Chopped Liver – Hangin’ on the Telephone

That title could be appropriate for every day from now till D-Day – or should that be T-Day? But today is supposed to be the day when I find out whether I have passed the assessment, whether a transplant is an appropriate course of action for … in short, whether I am to be placed on THE LIST.

But I am not worried about this phone call – as, following yesterdays meetings with the surgeon and one of the top consultants, I believe the meeting today will be a formality for me.

There were two meetings – one with the guy I called the fish – the surgeon – he came up – pleasant chap – he actually came to my bedside with 2 students who looked so afraid and in awe of him it was quite awkward – I have never seen 2 poeple wish more that they could be invisible than these two – if they wanted to clear their throat they left my bedside and moved right outside the ward – seriously! And they took meticulous notes of every word the fish said – I guess their notes would be strewn with comments like “We remove your diseased liver and place the…” space left here as had to go out to clear throat. “And that is how it is done”.

I just hope it isnt those 2 students who will be performing the operation as I am sure they missed the bit about attaching the new liver.

So anyway that was a pleasant , but matter of fact description of what will/could happen in the theatre – warts n all.

I say “warts”. I dont expect there to be any warts in truth. But suffice to say to say “risks n all” and you’ll get the picture.

My mood at this point was positive and almost bouyant. Bring it on, I say.

Half an hour later the consultant comes to visit – with another few juniors in tow. He has a more stern face on him – but I know him and he is a brilliant guy – and he will say what needs to be said and help as much as he can.

He sits me down and informs me that they have digested all the information they need to from the scans and tests and their findings are that my liver is in a very bad way. The blockage in the portal vein is severe and is sending back blood back up my body from whence it came – Roadblock. Gridlock. Do Not Pass Go. And this is putting immense strain on the smaller veins and increasing the potential for total liver failure and the sooner I get a new liver the better – but I have to tell you that the waiting list could be as long as 6 months.

Now there is a lot to digest in that paragraph. But in a nutshell we are saying that the problem is far worse than they, or certainly I, had realised and the waiting time is longer than I would like – and this leaves me somewhat deflated. All the air from my previous bouyancy has been released and is flying around the ward looking to fill someone else’s lungs.

Its only at times like these when you get to thinking – what more could be done? And then you feel kinda helpless. You see if this country operated an automatic opt-in policy on organ donation rather than the current opt-out where you need to have a donor card then there would probably be 10 times the available organs and supply simply would not be an issue – and I believe there would be no real objection to such a policy – you dont want it? You opt out – Simples.

Otherwise, if you are unfortunate enough to lose your life but some organs are retrievable then whip em out and give someone else a chance of a new life. I am saying this now because it affects me. I may not have said it ten years ago because it didnt affect me – and there’s the rub – if it dont affect us we dont get round to it. Anyway that’s for the future. Right now I guess I’ll carry on waiting for the phone to ring – just to confirm everything. And then I wait…. and wait….and wait…. and hope that my condition does not deteriorate.

*********STOP PRESS *******STOP PRESS ************STOP PRESS*****

It’s official – I’m on the list. I, David Kallin, am on the list. This should be momentous news – but, hey y’all knew I would be anyway – the spoilsports took away all the anticipation, the excitement, the tension. Hey it’s a normal Friday. It’s 5 to 5 – and it’s… Crackerjack (crackerjack).

Actually if truth were told I am just a tad relieved. I guess there was an outside chance that something would have cropped up in the meeting which prevented me from going on the list – but it didn’t – and so it’s official. I have to now stay within 2 hours of the ‘ossy with a bag packed (bag packed? for what? to take a good long book? a change of clothes – like, say, a dinner jacket should there be a party? some crisps and chocolate should I get hungry? just what goes into that bag?)

Anyway, stick around folks – I’ll try and keep your interest going.

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2 Comments on “Chopped Liver – Hangin’ on the Telephone”

  1. ken Says:

    Can I suggest that a pack of cards goes in the bag? But be careful to check the Jokers.

  2. Steve Says:

    You can play cribbage on the iPhone now…no jokers though…it isn’t a proper game…


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