Sunday, August 29, 2010

Holiday is over Back on your Heads!

Holiday is over and after a three and a half hour trip back that was very trying to say the least (usually two and half hours) we arrived home.The first night we just crashed out and the next day the grass needed cutting and we did some shopping for all the things we have run out of.

Now normality has returned with the usual moaning and squabbling from the kids and a list of things to do that were put off before we left.I rang Harefields hospital and told them that we were back home and my mother visited and I gave her the gifts we had bought while away.

Why the strange title for this post? it comes from a joke that I heard and still makes me laugh now;

A man dies and ends up in Hell and the Devil says to him you have three choices of where you want to spend eternity and points to three doors.
The man says can I have a look first before I make my choice the Devil agrees
He opens the first door behind is fire,brimstone and people burning in agony."Don't fancy that" says the man,
He opens the second door there are people being whipped and beaten."Don't like the look of that"he says
He opens the third door and there are loads of people sitting waist deep in sewerage drinking tea.
He takes a moment, then he decide. "It has to be the third door" he says.
He goes in the third room and  the door closes behind him.
"Right" says the Devil, "Tea break is over now back on your heads"

I am not suggesting that my life is like that joke, but life has a way of throwing up those sorts of unexpected outcomes at us everyday and it doesn't matter if you worry or not they still happen.
People often say "I hope you don't have to wait to long for lungs". But people never say "I hope someone will die soon".But the two statements mean the same in the real world.
Human beings are very good at protecting themselves from the truth of their own behaviour ,but worry about things that they can't do anything about.

Well my birthday is nearly here and 8 days later I will have waited on the list one year. A interesting but stressful one but one filled with new experiences not all fun.
I have done a lot more than I thought I would be able to.Met some great people online through Twitter and other sites I use. I have talked to famous people and ordinary people with extraordinary lives. Followed three people who have had transplants watching them recover,some quicker than others.Waited with others like me still to receive the gift of life.

Started this blog and continued to write it! Got published on another blog as a guest.Started to run a website, learning a new format and extending my knowledge of the web.Got commended in end of year competition in the local Photography Club. Hoping to take more winning photos when it starts again in September.

The only down side to this time of the year, apart from being one year older. Is winters approach,that is something I dread,but with the advent of the Autumn, I hope though I can get some good pictures :-)

On that note I thought I would post some of the pictures I got of Brighton on our last day out before our holiday finished.

Brighton Pier

Walk on the Pier

The pier from the beach

Watching the waves
Not quick Enough
Brighton Pavilion

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eastbourne pier & Memories of Whitebait

Eastbourne from Beachy head
Our holiday is going well the weather is still being kind and we have enjoyed the time with relatives catching up with the news.Our most recent foray was to Eastbourne again.This time to the pier.we spent the afternoon having a walk up the pier took tea and coffee in one of the cafes and I played some pool with my son in an games room in the arcades.
Playing pool brought back so many memories as I spent many hours during my time in Nursing training playing pool with a good friend in my training group.I was playing pool the night I met my wife in the social club of the hospital I trained in.Although the hospital  is now long gone, our memories are still strong, my wife even had a go at pool when we were playing, to show my son that she could play.
After we had finished we went to the town to find somewhere to eat and decided on a lovely little Italian restaurant where we had some lovely pasta and I found another memory booster on the menu.
Whitebait-small flour coated and deep fried whole fish. I have been looking for these for ages and was over the moon to be able to eat some again,I must explain why.
When I left Sussex and returned to Oxford I did so to be near my eldest daughter. The relationship with her mother had ended and she had returned to Oxford about the same time as I had got together with my wife.
I had made a commitment to continue a relationship with my daughter despite this.So when a new Regional Unit for Forensic Care opened in Oxfordshire I applied.
I had a great job in Sussex with good promotion prospects and my wife's family were local. But I felt that my daughter was more important and so I applied to Oxford.
I was offered the post and moved into the hospital.But before we opened there was a period of training this allowed us to work 9-5 for a few weeks while we sorted out the new clinic. A time for team building and sharing this was done in a local pub called the Waterloo (also now gone) just down the road from where I live.
We would spend our afternoons drinking and getting to know each other and having a great time.
Although I didn't particularly want to work in Oxford this was a good time in the Forensic Unit's history when we started out, as we had high hopes for the future.I remember fondly one of the specials served in the pub and a favourite of my ward manager Prem Calloo was fried whitebait served with chilli sauce washed down with lagers and dark rum, many a happy afternoon was spent there!
I was able to buy whitebait in the past, but have not seen it for sale for a long time, so I was so pleased to taste it again.My son tried it and he liked it as well.
Unfortunately Prem is also gone now, he died of a heart attack in front of me in the Clinic we started, just a few years later. One afternoon when we were working together he just dropped dead. He has a headstone in the local graveyard near Agatha Christie and is remembered fondly by me, when I eat whitebait, always with some hot sauce!

