Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Three Year Wedding Anniversary

Time is moving on quickly of late with lots happening in a the space of a short time. Today was my third wedding anniversary, remembering the day I married is hard. 
I had to use my oxygen before I was able to get out of my car and walk the short distance in to the Oxford registry office from the disabled spot outside. Our simple ceremony with just our our two witnesses was over quickly and there was no party.I needed to use my Oxygen all the way home afterwards.

It marked a turning point in my life. 
I had just gone on the list and had received two calls within one month of being listed  
I had realized that I might not survive the process of transplant or the wait and wanted to put my affairs in order and on those first couple of calls I was very worried about outstanding issues with my pension, tenancy and provision for Liz and my children.
Three years on and life is totally different 
I am so much better and looking forward with hope, thanks to the donor who has given me this chance to live a new life and honor his memory.I am now able to do things with my wife and children and support them like a husband should.
Liz and I met 25 years ago and always said that we would get married, but just didn't get round to it.Life moved on, we had kids and still ,despite me going down on bended knee years ago in the middle of the staff social club at my old hospital,it hadn't happened.
I was staring death in the face when we finally said "I Do" and it all became clear, Love , friendship and happy experiences are the things that matter.
I really hope that I will be able to give my beautiful wife many more years of all of these things

I love you so much Liz and I'm so glad that you have been there with me though all these 25 years. 
You are my rock and I hope that the years yet to come will be even happier

Since my transplant lots has changed and just last week we finally placed my mums ashes in her final resting place in the local church garden of remembrance in St Mary the Virgin, Kidlington. It overlooks the open countryside and I finally felt a sense of peace for her since her passing. I draw comfort in the fact that there will be a space for my ashes with my mums should I wish it when the time comes.
I was forced to think again about my mortality as transplant is extra time not a total cure.Because of the medication I take and risks with immusupression my time will shorter that it may have been.
I hope that I have many more years ahead, but I have resolved that the next few years I will going forward firing on all cylinders and making the most of the health I have got now.

I will be looking at holidays for next year and some travelling that I have put of for a while.I missed out on Glastonbury tickets this year:( But I am looking into more transport and Christmas will be a big one this year as Liz will be off. New year I am going to try to  have a proper night out if I can, Liz will be working on 1st.But before that my daughter will be turning 18 (this month) and Liz has a birthday in November so I will be looking forward to spoiling them both.

finally I have entered my first competition at the camera club this month and so I thought I would include the two pictures that I have entered
Hang On A Minute Lads, I've Got A Great Idea....

Red Arrows over Hastings seafront 

They were both taken in Hastings in the summer fingers crossed they do well, I will tell you how they do in my next post.    

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Two Year Lung Transplant Anniversary!!!

Two Year Ago a Stranger Saved My Life
I am humbled and very grateful that 24 months ago a stranger gave me a precious gift. 
Now that gift lives within me and has given me a new life. 
5am on Monday 4 October 2010 I was given a new set of lungs from a 45yr old man a heart beating donor and  my life changed forever.

I remember the day vividly, the long day waiting to see if it was a yes or no, the tearful goodbye to my family outside the operating theater, but it also feels like a lifetime ago at the same time - in a sense it is!
I was dying, my old life was coming to a end and I wasn't sure if I would see Christmas that year. My lungs were down to the volume of a coke can and oxygen was my constant companion. If you want to read how bad things had got have a look at Waiting One Year On

How are things now?
It took a while for me to recover and for the first year things were up and down it took me 18 months to feel like myself again but now things are good.  I have been able to start to work through my list of things to do when I got my new lungs 

Walk in the countryside
I am able to walk in the countryside and take photos again:) I am not able to walk all day like when I was younger but I don't have to worry about parking next to somewhere I want to go to. I was able to go on a photowalk at Rutherford Appleton Lab which I found challenging but I was able to keep up with others.

I am able to swim again and am doing quite well. 
After 7 weeks since I started swimming again after nearly ten years, I have improved from not being able to  swim a length of the 25m pool without stopping because I was out of breath to my present level.
I am now able to swim three miles each week. 
I do at least a mile each session and it now takes me about a hour and half to do 64 lengths. I am able to swim the whole mile without stopping now. I was told by the one of the lifeguard I am swimming further weekly than any of their lifeguards do.
I have gained so much confidence from doing this and feel much fitter now.
This is something I had found this hard since I found out after a MRI, that a previous back injury has deteriorated since my transplant and is now leading to a bit of sciatic discomfort upon walking and running is a non starter
This last week I managed to do 70 lengths but as long as I manage a mile each time I am happy I am only able to do breast stroke at present but I am aiming to improve my use of the crawl and increase the distance I can swim using it, then maybe I will be able to do more lengths as I can swim faster using the crawl.  

This is something that I have get to sort out. I hope that my son and I will be able to get out over the winter and do a bit of pike fishing and maybe next year it will possible to get out on a boat and do some sea fishing.

Glastonbury Tor
I had hope that I would be able to attend Glastonbury festival this year but unfortunately I was unable to do this.I still use overnight Bi-Pap and this means that I would need to have access to power to use this and my nebuliser and unfortunately this is not possible as camping is the order of the day when you attend the festival.I hope in the future it might be possible but not just yet.
I would still like to go to Glastonbury town and walk up the tor and will hopefully do this soon. 

those of you who have read the blog for a while will know that my mother recently passed away suddenly in June at the age of 80 yrs thanks to my donor i was able to celebrate her birthday with her and the family but sadly she was unable to celebrate my birthday with me in August. 
But her legacy has allowed me to consider a personal goal that I set myself before my transplant to ride a motorbike again before I die. I hope that I will be able to realize this goal in the near future maybe even go to the TT on the Isle of man.

Day to Day 
Things are good I recently went to Harefield Hospital  for a overnight stay to get my abdominal CT scan done. This was to check the reason for intermittent swelling in my right leg. 
They put me on a drip to protect my kidneys from the contrast dye they use in the scan.
Made a few holes in my arms and found nothing to indicate why my leg has been swelling.
The positive is they also found nothing untoward that would cause concern so I was pleased about that.

I have continued to lose weight and have been using the pedometer to encourage me to walk more. 
I will now be going onto monthly meetings for the next nine months at my weight loss group and will be meeting up with the group on Friday to arrange some meetings for weekly support.

The final duty to my mum will be happening this month on the 19th when we lay her ashes to rest at the local village church 
St Mary the Virgin in Kidlington

I have fond memories of this church and my brother had his wedding blessed there. It is a lovely place for the children to visit and I hope that mum will be happy there I hope that I will be able to make her proud with my continued improving health and fitness. 

The new season has started at the camera club and we have our first members evening tonight.I will be putting some pictures into a completion from my recent photowalk at  RAL,
Model of telescope in visitors center at RAL

I have also done a few night pictures and am hoping to learn more about my most recent purchase, a new 430 Canon Flash gun.
With the new committee in place and the new website up and running Wallingford photographic Club 
It all feels very positive, there are still some of my pictures on the site if you look in the competition galleries. I hope that I will be able to have my own gallery in the near future in the members area watch this space....    
Hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and if you haven't signed the donor register yet you can by clicking 
Help someone else have new life after you are gone  
But please let your loved ones know your wishes so they will know what you wanted to happen :)