Saturday, October 4, 2014

Four year Anniversary

This time four years ago I was recovering from the biggest change to my life since my birth
Thanks to my donor I was able to breath again after five years deteriorating to the state of a respiratory cripple on oxygen constantly to breath.      
It seems like a lifetime ago and in a sense it is!

It has been a year since my last entry in this blog why is this I here you ask? truth is I have been getting on with daily life. There have been ups and downs in my health but mostly I have been trying to live a normal life and not let my medical conditions rule my life. 
It took a long while to get over the process of transplantation and the changes it brings with it,
I was told by my doctor that transplantation is not a cure it is swapping one serious condition for a new one.At the time I didn't fully accept what that might mean, I think now I understand!  
How have you been?
 a question many people ask when they met you after a long time. For people with a long term medical condition this becomes a very awkward one to answer! This year I have tried to answer in the expected way
"I am fine how about you"
 On the whole people don't want all the details, if you tell them they get scared for you and worry what to say to you. Truth is the only people who know what you are talking about are fellow transplantees.But for the purposes of the blog I shall briefly fill in some details.

I have had to deal with a few health issues this year not least the issue of chronic rejection! It has not cause me any overt problems as such but the thought of it being present has been hard to deal with. 
It is strange that when I was really unwell I dealt with many more problems and was somehow able to ignore them and get on with life better than the unseen issue of a worsening of the rejection!
Another issue that has taken some getting used to has been my Diabetes I have struggled with the effect that it has had on my life and the restrictions, but it seems that a the moment it is not causing any of the health issues that come long term my eyesight is okay and peripheral nerves seem good checks through my GP seem to be in the range that is expected.
I did have a issue with some sore skin areas on my right leg that was worrying me. But after a skin biopsy in the summer it turned out to be Porokeratosis. This a skin condition that can occur due to the medication I take for the transplant. I was happy to find out that it wasn't skin cancer, a risk factor for all transplants, but there doesn't seem to be much that can be done for it, and it does need to be monitored as it can develop into skin cancer in a small amount of cases therefore I will be attending Dermatology dept from now on.
The most major issue this year was being admitted to hospital with RSV!
It started as a cold just before Liz went to Manchester with our daughter to look at accommodation for University then it got rapidly worse over that day to the point were I became breathless a call to Harefield confirmed that a hospital admission would be on the cards and when my son got back from college that night a ambulance was taking me to the local hospital.
That night I was back on 4 litres of oxygen and quite worried two days later I was back in Harefield on IV antibiotics after a bronchoscopy and a diagnosis of RSV a common respiratory illness in children for a immunosuppressed person it can lead to pneumonia and death so i was glad that I got treatment when I did even though  I had to spend the whole of the stay isolated as I was a risk to the all the other transplant patients.
Finally a couple of months ago just after my holiday I managed to brake my ankle walking down a hill after spending the night waiting for the demolition of the cooling towers of a local landmark didcot power station and spent some time on crutches :(

It has not all been bad although I hoped to get away a few times this year I was able to go on holiday with the family to Sussex for what would be the last time although we had done most things before we did manage to ride on the new Brighton Big wheel
and saw some of the sights before having a nice meal 
Brighton Street art
 I also managed to get to Hasting on Mayday to see the largest amount of motorbikes in one place I have ever seen. 41000 attended and filled the town with bikes I was there on my bike with my son Mine is the bike with red luggage on the right of the photo
Another interesting event happening on the same day was the local may day celebration "The Jack of the green" where you can find many unusual characters!

 "I am fine it is all the others" 
This is another stock response to the how are you question. 
In this last year this has been particularly  poignant as some of the people I follow on this blog are no longer with us now or are having a bad time of it 
Firstly Kerry who wrote Come walk in my shoes... did not make it to receive new lungs and passed away peacefully on the 21st March 2014 for those who want to support the new charity set up in her name please see The Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust  you can read more about Kerry on her 
Another person no longer with us is Hazel who wrote  Hazel's Blog - The road to transplant she was called to transplant and received new lungs but unfortunately died from blood loss on 25th September as you can imagine it has shocked me and all the people who were following her progress:(
The final person I have found out is having a very bad time is Jodie who writes Jodiecf Blog she is suffering with very bad chronic rejection of her heart and lungs and is waiting to be put on the transplant list again please if you could offer some support to her and comment on her blog I am sure she would appreciate it.
On a positive note the people I mentioned in my last blog entry last year are dong well Kirstie  is doing well since her second transplant Kimberly is getting better after her problems last year. Kath has recovered really well and is living life to the full since receiving her new heart and lungs
Katie is doing well since her transplant and is now involved with LLTGL as a advocate
If you want to help this very worthwhile charity please think about buying one of the new
It contains several people that I follow on this Blog and will help with educating people about transplant and organ donation

Other things that have happened in our household this year is my son Alex is now a man having reached 18 this summer. I was able to join him and buy him his first pint of beer in the local pub, something I thought I would never be able to do when I was ill.
My daughter Ellie has left home to go to Manchester Metropolitan University and my wife Liz and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary on 23 October after 27 years together.
Our family 12th September 2014
All these things would not have happened if it wasn't for my donor leaving me his lungs for that I will be eternally grateful to him and his loved ones who allowed the donation to go ahead 
Please if you haven't signed the donor register please consider doing it now 
and if you do or even if you don't 
please let your loved ones know so they can honor your wishes

   Click Here