Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Ups and Downs

We had a lovely morning at Papworth to mark National Transplant Week on Friday and from there we drove on to Rutland, where we were staying for the weekend so we could go to a family wedding. Rob's nephew, Tom, was getting married. We had been really looking forward to this and both the girls were supposed to be driving up to join us that evening for the weekend.

We received a phone call from Sarah just as we left Papworth and she and Rose were unable to join us that night because they had found Sarah's cat, Isla, badly injured in the street. Oli rushed her to the vet, who discovered that she had been shot in the stomach. The vet tried everything to stabilise her through the night and Sarah and Rose planned to join us in the morning instead when they had better news. 

Things didn't go well and Sarah and Rose had to rush Isla to the animal hospital on Saturday morning, where sadly she died. It was a very distressing time and even more so because of how she had died. Sarah and Oli have warned all their neighbours, especially those with young children and pets that there is someone in the vicinity randomly using fire arms and the RSPCA and police are investigating, so they have tried to be positive and do what they can to prevent it happening to someone else. 

Normanton Church
Tom and Fiona

In the end, although really upset, Sarah and Rose managed to join us for the wedding and we had a really lovely time despite what had happpened. It helped take Sarah's mind off things for a while.  It was a really uplifting afternoon, the weather was beautiful and the ceremony took place at Normanton Church Museum on Rutland Water. It was a stunning setting and many of the guests arrived by boat. We then went on to celebrate at the reception, which was held in a large marquee nearby and we really enjoyed ourselves. 

Rob and I stayed over for another night and on the way back while we were in Rutland, we visited Barnsdale Gardens, which is where Geoff Hamilton used to film Gardener's World. The gardens were looking stunning with lots of plants in full bloom and we had a lovely morning out and lunch before we headed back home.

Once the weekend was over, it was back to hospital visits for some of the post transplant problems I seem to be accumulating. I will emphasise here that these are part and parcel of transplant life and just need to be dealt with and sorted. Whatever problems they are - some serious, some less so - my new heart and lungs are working really well and my quality of life is fantastic compared to what I'd lived with pre transplant, so that is what I always hold on to when it starts to feel a bit tough. It can feel hard when you are always going up and down to hospitals and sitting about in one waiting room after another, but I only have to recall where I have come from to where I am now and I know I how lucky and blessed I am.

Monday was back to hospital again, this time to the QE2 in Welwyn Garden City, yet another hospital. I haven't been in this one for any treatment since I had Sarah and Rose. They were both born here. I was meeting the surgeon for one of my forthcoming operations, so he could give the options I have and then I can discuss it with the transplant team when I see them next week. It would have gone fine, but they forgot to get my notes and I had to wait what felt like hours on end while they got them sent over. I have to go back to see the surgeon in September when I will have spoken with the transplant team and then I have to have more tests and they will decide the way forward. In the meantime I've been referred to a physiotherapist for treatment, so I will have to go back to the Lister Hospital for this. 

Tuesday morning and it was back for another visit to the QE2 yet again, this time to see a consultant I'd been referred to about problems with my mouth, caused by having no immune system. The consultant was really helpful and gave me some good advice. They told me I can phone them up straight away if things deteriorate again, so I now have some proper support in place and won't have to be up and down to emergency GPs, out of hours doctors and hospitals like I had to over the last few weeks. That feels such a relief as it is stressful being passed around from pillar to post when you are in a lot of pain and no one really knows what to do with you. I have to go back for another check up in a few weeks time. 

So life is still a roller coaster: sometimes it's just ordinary life with its ups and downs and sometimes it's what I call my transplant life. I am forever conscious though that I still have my life and that I can still ride life's ups and downs whatever they are. 

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