Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Big day of the operation

After months of tests, planning and John's commitment and drive from day one, the day of realisation has arrived. Surprisingly I managed to get a good night’s rest, probably also due to Monday's early morning hour dialysis and again on Monday night I managed to rest after using some ear plugs for the night.

I was awakened from a good nights rest early Tuesday morning by my wife Lizelle stroking my hair and it was so wonderful to see her and my mom by my bedside. John was already awake being prepared for his operation and I rushed over to his room still half asleep to see how he was doing. I could see that John was nervous but so brave, a man who has never spend a day in hospital before due to his impeccable health. After wishing John the best we decided to wait outside his room with all the Doctors and nurses now attending to him. As John approached we all gave him a high five wishing him the very best all with emotions running high and tears in our eyes.

For the next few hours John was in our minds every second, visioning his progress; John is now on the operation table; he might now be in recovery; he is probably on his way back etc etc. As always Natasja was calm and collected awaiting her husband’s return sitting patiently by my bedside. Grant my dedicated and ever helpful head nurse was also very busy getting me ready and before we knew it I was in my "gown". First my friendly anaesthetist ("my person" as Lizelle described her) arrived to ask me some standard medical questions running through some of the expected preparation procedures for the day. I also had the wonderful opportunity to meet my surgeons Susanna assisted by Hector which provided finer details around the procedure. I was very impressed by my surgeons and felt a sense of relief that I was in such professional  hands and lucky to have such skillful people taking care of me. I felt calm and relatively relaxed being very positive for what lies ahead and knew that everything was now in God's hands and that I put all my trust in Him, the Surgeons who He would guide during our operations.

Thank you to my wonderful wife Lizelle for being such a strong person standing by my side and never to let go throughout the years, by my side never faltering under the immense pressure and stress xxx

Saying our goodbyes I gave Lizelle and my mom a big big hug, Natasja was there wishing me well and the best news was that we just received feedback that John's operation went brilliantly well and he is recovering. On my way Les and Brenda our dear friends was awaiting me in the hallway also wishing me all the best for the operation, was such a wonderful surprise seeing them there so full of happiness and emotion, even Grant was getting emotional :) It was so wonderful being surrounded by so many friendly and helpful staff until the last minute, even arriving in the prep room the anaesthetist, her assistant and nurse made me feel relaxed and comfortable (without the drugs yes).

Before I knew it I was awakened by a voice in the darkness as I could barely open my eyes saying it all went well and John is doing fine - a moment filled with such overwhelming emotions of relief, happiness and excitement although still half asleep battling through the grogginess. I was also constantly being reminded to "press the button" as some pain was now settling in. As soon as I was half awake I was wheeled off to the ultra-sound to ensure that my new kidney whom I now christened "Johnny" is doing well which was a very uncomfortable trip with every bump and turn resulting in excruciating pain, a dry mouth that I could barely get a word out. As before Grant was by my side encouraging me every step of the way even bringing me water and taking care of the pain which I'm so grateful for - thank you Grant.

As far as I can remember I was on my way back to my room shaking and recovering from the pain but within a few minutes Grant had things under control and I was able to see Lizelle. A wonderful feeling of relief and happiness which was all made possible by John's own decision to give me an amazing gift of life, which I'm convinced was part of God's plan to unfold this miracle in front of us never to be the same and appreciate life in a whole new way.

Thank you John!


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