Sunday, July 3, 2011

Surgery Day-Morning Pep Talk

I had a very solid sleep for half of the night before surgery. I was sleeping deeply enough that I really didn't care when the night nurse came in to check vitals. I let her do her thing-very unlike me as I am usually a light sleeper who doesn't go back to sleep easily. After about 2AM thought I started waking up about every 30-45 minutes because I thought I had to use the washroom. I think it was more nerves than anything.

By 4AM I was just awake.  It doesn't help when there is a clock across from your bed starting you in the face. I stared at it for about an hour (and checked Facebook on the iPhone) and finally got up at 5AM. I washed my face and brushed my teeth (and wondered to myself when my dangling bra and day old t-shirt was going to come off). I went back and lay in bed, looking out at my great view. The sun was starting to come up. It was still pretty quiet on the floor-not much of any hustle and bustle yet. I took advantage of the calm and quiet to have a chat with Leftie (as goofy as that might sound). I read a blog, posted by the Kidney Foundation of Canada in my research of a girl whose second transplant was slow to work. After weeks of waiting someone suggested to her that she name it and talk to it, encouraging it to work. After she did that, things started working. I get that there isn't any science behind that, and the lack of logic in the scenario conflicts me but I figured I had nothing to lose and two hours to kill till they came and got me. 

I apologized to Leftie for letting him go (I kind of felt bad for some reason) but I asked him to try to work really hard in his new home, for a long time, that he needed to be strong.  I also encouraged Righty to get ready to get ready to step up and take over for him-I told her she could do it. Somewhere, the doctor who did my psych evaluation is cringing, I bet- "OMG she was talking to her organs...I asked her if she heard voices but I never asked her if she speaks to body parts!! Add that to the checklist for next time!". 

I think obviously it was more of a pep take for me anyway and another form of visualization. I've done a lot of that actually in preparation for this final leg of the journey.  I've tried to imagine what the pain will be like and have come up with coping mechanisms to get through it. For example, recently, when it was my "time of the month, I had my usual brutal cramps. The can last up to a day and I've learned how to coax myself through them. Last month, as they occurred, I made myself consider what if the pain was worse than the cramps and lasted two days instead of one. How would you handle it? By thinking ahead and picturing myself going through the recovery process, I hope it will make me more prepared for whats to come. 

I've also calculated how long and when certain symptoms will present themselves (gas, nausea, fatigue) and what I'll do to mitigate them.I've cataloged and committed to memory a list of why I am doing this and how important it is, so in those moments of discomfort or fear, I'll hopefully remember the positives and be able to keep on going. I've accepted certain truths-its going to hurt, I'm going to have to depend on other people, I'm going to look and feel gross and I've going to be put into some embarrassing situations (like being naked in front of strangers, needed bathroom help, saying something dumb whilst on morphine-needing other people in general). I think its important to think things through and imagine as many scenarios as possible so you'll be more mentally prepared for things. I'll keep you posted on that. Again, much like the conversations with the kidneys, I am not sure if it will have any impact at all but what do I really have to lose?

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