Thursday, February 23, 2012

Competition Results & A New NHS?

February is nearly over and next month I will be back to Harefield hospital again for a couple of visits.
I have now received my referral for the dietitian appointment ordered by my consultant, I am a bit worried about my weight and it will give me an opportunity to find out about things that might help me with weight loss and diets to avoid. I will also be back to clinic on the 12th March for a check up.I hope before then I will be able to find out about a follow up appointment to get a review of my Bi-pap that I am still using at night and finding a bit of a pain now!!
Since I have finished my pulmonary rehab, I have not been to the gym. Unfortunately the gym I was attending went into receivership just after I finished the course.I am presently looking into a recommended gym locally that I might join and have a meeting Monday next to find out more.
If that proves unsatisfactory there is a gym in Oxford that I have used in the past that offers cheap session rates, but will cost petrol to travel to.I am still intending to start swimming soon as a extra to help with the pains I get when walking.At present I have a bit of a cold so will wait till I am 100% as I don't want to undo the good work I have done so far.
The camera club competition went okay but my pictures didn't score very high but did relatively well
X wing fighter 16/20

X is where we cross 17/20

  I was happy that the judge thought the Red arrows picture showed good movement 
We had a session the week following the competition from Brian Tufano who showed us his tips for still life photography and showed us how lighting and hand cut reflectors could be used in product shots and advertising to enhance the object being photographed.I am always impressed by his talks I have attended three now and he is such a nice bloke and so interesting to listen to.If you dont know the name he is the cinematographer who was responsible for films like "Trainspotting", "Shallow grave", "Quadrophenia", "Billy Elliot",and most recently the biopic of the life of Ian Durry,"Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll" He has even contributed extra photography to the film "Blade Runner". I learnt a great deal and I am encouaged to try some still life photos myself in the future. I have added some of my photos to the blog in the right hand column and will change these periodically

I have also added some more people who are waiting for transplants to my blog list. The first is a lovely lady called George 21yrs she says " Small happy cheeky person...I have Cystic Fibrosis and have been Waiting for a Double Lung Transplant as of 22nd December 2011" her blog is "My Journey- The Beginning Of The End!" The second person I am now following is the lovely Claire who is also 21yrs and is presently on the kidney transplant waiting list her blog is  "My world" Clare has also started a page on Facebook for others in similar position as herself "A Helping Hand"  she would love some more people to "like" this great page and share their experiences
They are both finding the process very hard and would love some support and encouragement

Finally I would like to include a request that you thinks about  the government's health reforms that are presently going though parliament. As a retired nurse and a transplant recipient I feel what is being proposed is  not good for the NHS and its staff (my wife) and patients (Me & You). 

Before I retired I had a experience of another scheme called PFI that was used to build the unit I worked in My experience of private firms in the NHS was very poor The unit was not built to accommodate the patients with the specialist equipment and conditions they required ,but built to a standard plan to maximise profit. The catering and cleaning supplied by the company was very poor and couldn't be changed and faults with the building were numerous.The price to fix faults was taken out of patient care funds and charged at well above market rates but was also fixed by contract so no one but the company with the contract could be used. The company was based in Scotland had contractors that were not local ,so many faults waited months to fix including those which compromised patients safety.
What the government is proposing is worse than PFI and it  intends to offer private firms access to the NHS  to run services I am suggesting this is a bad move for the NHS and all patients that rely on it if you feel the same as me please sign the following petition 


“Drop the Health Bill”

Let us all tell the government what we what 
NHS not Private Healthcare

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life Gets Better and Better

Life is getting better for me after my hiccup over Christmas with the missing bloods!! My body seems to have settled down again and the swelling in my legs has almost gone away. 

It was cold, there was snow on the ground and it was very early when I went to clinic!!
I attended Harefield Hospital again on Monday and visited the kidney consultant.
He was very happy with my kidney function and told me that things had improved since the dip in January he told me that I didn't need any increase in my blood pressure tablet at present and was happy to leave it 6 months for my next appointment which will be in early August.
This was great to hear and a real boost for me as I had been worried my kidneys were feeling the strain of the anti rejection meds.
 While I was there I also had a Heart Echo done (a type of ultrasound of the heart) This was something that my transplant consultant had suggested to discount any heart problems that would lead to my legs swelling.
It is a very disconcerting experience seeing your heart beating on the screen in front of you while measurements and reading of blood flow are taken by the operator.
The result of the echo -  it seems is that my heart was in good condition and no cause for concern which was also reassuring , so I have a good healthy heart, good kidneys no blockages in my leg veins and the levels in my blood are all within normal range for me!!!
I had not had a echo done since my transplant assessment back in January 2009 and it bought back memories about how I felt then and of some of the great people I met then . I wondered if they had been lucky and received their transplants or had they become statistics, one of the three people who die waiting on the list every day.I live in hope that I will bump into them one day in clinic.

One of the good things about the visit was that I was able to meet up with some great people who were up for their clinic appointments that day
 The first was Justine Laymond who was up for a check prior to her latest refresher session for the Clipper round the world Yacht Race that she will be joining soon.She will be sailing the last Leg 8, she will cross the Atlantic and log over 3,750 miles. to Southampton from New York, finishing in July.
She admitted to being excited and at the same time a bit terrified of the prospect of the race, and being the first double lung transplant recipient to take part in the history of the race i am not surprised!!
She is joined by Holly Cocker who underwent a kidney transplant in 2008 three years on she will take on the challenge of a lifetime. Signed up for Leg 7 she will log over 5,000 miles during the races from California to Panama and then on to New York, just before Justine's leg.
I so respect them both for doing it and wish them all the best :-)  you can learn more at the website
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race

The next was Richard Burbedge with whom I attended the speakers project run by LLTGL I talked about him in a previous post he was up for a routine check and looking forward to his upcoming run carrying the Olympic torch!! he is now 18months on from his lung transplant and doing well.
I also met up with another lung transplant patient I had met before at Harefield, Dawn Bostock who is active in campaigning against the NHS reforms being put forward by the government at present. 
She was also happy healthy and doing well. 

Finally I was able to meet  Kerry Maletroit who was up for a clinic appointment after her very recent (11 weeks yesterday) life saving transplant.She  has been attending weekly while she recovers. Kerry was looking great! healthy and happy and recovering very well considering how ill she was, I was so happy:-)

I had a chat with another very new  lung transplant patient who had just received his new lungs 4 weeks previous to his clinic visit and was able to support him with some reassurance about the future and what to expect with meds, side effects and other issues.
I also made a new transplant friend when I met Andy Healy, one of justine's friends he is 10 year on from his lung transplant for CF and it was nice that we were of similar age.
I didn't feel so bad being surrounded by young athletic transplantees like Justine and Richard.It was one of the best clinics I have been to in a while :-)

I will not be back at Harefield till march now, I hope then my frequency of visits will then decrease

This Thursday I have another competition at the camera club the" letter X".
The  previous one was an open subject competition and I put in the following pictures. I have include the scores for the first two but you will have to wait and see what score I am awarded for the two in this weeks competition  for the letter X?
Watch this space.......
Up an away - scored 17/20

Cholsey sunset -scored 16/20

X  is where we cross

X-wing fighter (star wars