The time finally came towards the end of April for our beautiful transplant surgery to take place.
This time, my sister Andrea and I got on a plane. A donor is understandably required to have a support person with them, I was very lucky that my sister who is one of my best friends (and also a Nurse!) was able and willing to go with me, aaaand she was generous enough to take time of without pay.
We were greeted at baggage by Kevin and Laure, and then we dropped our luggage off at the beautiful and modern two bedroom apartment that was rented for us for the duration of our trip. (11 days) Afterwards, we all had a lovely lunch out at a nice Irish breakfast place. We were staying in this amazing part of Yonkers that is predominantly Irish! Who knew!?! I don't mean to sound ignorant, but I had no idea that there was a huge population of Irish immigrants in Yonkers, I had always imagined Yonkers to be populated with New Yorkers bearing the thick East Coast accent we see in films. ;)
Afterwards we went to the grocery store to get items to stock our kitchen, and then 'home' to rest up before Surgery the next morning.
We left for the hospital very early and our group were the first to arrive to sign in and sit in the waiting area outside of pre op. I was under the impression that we would get called in soon, but it did not happen for a couple of hours, until the entire area was full. Highlight--getting to watch the sun rise over the beautiful Hudson River.
When my sister and I got to go back into the pre op area I met my assigned nurse, and got changed into my gown. Next up I had my IV started and met my anaesthesiologist. I'm not sure how long we spent in this area until it was time for me to be wheeled to the operating room, the details are a little blurry, but it was not a terribly long amount of time, and everyone was very nice.
Once I arrived in the operating room, I laid down and was given something to calm me down via my IV, and from there......lights out, so to speak.
The surgery went beautiful for both myself and my recipient Laure. I very slowly came to in the recovery room, and then was taken up to my nice hospital room. Coming out of the anesthesia was no picnic, I was incredibly nauseous and throwing up. My advice: ask for an anti nausea med to be put into your IV before surgery to avoid this. I had no idea this was an option and it really would have made things a lot better the first day/night. Andrea, knowing full well how miserable the nausea and vomiting were making me, asked
"Would you do it again?"
I replied "Ugh....ask me again next week."
Yes, I would do it all again, no contest. Totally wonderful and worth it. I was walking the next day, and out of the hospital two days later.
Andrea and I stayed in New York for another week and I had my follow up appointment with my wonderful surgeon, Dr. Sandoval. We also dined out, were shown around New York, and had an amazing time. I still keep in touch with Laure and her family and can not imagine them not being a part of my life.