(Roughly one week after surgery)
Well, the day that we were never sure would come did, in fact, arrive. I went through a second transplant a few days ago! I have so much I am thinking and feeling about that but I will have to wait for another time to write it all down.
Today, I want to get down on paper the experience I had immediately before the surgery…before I forget! Amazingly, I have been through the pre-transplant process 4 times (two transplants and two “no-go’s”) so none of the procedures were much of a surprise. What was different this time, however, was the fear. I was much sicker than before the last transplant and traveling into mostly unchartered waters by doing this major surgery a second time. My mother was sobbing. She was nearly convinced I wouldn’t make it through. From the time I stepped foot in the ER, I was fighting the pit in my stomach. I tried to be positive but I couldn’t deny the fact that this may be the end of me.
When I had gone through all of the many steps it takes to make it to the holding area (the last step before OR), my fear continued to steadily increase. When we found out the donor lungs were good, I said my goodbyes to my family and was wheeled back to the hallway in front of the OR. The person wheeling me left me alone on my gurney while they went to fetch something. This was the first time since I had gotten the call that there may be a donor that I had been completely alone. In this private moment, my fear went through the roof. I was on the verge of panic.
I began talking to myself and trying to soothe my emotions with investigation. Why was I so nervous? What was the root of this terror? It occurred to me that I was unconsciously reading a secret cosmic message out of my fear. There was a part of me that believed, because I was in fear, that I was making the wrong decision. I was translating my fear as a warning to not proceed with this operation.
As quickly as I realized this, I heard a calming voice in my mind. The voice said “Just because you fear it does not make it wrong”. As the sentence repeated, I was able to let go of the part of my anxiety that was related to the belief that fear = run.
When the attendant returned to take me into the operating room, I was not without fear. Certainly, I was no longer on the verge of panic, but I still felt sick with worry. All I could do at that point was allow my fear, observe it and remind myself that it was not a fortune telling device. I went under anesthesia with fear pulsing through me and the deepest knowledge that my fate was up to someone much greater than I, or my emotions. It was the truest moment of “Give it to God” I have ever known.