Thursday, 13 February 2014

Sunshine and Snowdrops

Snowdrops and sunshine at last!
I was back at the Transplant Clinic again this week for all the usual tests and this week I escaped having to have a bronchoscopy, so it was just a morning visit. After all the tests, I saw the consultant and transplant nurse and they said they were really happy with me. My lung function is now up to 90%, it has got better each clinic visit and my new lungs looked good on the x ray. My last bronchoscopy results were looking really good and the part of my windpipe that they have been watching closely for the last few months has now healed nicely. They explained I wouldn't need to have any more bronchoscopies for this now as all is fine, so that was fantastic news. 

The snowdrop walk

They are still tweaking my medication and have stopped another drug called Nystatin, which I had to take four times a day, so I was pleased with that too. They are also planning to reduce my steroid drug, Predisolone, once they are happy with my Tacro levels and that my Prograf dose, which they adjusted a few weeks ago, is correct. I am just awaiting a phone call following my blood test results then hopefully it will reduce.

Crocuses enjoying the sun

They also explained that they need to start giving me more medication to help my transplanted heart and they will be focussing on this a little more now. This is for preventative reasons and not because there are problems with it. The arteries in transplanted hearts can become furred up quite easily, this isn't because of diet or anything, they just do for some reason, so they have prescribed me a statin for this, Pravastatin. We had a bit of a laugh about this, because Rob has just been prescribed a similar drug for his cholesterol, which, because of genetic reasons, is high. These drugs have to be taken at bed time, so we had a bit of a joke about how we would be able to share them and take them together when it was time to go to bed! It all seemed very apt, as it was on the radio and in the press that day saying how doctors have been given the go ahead to prescribe statins to help prevent strokes and heart attacks and there has been a lot of debate about whether this is a good or bad thing. I think in our cases, it can only be good!

Peeping Snowdrops

They also explained that they will probably need to introduce blood pressure tablets too at some point, but I seemed to get away with that one for now!  It seems to be a case of losing some drugs and then gaining some more. I'm still on 18 or 19 tablets a day, depending on what day it is, but it still feels a lot easier than my Pulmonary Hypertension days and the intravenous drugs. I just rattle now instead!

A little bit of colour in all the bleak!

So all in all it was a good visit, all is going well and I now don't need to go back to clinic until the middle of March, when I won't be too far off being six months post transplant. I am getting on for 5 months post transplant now and don't know where the time is going.

We decided to enjoy the rest of the day after clinic and went to a pub called the Poachers in Elsworth, which is near Papworth for lunch. This was a pub that my family visited while I was in hospital following my transplant. The transplant nurses had recommended it while they had long days and hours visiting. It was nice to see where they had been as they keep telling me stories about the nice pubs they had found. I think I have one or two more to visit yet! 

A dwarf iris flowering in the sun

While we were in the pub, the weather turned very nasty and the gales started blowing up again as well as the rain setting in yet again, so we had a bad journey back home and were glad to get in and batten down the hatches again. We had been planning to go to the Lake District for a few days and had already packed, but seeing the forecast of gales, gales, rain, rain and more storms, we decided to abandon our plans and stay put. This is the second time we have been all packed and ready to go to the Lakes and then had to change plan because of the awful weather. We aren't complaining though as we are having it very easy compared to thousands of people who are struggling with floods. 

First signs of blossom
Today has been the first day of the week that we have had some sunshine, a little bit of respite before the next storm sets in tomorrow. We went off to Benington Lordship Gardens to have a look at the spectacular display of snowdrops and winter flowers. I felt determined to find some colour amongst all this dismal grey we keep having to put up with! Benington Lordship is a seven acre garden standing on an ancient fortified site and is famous for its display of naturalised snowdrops, there are over 200 snowdrop varieties as well as other winter flowers.

Hope you have enjoyed the pictures taken at Benington of the flowers and the little hint of spring, it must be somewhere hiding nearby and ready to pop out! Come on spring, we are all ready for you!

To a Snowdrop

Lone Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
Storms, sallying from mountain-tops, waylay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!


'Harbinger's of Spring'

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