All the complaining worked! I got that magical call! it was 4:30pm on Saturday July 21 when Cleveland gave me an initial phone call and the ball started rolling. By 9:30pm I was on a Medical Jet headed to surgery. I arrived in Ohio around 11pm and was off to surgery by midnight. The last time I remember seeing on the clock before I was out cold from sedation was 12:26am Sunday July 22, 2012!!
Ambulance ride to the airport
My medical Jet!
I don't remember much but I hear my surgery went really well. My new lungs took to my body right away and I had no problems. I don't remember the rest of Sunday and most of Monday but by Monday afternoon/evening I was coming off the ventilator!! So by Monday night I was officially breathing on my own.... with the help of some 02. Not a lot but a few liters to just help my new lungs get going.
On Tuesday I had my first 2 chest tubes pulled out. This was a great relief and a great pain all at once. It didn't hurt so much when they pulled the tubes out but when they had to sew the incision holes up that hurt like hell! Lets get real I screamed and cried. It was pretty painful.
Had a little trouble with the IVs
my first "meal" in the ICU
On Wednesday I moved out of the ICU and onto the regular transplant floor. I took my first steps Wednesday too! My legs felt like jelly and cement all at once. They were super wobbly but felt heavy because I hadn't used them in so many days.
Thursday and Friday blur together with getting into a new pill routine. Lots of pills throughout the day. Remembering everything is hard. Caught up on much needed sleep too. The adrenaline and everything starts to wear off and wow I was just hit with a wall of tiredness. Did more walking and really started to stretch these new lungs.
My first attempt at walking!
July 29th was 1 week post transplant. I am feeling GREAT!!! I have more energy now than I have had in years. Things are going so well. Moving really fast. I'm still in a little bit of shock about everything. Its such a whirlwind few weeks. Aug 2nd I got to leave the hospital! I still have 2 chest tubes in but they are coming out soon! I have to stay in the Cleveland area for a while but I'm out of the hospital, living life!!
Bye bye hospital!
Many people have asked me about the donor and all I can say is I don't know anything about them yet. I don't know age, male/female, where they came from, none of that. But I am INCREDIBLY grateful for them. And they will forever hold a place in my heart. They gave themselves so people like me could get to live again. There is no greater gift than the gift of life. I feel very blessed/lucky/fortunate. Words can't explain how I truly feel. And I promise to make the most out of this second chance. Nothing can stop me now!!
Also I've been asked where I'm staying and right now my current residency is...
Jessica Benjamin - Room 309
Cleveland Clinic Intercontinental Suite Hotel
8800 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Thanks to EVERYONE for all your kind words and thoughts. I really appreciate them and they mean a lot to me. You were my support pre transplant and I love all the support post transplant!