All in all this holiday has been steeped in memories for me and a realisation of the passing of time, it may be because I am getting near my birthday at the end of August, and birthdays of late tend to be reminders of the passage of time.But I do hope that there will be many more different memories yet to come after my transplant and maybe a few to revisit again, many of those will be in Sussex.

Whatever happens you cannot go back you must continue forward whatever that brings.

I thought that a couple of photos would be nice after that deep and rambling trip down memory lane so here goes;
Eastbourne pier
Beachy head

Sussex seagull

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sussex in the Sun

We have been on holiday four days now and most of the time the weather has been kind to us.One day it did rain but on the whole, although not the height of summer, there has been quite a few sunny spells.
As well as the Airbourne show in Eastbourne we have spent a day walking around the old town in Hastings where there are lots of gift shops and small interesting shops to look around. I managed a few photos,and with my son. Also attended to his addiction to the arcades, we had a good session spending only a little money to win several toys and tat for my children. Rock and sweets have also figured highly on the list of  must haves. I have forfilled my wish to eat fish and chips in one of the shops near the Stade which is in the fishing fleet end of Hastings and buys fresh fish locally yum yum!
The only fly in the ointment was my Mobile Broadband connection it seems that the USB stick I had was incompatible with my computer (Vista). So it kept crashing the computer every time I used it.After a trip to Carphone Warehouse and 45mins on the phone to T Mobile in the shop a new Dongle arrived via DHL the next day! I am most impressed by the excellent service from T Mobile.
So I am now able to get on line and update this blog. Keep up with people online which is becoming a essential part of my life of late and it has also allowed me to send out some pictures to people on Twitter of the sights in Hastings.
So I thought that I would share some of the pictures that I have taken since we have been here to give you a flavour of our holiday so far. Hope you like them there are also a couple on a photo slide show that I made that you can find here Sussex days and sunsets
Bi plane

Wing walkers over Eastbourne pier 
Above a couple of pictures from Airbourne gives a flavour of the day

Beach Huts
Baby Seagull

Hastings from Bexhill

Monday, August 16, 2010

Are We There Yet?

We finally got to Sussex after a few hiccups on the way. The lack of services on the M25 journey proved a problem for me, necessitating a unscheduled stop and some harsh words, but once we had got of the M4 everything was better.The traffic was busy and the journey took longer than we hoped but we arrived.
We spent our first day out at Eastbourne Airborne and although the disabled parking was all filled up,we  made use of my blue badge to park on the road near where we wanted to go.The weather was windy and for the most part dry but at one point did start to rain a bit.I had to make use of the wheelchair for some of the day but also managed a bit of a walk later.
I was able to take some good photos of the air show and afterwards got my wish to eat some nice fish and chips, having Halibut and chips in a restaurant that we have been to before and liked. The kids got rock, I got some presents for my mum and my son bought himself a bulet necklace.
Mobile broadband has taken a bit of getting used to and because of this I will not be uploading many pictures till I get home but I thought that one was a must the view at sunset from my mother in laws front door I hope that I will be able to get more pictures like this.
Sussex Sunset

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rainy Weather-Must be Holiday Time

Typical,just as we prepare to head towards the Sussex Coast the Met office issued a severe weather warning for extreme rain were we are going.It is Friday the 13th today,I am not superstitious but the last one was in November 2009. If you look at the missed call page at the top of the blog you can see why I might be a bit concerned.We will leave tomorrow now and take a slow journey down to the coast, so that the holiday gets of to a good start with no stress.

I thought that just before I go away I would wish best of luck to all the athletes competing in the British Transplant Games this year.This year’s competition, which runs from August 19 to 22 in Bath, will involve more than 700 participants and see a record number of transplant athletes competing for the first time.

One of those participants this year is someone I have talked about before in this blog that is Justine Laymond she is on twitter as @LamLungArtist She is playing squash, as well as sprinting, badminton, long jump and the relay Read more I spoke with her recently and she was quite modest about her chances But I know that she would love people to follow what happens and realise that the point about the games is Organ Donation awareness.

Another participant is Jonathan Bowman who's story is here he has competed five times but for every one of the athletes  there is a story of a selfless person who has donated organs to transform their life you could be one of those people.Register as a organ donor and prevent your organs from being buried or burnt be a hero be a donor

Lynne Holt of Transplant Sport UK, said: “We are delighted to see more people taking part in the games for the first time and wish them all the best of luck. These athletes should be an inspiration to people, as they grab their second chance at life with both hands, clearly demonstrating how well they are, after recovering from their life-saving transplant.
“The aim of the games is to inspire people to sign the NHS Donor Register and give the gift of life. It only takes a minute to sign, but can give someone a whole lifetime to enjoy.” 

