Tuesday, January 8, 2013

TransplantLand 101: Expect The Unexpected

January 3rd - 125.8 lbs 

This day was a day full of a boatload of emotions. Up and down and scattered all over the floor. At one point I thought there was going to be a fight between my heart and stomach contents as to which would end up all over said floor first.

I was supposed to go home. However, in TransplantLand, you learn to take the words "maybe tomorrow" with a grain of salt. Don't expect to go home, and then when you actually do get to, you will be deliriously happy and have saved yourself a lot of let down moments. 

I had another x-ray (these happen daily and often twice daily when dealing with transplant and chest tubes), which was to be my final before discharge. I came back from x-ray and the Hamiltons helped me pack my stuff. We were poised to boot it out of there.

Michael (never forget him), one of the surgeons came busting in my room, followed by two surgical fellows. All staring at me.

"Your x-ray does not look good."

Dread.

Pure dread deluged my body.

He went on to explain that my pneumothorax (collapsed lung, or a buildup of air around the lung which doesn't allow the lung to expand as much as it should and therefore constricts breathing) had become worse and I would need a new chest tube inserted.

Those look a lot like the hospital Granny Panties
All I could think was REJECTION. All I could manage between a flood of tears was, "Don't let me die". I then proceeded to collapse in Pamela's arms.

This is pretty much what I looked like

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I was caught between trying to be a big girl in front of Carman, and not being able to control my fear.

As I said before, this post-transplant world is so unknown and so precarious.

Thankfully, one of the medical doctors put my fears to rest a few hours later - even showing me my sexy x-rays. He told me that pneumothorax is common post-transplant. I asked him point blank, "Do I need to be worried?" He said no. So, I stopped worrying. Just like that.

I have 100% trust in the lung team. They know what they are doing. They will do everything they can to keep my new chunkers in the best possible shape. The surgical team yielded the 'ol chainsaw, ripped me open, tore out the crusties, threw in the new blowers (along with a touch of swagger), stapled me back up...and now the medical team will take me in for tune ups, "oil changes", repairs and whatever else it takes to ensure I stick around to help you all become a bit cooler.

The new chest tube would go in the next day...

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