Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Year of 2012 Starts Busy

With January almost over I thought it was time for a new entry to my blog.
During the last month I had a meeting that I attended and I had a couple of visits to Harefield Hospital so it was quite busy.
The first visit to clinic was on the 9th and although I was okay I had some issues with my chest my lungs felt congested in the upper right side and this combined with the swelling of my legs was a cause for concern. I talked with the doctor and she suggested I use ventolin nebuliser a couple of times a day and a drug to thin any congestion on my lungs to help me clear them.
 I had been told is that after a lung transplant the body can't clear the natural secretions from the lungs and you need to cough to clear them regularly this is because the connections are severed by the operation.She also told me that I should bring forward my appointment with the consultant who has been monitoring my kidney function as some of the levels were elevated that indicated some problems with them,this was a bit of a concern to me. I was another appointment for clinic in a week.
All was not doom and gloom as I was able to catch up with a couple of people while I was in clinic I met up with Victoria Tremlett looking happy and healthy and Richard Burbedge who is one of two transplant people I know who are carrying the Olympic torch in July.

The following weekend on the 14th I was booked to attend with LLTGL for their speaker project, a session to help people who have had transplants use their experience and tell their story to encourage others to sign the organ donor register.
It was a great day and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to raise awareness about the issue of organ donation after having a experience of transplantation.It was quite emotional to here others stories and tell our own.It took my right back to the transplant again,but also gave me guidance as to how to bring out the emotional elements that people would be able to relate to and par down my story to the most essential elements we also practised our story within a set time to help when speaking in public.
I had a great day and met Emily Thackray who is a lung transplantee who suffers with Cystic Fibrosis and who set up the campaign with her friend and is now the chief executive of  Live Life then Give life. They are a great charity raising awareness of the issue of Organ Donation.
Two of the people I follow on the blog list are Ambassadors Victoria Tremlett and Kerry Thorpe.  
Another two of my blog list are also Advocates for the charity Victoria Glenn and Kirstie Tancock.
After my session I was luck enough to have a chance to meet with Kirstie Tancock who was also attending the afternoon session of the project and is looking great after her double lung transplant.
Please take a while to visit the charity's website and learn more if you fancy raising some cash for them have a valentines cake bake they  have some downloadable resources to help you just click on the link below

Great Valentine's Cake Bake 2012 

               The following week on the 16th I attended the clinic again and was seen by the consultant due to the medication I had been on my chest was less congested and my lung function test had shown some improvement from my last visit.the doctor was very pleased and suggested that I continue with the medication to help me clear my chest and use the ventolin if I needed it but told me that it would be important to maintain my other nebulisers as a preventative measure against any another bugs in my lungs then she told me that I could have two months off clinic as she was happy with my progress.

I will be back in February for my appointment with the kidney consultant and may get a heart echo done to check that the swelling in my legs was not caused by my heart, but I was very happy:-)  Since my appointment the swelling has now improved a lot and only happens in the evening after being on my feet all day, not unusual as the doctor reminded me.

Finally You may have noticed that I have added a chat gadget on the blog on the left column  if you would like to leave a message on it I would be very happy:-) If you have any questions about anything on the blog please feel free to use it and I will try to answer you.  It will allow me to have a two way conversation with some of my blog readers and hopefully learn more about what you want from the blog.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back to Life

Back to the day to day after the Christmas holidays is always hard.
After all the hard work, it is all over so quick. I had a good time but it always feels like a anti climax now my wife is back working and my children have gone back to school and college.

I have finished my last pulmonary rehab sessions and had my final test which showed an improvement in my recovery after exercise,which is great. I will need to continue my fitness regime to see the benefits increase and I am embarking on a concerted effort to lose some weight while I get fit. To achieve this I am looking around for a gym that suits me and is within my means and I will make use of my own weights at home.

I am looking forward to this new year of 2012 with renewed vigour.
I am starting back at my camera club tomorrow and will be going back to Harefield Hospital on the 9th January for a clinic appointment, looks like January will be a busy month for me at Harefield as I am also attending a meeting on the 14th January.
I hope that I will be able to look into some new options to fill my time such as voluntary work and will continue  with organ donation promotion using twitter and Google plus. I am also considering some new options for this blog in 2012 and may be adding some different aspects to it in the future.

It Is fifteen months since I had my transplant today.
I am happy to say my transplant life has got much easier to deal with now

I feel like I know when things are good and when things are not good with my body. That took a while to happen.So much of your life changes after such a major operation and lifestyle changes can be hard to come to terms with.The constant checks to make sure that lung function is maintained, the daily temperature checks and the medication to maintain your health and the worry about what might happen become easier with time.
But given that my life before transplant was so awful it has all been a revelation. So quickly you forget how hard it was to walk up stairs one at a time and stop on every step.How 13% lung function was all you had to work with and a bath was a task to be dreaded the oxygen tubing trailing around the house and the oxygen tank in the car when you went out.All this now a distant memory for me.

There have been many success stories in 2011
Victoria Tremlett  Past The Point of No Return getting her new lungs after a very long wait.
Kirstie Tancock  2nd chance @ life getting her lungs at the last moment as we saw on Love on the Transplant List the great BBC3 program.
My friend Jodie Smith got a new heart and lungs in June
Finally in the last part of the year, six weeks ago and at the last possible moment as she lay in Harefield hospital on ECMO like Kirstie.
Kerry Maletroit who writes Transplant Tales received her new lungs and is doing well and awaiting a discharge date in January 2012

Transplant success stories 2011
Many are still waiting
But for others I follow on this blog such a Kimberley who writes the blog Being Kimberley these things are still current issues please have a look at her blog as she waits for a place on the active transplant list at Harefield Hospital in 2012
Also Kerry Alex Thorpe who writes the blog Come walk in My shoes also hoping for the gift of new lungs in 2012 and currently the face of LLTGL campaign  to promote organ donation these women are still hoping that someone will sign the register and become a donor so that there chance at a new life will be possible.
If you have not signed up as a donor please do