So they checked in and I tried to keep the home and office fires burning. The kids have so many activities, plus work, plus looking after all the farm stuff took up my day.
They were in great form leaving but I felt a change in Nigel that night when I rang. He just seemed different, apprehensive. In a way I was relieved as up until then I felt although he definitely thought it through, the reality of the pain and the actual operation were in the distance for him. Though all the pre- op sessions in Beaumont, the surgeon, Ms Molly Eng, and the transplant team, especially Aileen, (others all worthy of praise and mention are Phylliss, Andrea, Laura, Regina, Kathleen, Gillian and Angela) were at pains- excuse the pun- to tell us all the problems/ pain/ medication associated with the surgery, it still was a shock to hear the pain in Nigel’s voice as he slowly came around. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Earlier in the year, I applied- cheeky yes- on Nigel and Alan’s behalf for Health of the Nation. I always liked Dr Mark Hamilton’s approach to TV medicine, and I felt it would be a good medium to our new mantra- Carry a Donor Card. There was various filmings and journeys here and there, but Waddell got permission to film Alan’s surgery, and both Nigel and Alan pre op. Edel from Waddell who came to talk to Nigel the night before really helped him be normal, when he really needed to be normal, and I will be grateful to her forever for that. As I could not go up, Sue stayed in the transplant hostel across from the hospital. As an aside this is a wonderful facility that really helps the family members be close to their loved ones at a critical time.
So the operation was over, I was having a tearful lunch with two close friends when I got the call from Phyllis to say that the operation was over, the keyhole surgery was a success and he was fine. Not long after that the call came from Sue that Alan was fine and both were in recovery. The adrenalin certainly flowed that day. The well wishes, prayers and kind words from family and friends have been really amazing. That has got us through this very stressful time. Alan was always very condescending in his opinion of the amount of time Nigel and I spend tweeting and on Facebook, but loved hearing from everyone while he was in hospital!
On the Wednesday night Alan rang me and said that he knew I wasn’t planning to come up to the hospital and visit but thought Nigel was really down and could do with seeing me. I’m not really one for last minute plans, but after checking with the office decided I would go. My Dad has been great coming and dropping/ collecting kids so I knew he would be there to collect them from school, so Thursday morning off I went. Arrived to meet Sue at the hostel and went into the now familiarBeaumont.
Quite honestly Nigel looked grey, real pain showing on his face. It was a bit of a shock although I did know it was going to knock him for six, possibly more than he did himself- sometimes I hate being a knowitall! But having walked him ever so slowly to see his Dad up the corridor it was a huge relief to see Alan especially so good in himself. That alone helped Nigel through those very difficult and painful hours. I went home reasonably happy, he was being very well looked after, the nurses were constantly in and out, and what he needed was time, and sleep. Even that evening he sounded so much brighter on the phone. The stress was finally lifting, he was on the mend, Alan’s bloods and other results were so positive it was really a miracle. It was great to talk/ text Kevin in Oz and Tia in NZ that the news was good, I can only imagine how hard it was for them being so very far away, I was only in Waterford.