It was a tough week in preparation for the operation where I had to start my immune suppression medication with some side effects, but the excitement of having a new life and John and I staying in regular contact kept us both motivated for the big day. I also made a visit to the Renal Outpatient clinic during the week where Ray was able to take some blood early in the morning to confirm that my levels were at the required level prior to the transplant. It turned out that I was over medicated and was happy to hear that the immune suppression would be reduced which would help with some of the side effects.
Furthermore my mom also arrived on Saturday the 24th November in London from South Africa. Unfortunately I could not join Lizelle on her journey to Heathrow obviously avoiding big crowds possibly complicating things further due to exposure to viruses or bugs. It was however wonderful to see her once they arrived home and we had an opportunity to catch-up. My dad could unfortunately not join us due to illness and difficulty to travel but was in constant contact with us in the days to follow.
I had to check into the Royal London hospital on Sunday afternoon but left it till the last minute to pack my bag, possibly just soaking up the home environment which I was sure to miss in the days to come. Finally the moment has arrived and we were on our way where we were greeted by some friendly staff and shown to the high care unit where I would spent the next 10 days. Sunday was mostly devoted to administration and some final blood test to ensure that my current blood levels are in line with the requirements prior to the operation. Unfortunately my potassium levels were a bit high and after the painful reaction of a glucose and insulin drip due severe pain in my arm in an attempt to reduce my potassium levels which could be harmful to my heart I had a 2 hour dialysis session in the very early morning hours of Monday.
We were looking forward seeing John and Natasja on Monday morning. As they arrived John's bed was not ready for a few hours but everyone pulled some chairs together around my bed which ended in some good conversation and even a few laughs which definitely helped. John was obviously also eager to settle down and getting ready so we were happy to hear late that afternoon that his bed was ready which gave him the opportunity to get some rest and settle in for the night. The rest of Monday evening was dedicated to my FINAL dialysis session which was one of my longest sessions but I made sure to complete my full 4 hours until the last second as this was my LAST dialysis session!
An exciting day which gave John and me the time to reflect on this miracle that was about to unfold in front of us.