It feels, in some ways, as though I’ve been adopted by a family, but they forgot to come and collect me at the orphanage.
Or as though I have been injured somewhere along the journey to the summit of Mount Everest. I have put the call for help in and I know it has been received, but I don’t know if anyone is actually coming to get me.
It has been 14 months since I was granted an audience at the transplant unit at Beaumont Hospital. This was a formality. All my tests were complete, and the surgeon signed off with his esteemed opinion that I was fit and healthy (well, relatively). I was then officially pronounced “active” on the transplant list.
Since that day, nothing. Not a phone call, not a Christmas card, no general mail-shot from the hospital, no text to assure me my name is still in their files somewhere.
This irritates me greatly. I know they communicate with my medical people every month and I know that my bloods are sent to Beaumont every three months for regular testing for antibodies.
But the communication I crave is something more direct. A line between patient and transplant coordinator. I know they have bigger things to worry about in the immediate activity of a busy hospital ward, but still, a little initiative for the hundreds of people on the transplant list would not be difficult to arrange.
An emailed newsletter every quarter, perhaps; an update on how many transplants they have carried out recently; any indication to the patient that there is a whole hive of life-saving activity ongoing in that unit and that you will eventually have your turn to benefit from it.
I know some of you will be thinking ‘why doesn’t she tell this to someone who can do something about it’. I have. I mentioned it to one of my consultants some time ago and he agreed to bring it to the attention of his colleagues in Beaumont.
This is the Irish health service however. Therefore, the best I can hope for is that some action might be taken in the next decade.
I will most likely require a second transplant in my lifetime. Maybe by then, Beaumont will have an app for the futuristic version of the iPhone, sending an alert every time an organ is donated.
Then, that phrase I used to rhyme off when I was young would make a new kind of sense.
"Every time a bell rings, another angel gets its wings".
For trivia kicks, name the film in which that line appears...
That's right. It's a Wonderful Life.