistic perspective of the what it all meant. My mind was spinning the entire weekend with questions and discussions. By Monday I was fatigued just from the emotional whirlwind in my head. That same afternoon I received an email from my Doctor to confirm that I had just been placed on the list for a bilateral lung transplant.
No words can explain the extent of what this means to me. The younger generation may consider me old at 50 and the older generation will consider me young. I feel like my life is just beginning, like I have just completed school, or celebrated my 21st birthday. I am going to be an adult again. I will be able to build my life and pursue my dreams and ambitions. For nine years I have been patiently waiting for that train to arrive. The one that takes you to the light at the end of the tunnel. That place of unknown. Nine years of packing into boxes all my intentions and hopes. Suddenly without provocation or manipulation from my side, this gift of life that I thought was completely impossible taps me on the shoulder and leads me into the wildest blissful emotional rollercoaster. This is now for real. I am sitting here writing this update knowing that my phone could ring at any moment
. My mind has still not caught up with it all but, I am loving the anticipation and possibilities. I feel like an angel just turned the lights on in my head, cleared all the surfaces, unpacked the boxes while everyone pitched up for work and started redecorating. Soon I will be ready to stare out the window and feel free to walk outside and play in this party called life.
We are all so blessed.