So if you haven't signed the register now is the time to do it you can click on link below or on theFlashingHeart picture in the top of left column of this blog NHS Donor Register

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Holidays, Nearly There!

Got my Oxygen supply delivered to my holiday address today and collected my holiday prescription for medication I might need.Extra oxygen was delivered to my home as well and a service was done on the Oxygen machine that I use.My wife's last night shift tonight and then we are set to go.
Just need to collect all the relevant junk  into a bag to take; Phones,Chargers,Computer,NintendoDSs,Mp3players,Cameras,Binoculars,
Tripod,Hair Straighteners,I just cant live without those:))ha ha.
Then there is the make up etc but the blogs is only so long.My walking stick(yes I have one) My wheelchair, Nebubuliser all the meds and Oxygen and my packed bag for Harefields.Then we may be able to put some clothes in to take if we are lucky.
The point I am making is as a kids we were able to go on holiday with a bag of clothes and a couple of board games some cards and some drawing paper now we have to take the entire stock of Dixons for entertainment.
Happy holidays must not forget the Radio Times because the kids want to plan what to watch on TV. How did we manage as children I wonder.

I just hope we can find our way there!

Monday, August 9, 2010

They are" Under Starter's Orders"

The weekend is over and the last few days before holiday are upon us and I haven't done much!
I did manage to get mobile broadband together and have a shiny new dongle from T Mobile in a box waiting for the starters gun to go off.

This will allow me to continue with my updates on the Blog, keep up with my friends on Twitter and the kids can check Facebook while we are away.How Dependant we have become on the web!My mother in law who has no need of more, has maintained her Dial up connection to the web and so I felt that it was time to take the plunge and go mobile.

I have a few thing to sort out this week I must get some extra medication. We have a delivery of Oxygen coming on Wednesday when they will read the meter on the machine and service it. So hopefully I will have a rebate cheque waiting when we come home, after spending all our extra cash on holiday.I have been using the oxygen most of the time, so with any luck it will be a good one.

We are hoping to be at Sussex for the weekend as I hope to attend the Eastbourne Airborne show that starts on Thursday and finishes Sunday I have been in the past and have got some good pictures of planes from it.Again as always, it will be dependant on me being able to get a parking space near what is happening, fingers crossed on that. I think that we will be able to see something if the weather is good.

My plans, apart from that, are flexible. The kids what to go to Brighton for a day out, I what to get some fish and chips, from a great shop on the sea front, that uses fresh fish bought from the fishing fleet in Hastings.Another thing that always figures highly is penny arcades.I don't doubt that I will be returning with many pieces of tat by the end of the holiday, won with numerous 2pence pieces.The sea beckons but I will not be in it this year. I will have to be content to look and hope for the day when I will be able to swim in it again.
I thought that I would finish the blog with some pictures, from the last  Eastbourne Airshow we attended.

Lancaster,Spitfire & Hurricane 
One of The Red Arrows

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life is busy in a frantic sort of way

I have found the pace of my life has picked up lately. I realised today that it is only two weeks to go till I have oxygen ordered in Sussex for my holiday with my mother in law, as she has become since the wedding.I am looking forward to it and so are the kids but I am starting to panic a bit as well.
I have done very little to sort things out, I had big plans.Today I got a shock when I realised how near it was.I have started the process by ordering all the medication and inhalers I use so that I don't run out.

Have sent off my prepaid prescription card to be renewed as the government don't pay my medicine costs.
In fact they pay me nothing but a half of the rate of incapacity benefit I would be due because I have a ill heath pension from when I was a Nurse.
The other benefit I get is DLA higher mobility component and this is taken so that I can have a car by motorbility without which my life would be intolerable.I am worry about what will happen with the benefits under this government but don't get me started on that!

There are lots of other things to sort out but at least I have made a start I have not contacted Harefields yet because, as I have found out in the past anything could happen before the date we have in mind.
Anyone who read though the post at COPD Foundation will have read that I had a case of  pseudomonas last year and it prevented our holiday going ahead, so it is two years since we have had a holiday,and I don't want to tempt fate.

I would like to welcome some new people to the blog as my following numbers have increased thank you all for following and I hope you don't get bored with my ramblings.

I would like to say a special hello to Rachy :-) who is further in the process than I She has had some ups and downs to put it mildly, since her own Double lung transplant in March of this year.
You can read her story and follow her on the blog list and if you haven't I would suggest that you do.

The other thing to mention is Tori who is also on the blog list is having a Masquerade Ball to raise funds for a very worthy cause Live Life and Give Life  and there is a small poster she has produced that gives some detail but if you are interested in more information please use the email on the bottom to contact Victoria herself.

Although I will not be able to attend, due to the distance and my health problems. I wish her all the best with this great event.If people cannot attend they could always give to the charity directly at the link.
Live Life and Give Life