I was sleeping in a very small wooden box. The same that gardeners use for transporting apples. I had to have my legs bent the whole time as there was not enough space to have them stretched. And so had the other patients around me. All of us sleeping in these wooden boxes, all in one line. And why were there so many nuns just walking around saying nothing, doing nothing, just watching us? This was not some Christian hospital or was it? And the cold! Why was it so cold in this hospital? I was shaking from cold the whole time.
And then I saw the transplantation coordinator. She was always my main contact with the hospital during the whole pre-transplantation process and also was visiting me right after the transplantation. I was so happy to see her! I asked her why we had to sleep in those uncomfortable wooden boxes, why there were so many nuns, why there was such terrible cold and just wanted to know what was going on.
She told me that I was probably having some kind of hallucination as I was kept in an induced sleep for a few days. I was trying to tell her that I was not having any hallucinations as all those nuns and the patients around and especially that terrible cold were real and that she just misunderstood me but she was trying to calm me down.
Then my parents and my boyfriend came and were saying the same. They looked so worried but I was angry and didn’t believe them. Suddenly there were no nuns, no patients sleeping in wooden boxes and no cold so I didn’t have any proof. How did they manage to change everything so quickly?
I was kept at the anesthesiology and resuscitation department but soon they moved me to intensive care for a short time. I was still having weird hallucinations but I wasn’t able to realize that. For example, I saw caterpillars slowly coming down from the roof and was trying to touch them but they always disappeared when I was too close. And also there were tomatoes growing out of the wall..they looked really tasty. Also, there were some weird numbers on the wall, constantly changing as if it was some kind of clock but it wasn’t. I could also hear someone knocking on the door or could feel my bed growing bigger or stretching so I could barely lay on it.
I had many other hallucinations I don’t remember anymore but it took me a long time to actually understand they were hallucinations. And I kept convincing everyone around that all was real but they just couldn’t what I did. I realized it once my boyfriend asked me if it was more probable that there were caterpillars coming down from the roof or that I was having hallucinations. At that time I realized there was something wrong with me. But at that time also the hallucinations started to slowly disappear.
I finally realized that those were hallucinations but to be honest, if you can see something, hear something, smell something and almost can touch something how can you believe it is not real? In my memory, all those things really happened and I keep them as a real experience because I was not realizing that in fact, I was laying in a bed with all those lines in my veins and all those beeping and blinking machines around. That’s what my parents and my boyfriend saw. I saw wooden boxes, nuns and felt cold.
At that time
After a few days, I was feeling pretty good and I was looking forward to being released home. But I had no idea what was awaiting me. One day the transplantation coordinator, my parents and my boyfriend came to me and they looked very serious. I got scared.
Don’t remember who exactly but they carefully informed me that actually the other day after the transplantation they had to do thrombectomy (excision of a clot from a blood vessel) of the kidney artery and the second day they had to remove the kidney as it failed and keeping it in my body could cause poisoning. They also told me that they were waiting with this information because of my bad psychic condition.
Bang! If they punched me right into my face it wouldn’t hurt as much as this information. The whole time I was convinced that there was some complication which they actually solved and all was good. But it wasn’t, in fact, everything was wrong. My mum gave up one of her kidneys for nothing, I was suffering all that pain and hallucinations for nothing and I had to deal with the fact that I will have to go for dialysis. This was one of the worst moments of my life.
As they waited with informing me about the real situation pretty long, they had to start acting immediately. The first step was putting a pretty wide line into my neck artery to actually enable the dialysis. The doctor gave me lots of local painkillers but that pain was unbearable anyway. You can find a description of the process here.
This line is just temporary to enable you to start dialysis any other way. Basically, I had two options. Either hemodialysis – having made permanent arterio-venous fistula on my hand or peritoneal dialysis – having inserted a tube through the skin in the tummy into place (called the peritoneum) which holds the intestine.
I didn’t like any of the options but it was inevitable. As I was sure I wanted to go for another transplantation in the future, I decided on the first option – the arterio-venous fistula. The doctor that did this, told me that I had very weak veins and that it was almost miracle that she was able to do it. She also noted that if it was needed in the future to do the fistula again, she might not be able to succeed. Oh well, good to know.
Anyway, my dialysis period started. And it was not a very happy period, to be honest…