Friday, 25 January 2013

January Blues and Robert Burns

'Up in the morning early'

Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west,
The drift is driving sairly; 
Sae loud and shill's I hear the blast-
I'm sure it's winter fairly.

Up in the mornings no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi snow
I'm sure it's winter fairly.' 

    by Robert Burns

This Monday was what is now becoming traditionally known as 'Blue Monday', when everyone is supposed to be well and truly fed up with winter and summer feels a long way off still, plus all the New Year resolutions have probably been broken. For me, well it's feeling a bit dreary with the weather and it's a struggle to get up in the morning, but then again I've always struggled to get out of bed for as long as I can remember, so that's nothing new!

It seems a long time now since Christmas and as we move away from the New Year, I'm feeing really well again at the moment, therefore I've no cause to complain about January. I'm still managing to keep to my New Year's resolutions, which is to keep myself fit and strong enough for my transplant and trying to balance taking it easy and keeping busy at the same time and of course I want to keep on raising awareness of Organ Donation and Pulmonary Hypertension.  

This Monday it was also the day for my three monthly review with the Transplant Clinic, although on Sunday it looked as though we wouldn't be getting further than our own front door as the snow fell heavily all day long. Surprisingly though on Monday morning, although deserted, the roads had been cleared and we were able to make it up to Papworth.  The clinic was fairly quiet because of the snow and after all the usual tests all was fine and I don't have to go back to the Transplant Clinic again until April, unless I get the all important call that is! They are arranging a bone density scan for me, as they need to check for any signs of osteoporosis as the steroids I will be on post transplant can cause deterioration of this condition and can make me susceptible to developing it. So I expect to get another hospital appointment soon.

I am trying really hard to be as active as I can each day, so I can build up my strength and keep my muscles working well in readiness for my transplant, hopefully this may give me a better chance for an easier recovery. The physiotherapist at Papworth advised me that walking, within my limits and at a pace I can manage is the best form of exercise for me at the moment. So on Tuesday we decided to go out for lunch, then go for a walk in the woods with our cameras. Very cold weather can make me struggle to breathe if it's windy, but this day was a calm day. We went to the Red Lion pub, near Welwyn village -, which faces a beautiful woodland called Sherrardspark, which is on the edge of Welwyn Garden City

The Selkirk Grace 

'Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the lord be thankit'

by Robert Burns

So we had a lovely and relaxed lunch and then wrapped up warm and went for a walk in the woods, which looked beautiful with snow underfoot and snow laden trees. We then drove back through the Ayot villages, which looked very pretty in the snow.  As I write this, if you are wondering what all the poetry is about, it is Burn's night tonight, 25th January, birthday of Robert Burns the 18th century poet from Scotland. Rob, although born in England is of Scottish descent and we will be celebrating tonight with a dinner of haggis, neeps and tatties, the traditional Burn's dinner, washed down with a wee dram of whisky! Unfortunately we haven't got any pipers hiding in the cupboard to pipe the haggis in, a tradition for Burns night, so just the dinner will have to do!

'A Winter Night'

Blow , blow ye winds with heavier gust!
And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost!
Descend ye chill smothering snows!
Not all your rage, as now united, shows

by Robert Burns

In the eighteenth century when Burns was alive the concept of transplant, modern medicine and the NHS were not thought of, but back to modern day and the latest statistics from the NHSBT show that there are only eighteen people in the UK waiting for a heart and double lung transplant. That is not very many of us, but put in the context that only two of these operations have been done in the last year due to the shortage of organ donors, then you will understand that I will be one very lucky lady if I get that all important phone call. It looks very likely that I have one extremely long wait still ahead of me, during which time I need to keep well enough for transplant.

I've been waiting for my transplant for 492 days now, so that means that 1476 people will now have died while waiting for their transplant during this time too. In Burn's day, you would have had to go on horseback riding through the glens and mountains to get help and computers were unheard of, but if you wish to help, if you haven't done already, then just a simple click on the links below is all that's needed, no need to go out in the cold looking for your horse!

          -sign up to the organ donor register on: 

- sign the epetition for the 'opt-out' organ donor scheme: 


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