The big day.
My alarm goes off at 4am, there was no need I was already awake. I don't feel scared, more of a feeling of nervous anticipation. Same kind of feeling I had before my C sections with my children. I take a shower, as I come out of the bathroom my husband is already sat there. He tells me he couldn't sleep so decided to come over earlier, I feel such relief to see him but guilt at how drained he looks.
The lady in the next bed is telling me about her transplant, she doesn't remember telling me yesterday. I don't think she is well at all.
5 am and the transplant coordinator arrives, she gives me a few minutes to get myself together. I phone my parents and say goodbye, tell them I love them and thank them for a wonderful childhood. They both sound tearful, I message my brothers to say a quick goodbye to them, I feel a bit choked but it's ok, all is going to be ok. There is nothing more to say.
The transplant coordinator returns with a porter and they wheel me down. I feel incredibly calm as I dish out instructions to my husband on who to contact, where the goodbye letters are if I don't come back, how much I love him. I remind him that I expect what ever happens he is to keep it together for the kids, I need him to tell me he will be able to do that. I have a little wobble, what if he loses it? I list the closest family and friends he must turn to for support. I can see he is on the verge of tears. We embrace, I say my goodbye to him.
I'm sat in the corridor, I hear myself laughing and joking with staff, even posing for the camera as the anesthetist is waiting patiently for me to behave. "Send Craig this picture, keep him updated" I pose with my thumbs up.
This is it. I'm not scared, nervous but not afraid. My heart is racing. I can do this. I'm wheeled through, the doors close.
Going to sleep!
I ask how long will it take once they put the anaesthetic in for me to be out, I hear the reply in the distance. I try to talk.........
It's black....all around me....blackness....a female profile close by, with a silver edge but no features.....blackness.... noise like squeaky polystyrene balls fills the blackness.......the silver profile......Eleanor, my sweet baby Eleanor is in my arms... it is Eleanor....she's come back....silver profile is close, talking gently. I can hear a voice say it isn't Eleanor......confused.... Eleanor died but I've got her..... I have her in my arms, please stay with me, don't leave me again......blackness. Silver profile gentle voice....polystyrene squeaking.....
It's bright, I can see people at the end of the bed, I recognise my consultant, my surgeon. I try to wave....they are looking at a monitor....a voice tells me I'm being scanned, talk of spiking bilirubin....can't follow the conversation.....blackness. struggling to breathe.... can't swallow...pulling sensation in my throat...tube is removed, gasping.......blackness.. My mouth...husbands voice..."she likes clean teeth" blackness.....a voice "do I want breakfast?"
The squeaking has stopped, it's not black. I can feel husband combing my hair. A nurse is talking to me.
3 days have passed. I'm awake.