Monday, 7 October 2013

A little insight into the future

Today I received the Consent for Transplant form and a 20 page leaflet detailing everything to go with it.

It...covers....everything. No, really...everything. and it bought back the following memory:

Several years ago, I went to a private doctor for a mini-procedure involving an implant completely unrelated to my current issue. After the procedure, he recommended I read the leaflet that comes with the implant. After taking a minute to read it to himself, in silence, he muttered ''s probably best you don't...' scrunched it up and put it back in his draw. Then summarised the leaflet for me, leaving out the medical fear factor.
Medicine leaflets are designed to warn patients of every possibility, including some which leave the patient suddenly wanting to adopt the life of a hermit on that tiny island waaaaay out there cos its safer, ktxbai, but in reality, only an unlucky 1% might actually encounter them.

On reading a 20 page leaflet based solely on 'the process of a transplant, before and after' plus side-effects, I had an overwhelming need for a doctor to come along, take the leaflet and say 'yup, enough of that, you'll be fiiiiiiiiine'.
It may have been my common sense popping up in disguise, reminding me that the leaflet was highlighting ALL possibilities and the entire process may well be a smooth run for me.
Don't get me wrong, it's a ridiculously useful and informative read, but I'm honestly hoping some of the stuff they've written in there is based on the 'we have to tell you about everything, including the possible scenario of a meteorite hitting earth and nudging the surgeon's hand a cm' factor.

Since receiving then reading the leaflet, I've gone through a number of emotions.
(actually, my first, original reaction on opening the envelope was to poop myself as first I saw the words 'witness signature' and, I kid you not, honestly thought someone was suing us for something! Hello, anxiety!).
These were as follows:

  1. Excitement - 'oh cool, that arrived quickly' 
  2. Curiousity - 'oh wow...this is interesting....lots of info'
  3. Consternation - ''
  4. A little bit of fear - *silence*

My final reaction - Numb: I stood up from the sofa, and stood in the centre of the living room. Tom walks in, sees me, gives me a hug and I burst into tears.

I yeah.

I started writing this entry straight after the hug, but I've gone over it a few times to ensure it makes sense. The emotions and thoughts I had whilst reading the leaflet are fresh.
I won't deny it: a part of my brain thought 'do I really want to go ahead with this...'
My brain immediately started reminding me what the doctor said, my final decision based on logic before shock hit, then reminding myself how much better I'll feel after a successful operation.

It's just...there are SO many factors to consider, more than I think I was willing to realise. So many.
The transplant process involves numerous tests, before and after, countless check-ups, so many possible side effects to watch out for (am I highlighting the quantities of things enough here?).
Admittedly, the doctor said to me 'you'll have a lot to think about after the transplant...' and my response was 'yes, but I do that anyway. After the operation, it might still be the same, but with energy and clarity of thought!'

As I write this, my head is clearing and logic is starting to glimmer through. Yes, it was a lot of information to take in (fortunately my living donor contact warned me in advance so it wouldn't knock me out from the shock), but I think a part of me felt like there was a ridiculous amount I had to do and generalloy went into overload: 'ohgodIcan'tletanythinggowrongaaarrgh!'
But truth be told....there's minimal I need to do my end. At least, not until I've had the operation and I've recovered enough to be able to handle it.

And sure I'll be taking a lot of medication which have some...apparently interesting potential side-effects, but I've been taking vitamin pills for years (had about 5 daily as a kid) and I'm taking stuff now, so it won't be new and I might not suffer any side-effects at all.

Cats: making any serious moment funny since the internet was born

Yes, this leaflet gave me a huge shock, highlighting exactly what I'll go through, but then I've undergone so much in my life, what's one more thing that could actually help the next 10 years be brighter and full of so much more energy.  On top of that, the consent form actually that the transplant is voluntary and I can withdraw at any point, without giving any reason. Further highlighting the fact that this operation is for the recipient and it's the recipient's choice....making the choice all the easier to make.
My contact, bless her, wrote a post-it on the consent form, stating there was no rush for me to sign it, but just so I'm aware. Making me feel all the more like it's in my control.

I'm in safe hands and I know it. It's just each step close I take towards the actual op, I get hit by a tide of shock.

If you've got this far, it may be obvious by now I'm still in a bit of shock and I'm not sure how to sign this particular blog off as, despite writing so much, it's still raw and there's still a lot going through my head (the feeling I wanted to capture in this blog), so instead of writing some inspirational randomness, let me leave you with this:

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