Lying on a hospital bed with nothing on but a hospital gown and an IV in your arm is a moment of truth opportunity. I was wondering if anyone would ask me, “Are you sure you want to do this?” but no one ever asked that. They just kept asking, “What are you having done?” When the doctor came in to my cubicle, magic marker in hand, he asked me, “What are you having done?” When I answered he asked me to lift my gown and he used the marker to put what felt like a big check mark on my left side.
Then the porter was there and it was time to go, and I had to say good-bye to my husband. That was definitely the hardest part, to say good-bye to him. And I was sorry to be putting him through this, and I know it was hard for him seeing me being made ready for surgery. He kissed me, and said, “See you soon”, and then I was being wheeled away down the hallway and into an elevator.
We were soon at the operating room, where the porter told me they were not quite ready to receive me, so he left me alone, parked in the hallway. So I had a moment to gather my thoughts. I was very very nervous at this point and felt like crying because it was feeling emotionally overwhelming. But I didn’t want to go into the operating room crying, so I tried to hold it together and think positive thoughts.
While up to this point the whole purpose of doing the donation had been about doing something kind for someone, it was impossible to conjure up this positive image at this point. I couldn’t do it. Maybe if I was donating to someone I knew, that would have been concrete enough to hold onto, but for me it was too abstract. I couldn’t even think about God or pray or anything, I was just holding on trying to get through it.