We arrived at the hospital at around 2:00 pm, dropped the car at valet and headed in the hosp and up the escalator to unknowingness. I debated on taking a picture of Jim in the same spot on the elevator that Idid on our last dry run. I was thinking to myself, 'what if I'm jinxing us?...maybe we should do everything different’. I decided to take the chance and took the picture:
I sat in a different chair in the waiting room on purpose. Jim asked me where I was going and I told him that I want to mix it up a bit and sit somewhere else...just in case.
When they called Jim's name to get registered we both wondered how far we would get. Would we make it past registration? Once we did, we acknowledged it and wondered...would we make it to a room (we almost did last time)? Would he make it to the OR? Would the donor lungs be viable? I continued to focus on the fact that we will be headed home soon, I’d be back to work tomorrow… it wasn't going to happen. Maybe another day...
We made it to the pre op area and a few minutes later my dad and Jim's mom showed up. We took some pictures and not long after said goodbye because they were taking Jim into the OR to get him prepped so if/when the donor lungs arrive he would be ready. They gave him some sedatives to keep him relaxed while putting an arterial line and catheter in; at that point noone knew if surgery was a go, not even Jim.
We were sent to a waiting area where a girl gave us directions on how to find out the status of Jim. She gave me a little piece of paper that had a code name of FA..I.J for Jim. She told me to watch the flat screen TV to follow the status of his surgery.
We waited several hours and around 6:00 pm the girl at the reception area said that he is in the OR and surgery will begin. Again, I refused to believe it. I questioned the girl and said “So, you mean that the lungs are viable, the surgeon is in there and surgery has started?”She gave me a blank stare and said “I’ll call the nurse again.” When she came back with the definitive answers of all of my questions I sobbed of joy and excitement. It’s odd but I had no thoughts in my mind that anything bad would happen while he was being operated on.
We waited until 12:30 am when the surgeon came in and told us everything went as planned the only thing that they saw were a moderate amount of adhesions. The adhesions are common for CF people.
We finally were able to see Jim for a few minutes at about 2:00 am (12 hours after we got to the hospital). He was out but I talked to him anyway. I told him “We did it honey! You have your new lungs. Everyone is pulling for you!” To my surprise he nodded his head slightly. I thought maybe it was just a coincidence so I, my dad and Jim’s parents talked to him too and he kept nodding. The nurses said he wouldn’t remember any of this, but he did.
My dad, Jim’s mom and I went to our hotel and didn’t get to bed until 3:30 am. I tossed and turned for at least an hour just taking in the events of the day!