I had been itchy for as long as I could remember, and my Doctor in Cyprus had prescribed all of the pills, potions and lotions you can imagine, but nothing was helping. I also remember the Doctor mentioning being assessed for a transplant but, I kind of put it to one side.
Furthermore, the Cholangitis was constantly there and the rotating antibiotics were just not cutting the mustard any more.
As I was on a slippery slope down hill, my Doctor eventually felt it was time to refer me to the Royal Free Hospital in London so I could be assessed for a transplant.
My first thought… Great, a nice little trip to the big smoke (London) and I’ll be back in no time. Little did I know.
The assessment. What was this? It felt more like a trial to get into the British Athletics team. Running up and down stairs, having my lungs tested, blood tests and meetings with so many people I became dizzy.
That’s how I got on the list and, then the waiting for my transplant began.
Pack your bag and be ready they said. We can call you anytime of the day and that could be tomorrow they said. I went home and thought, that’s easy then. I’ll be sorted have my transplant and back in Cyprus in a month.
The main advice they gave me was, try to keep fit, eat well and stay positive. This advice I took on board so, was walking at least 3 miles a week and doing 50-100 press ups most days. It was not easy and I had to really push myself to carry on. However, I believe it helped me recover from the transplant a lot quicker.
I had to wait 9 months and during this time I had monthly consultations at the hospital which included scans and blood tests every month, but nothing more could be said as it was just a waiting game.
During the 9 months I remember the amount of sales calls we were getting at home. Every time the phone rang I was like an Olympic athlete sprinting for the phone with my heart in my mouth. So much adrenaline running through me I even convinced myself I could run faster than Usain Bolt.
My post from Facebook during the wait is below.
I’m waiting for the hospital to call me at home to say they had found me a new liver but, all day long I get sales call after sales call. My emotions are up and down every time the phone rings. What do they not understand about… I AM NOT INTERESTED SO DO NOT CALL BACK.
Those of you that maybe waiting for a transplant or have had a transplant, will understand how this emotion can take over your life. However, as the time went by, I convinced myself that I would not be called and was constantly wondering if they had forgotten me.
So, when did I get the call? I remember clearly going to my last check up shaking and shivering from the Cholangitis thinking no one cares and no one wants to help me. It wasn’t true of course, but when you are so sick and not thinking straight, the thoughts that come into your mind are crazy.
The Doctors could see how bad I was on that day and asked if anyone had called me in yet. They hadn’t and I remember sitting in the room felt like time was standing still. So many people looking at me and no one moving or doing anything.
12 days after this consultation on March 14th I got the call at 10.45pm. I accepted and was then rushed in an ambulance car to the Royal Free Hospital.
Waiting is so hard, but that call did eventually come.
Stay strong and stay positive.