Starting To Pack The Transplant Bag(s)

So I’ve started packing in preparation for listing (in February).

Back when I thought my listing was going to have the potential to be more immediate,  I packed away a few essentials. Like 2 sets of cheap pajama sets from 5 below, socks, undergarments, & toiletries.  I knew this stuff would keep.  Later, I added a few more things I knew I hadn’t packed like some small travel packs of laundry detergent, a soap dish, some magnesium & vitamin C packets (I’ll do the rest of my vitamins once my once or twice yearly vitamin buy comes through).

I also packed some oxygen tubing, an extra bubble bottle & adapter, swivel connectors, a water trap, & a few cannulas, recently too, just in case. (I felt this was important to do since I’m using a local oxygen versus national supplier now so I don’t want to be caught without anything. Even in my rehab center after my accident it took awhile to get all the supplies I needed right away. I’ll be damned if I’m going to have water go up my nose again like it did last time. It’s not a fun experience, that’s for sure.)

I also packed away my Nook & the power adapter, a few of my smaller coloring books, & a small pack of colored pencils & pens. I also packed a few important but smaller books (just in case the wifi connection is really crappy or not working).

That leaves just the rest of my electronics junk I want to take with, some actual changes of clothes, & the rest of my medication. I also did get a a cosmetic bag type thing for all my digital health devices. It will also hold some miscellaneous stuff like my fitbit charger).

I may even thow in some kind of streaming media device to keep myself entertained. Maybe I can avoid hospital cable charges that way? (There’s a thought, haha!)

Keep in mind, I have to pack a variety of stuff.

Once I leave, its unlikely I’ll be back home for at least 2 months, maybe 3 or more because I’ll be staying in one or both of the transplant houses once I leave the hospital.  I’ll have pulmonary rehabilitation at least 3 days a week for a few months. (It’s really a waste of gas to come home for the day in between each day of rehab when I can stay down there in one of the houses.)

Some of this packing will depend on the weather too as far as changes of clothing.  I’ve always been a light packer though, so I’m fitting everything in a spinner & a duffel, hopefully.

I wonder too, how many runs I will have, in the end.

(I may need to make a list soon of these last minute things I need to actually pack at the last minute so I won’t forget & leave something essential home due to stress.)

(For those who are at a loss of where to begin to back their own bag, the Lung Transplant Foundation has some helpful tips on some basics.)

I have to be prepared for both real & dry runs in these cases.

A dry run is where I get the call, they prep me for surgery, but ultimately the new lungs can’t be transplanted for some reason. So I wake up from anesthesia & go home. Try again another day.

I’ve known so many people who had no dry runs,  one or two, or even more than five.

So that’s part of mental preparation too.  Being prepared for not only the call (or more than one call) to come in, but for anything to happen when the call comes.

A LAM sister of mine whose evaluation was a week after mine at another center was listed recently.  A week later or so she did in fact receive a call, but her first call was a dry run.

I also feel for the caregivers in these situations too. They are all primed and pumped for us  to get our new organs but then have the balloon deflated too.  Then they get the extra added stress of driving, packing, making arrangements, like it’s the real thing, even in the end it may not be.

Still in the end it’s worth it for both of us.

It hit home for me the last few days that I probably passed the last full year with my original breathers.

I’ll admit it’s hard at points because I’ve grown attached to them.  These were the lungs I was born with.

Even though I’m appreciative that eventually I’ll get new lungs, it’s hard to see these beauties become so ravaged & broken in spite of their fight.

Like me, they were just too stubborn to give up.

Some days it’s easier than others to begin to let go of them…



3 thoughts on “Starting To Pack The Transplant Bag(s)

  1. Hi Nicole,
    At my hospital, Stanford, the doctors keep your original lungs, and you can come back and see them after your transplant. It’s very interesting, and you have a chance to hold them, thank them, and say goodbye to them.

    Liked by 1 person

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