I remember waking up from my heart transplant strapped to the bed, confused and lost, trying to utter words and realizing there was a tube in my throat. I tried to express what I wanted to say by writing on a piece of paper but couldn’t write the letter a.
Panic and joy
I immediately freaked out badly. The nurses came to calm me down by helping me understand what was going on and why I was strapped to the bed. The reason being they knew I would panic when I came to myself, which could have caused me to pull out tubes, etc. I can remember having an IV in my neck, both arms, and tubes in lots of places.
Most of all I remember the feeling I felt when I realize I was alive and had made it through my transplant. The amount of joy, gratefulness, thankfulness, and relief was a feeling I had never felt in my life. Honestly, words can’t really express the emotions I felt.
In the hospital
Family and sleep
My family was all in the waiting room when I woke up, anticipating seeing me. I slept all that day, waking up the next day to my doctor coming in telling me I made it through and taking the IV out of my neck. She made the nurses take me for a walk to see how I responded and although it wasn’t a complete success, it was good that I could get up from the bed.
That same day I was able to move to a different room. When getting a transplant, being able to move to a different room is important because it means you doing better. I was in ICU for a while, then moved to a regular room on the road to recovery, but then had a hiccup that caused me to go back to ICU. In that state, being calm is going to always be your best option because you don’t want to stress the heart out.
Hiccups don’t mean something is extremely wrong, they just have to take extra precautions because of the circumstance. I shocked myself many times at how calm I was doing the process. I thought I would still be in panic mode but just decided to trust God and if it was meant for me to be here, I would make it through it all.
Worked out fine
One interesting thing about the recovery stage is every week I had to have a procedure done to make sure my heart was working and there were no signs of rejection. It’s funny to me how the world has to wear a mask now because in the heart transplant world that a normal thing. They prep you, put a mask on, and to the operating room you go. I would say overall the process is a challenge but it wasn’t as bad as I pictured it in my head. I didn’t know what to expect, so I expected the unexpected and it all worked out fine.
Have you shared YOUR heart failure story with us yet?