Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Time to Chill

We always spend some time up in the Lake District during August. This year we were a little delayed in getting there while I waited for my blood test results following my change in medication.  I didn't want to be a long way from home only to find that something wasn't quite right and then we needed to go back again. We've got used to doing this though and just being more flexible and relaxed, better to be safe than sorry. 

It is always a worry if things will still be steady as my medication has been changed so much recently and I was worried as it was my immunosuppressants that have been reduced this time. The word 'rejection' is a scary one and I needed to feel satisfied that all is settled again. I think it will be there in the back of mind until I'm next back at clinic in four weeks time, then I will really know properly that all is settled. 

You have to learn to place a lot of faith and trust in the Transplant Team and stop worrying about things. In the meantime between clinic visits I'm always vigilant about checking my weight, temperature and lung function every day as I was taught to do at the outset, then I can pick up on any signs of rejection and infection. It is the lungs that is always the main worry for me as they are always so open to infection and this can set off chronic rejection. 

As I waited for the all clear on my blood tests, Rob started experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort in his stomach, it looked like it could have been an appendix - his symptoms were just like those Sarah had when she had an appendicitus recently - so it was doctors for him too. The doctor was fairly sure it wasn't this, but gave him antibiotics and said if it was an appendix then it would get worse in the next few days and to come straight back. So we decided to stay home for a few days until we knew everything was fine. 

While we waited, Rob's symptoms started to ease and we decided to start our holiday anyway, but just down here instead - we decided it doesn't matter where we are as long as we are enjoying ourselves - and we had a lovely afternoon out at Hitchin Lavender farm as the sunflower field was in flower and I wanted to see them and take some pictures. 

Eventually after a few days all was fine for both of us so we managed to get away at last and enjoyed some great days out in the Lake District and Lancashire. We enjoyed lunch and a day out in Morecambe visiting the Midland Hotel and enjoying the views over Lakeland. We spent a few days with my mum and took her out and about. One of the places we visited was Salmesbury Hall near Preston. All that time I used to live in Lancashire - 28 years - and I'd never been. My friend's mum even used to live next door! 

It is a beautiful old and well preserved 12th century building that you can look around, with some pretty gardens, farm animals, shop and cafe. We spent a nice morning there. 

When we got back from Lancashire and visiting mum we enjoyed the rest of the week getting out and about in the fresh air in the Lake District. We tried to pack it in and do as much as we could and the weather was good - nice and sunny, but not too hot for some good walking. I can do so much more without getting tired out now, so we are able to stay out for longer and don't have to worry about making up IV medication anymore - my lovely array of tablets just come with us nowadays! 

We enjoyed a picnic by the river in the Duddon Valley and then drove up to Devoke Water, a remote tarn in the Western Lakes. You cannot drive to this tarn, you have to park up on the moors and then take a walk to it. It is somewhere I have never been before, but always wanted to go, but couldn't because I wasn't able to manage the walk anymore. It felt fantastic to be able to do this and well worth  a visit as the view of the tarn is stunning. 

We visited Wast Water too, as we were quite nearby then drove back through the mountains and fells enjoying the scenery. We were out from mid morning until later on in the evening. I just wouldn't have managed all this pre transplant and cannot quite believe I can do this much once again and how much I've managed to get better. 

I also spent an afternoon doing a walk I haven't managed for years, we used to do it when the girls were younger and it's a walk that takes you by the river Bela and across the farmland on Dalham Estate near Milnthorpe, then you walk through woodland and by the river estuary. It's a walk of about four and a half miles or so and in some parts it's quite steep. At least a mile of it involves climbing up a steep hill. 

I haven't managed a decent walk down here for years, let alone even thought about trying this one. It is a walk I really thought I'd never do again, but I was always glad I'd done it as the views are beautiful. I couldn't quite believe I had managed to do this once again, it really did feel exhilarating once I made it up the hill and looked down on the view. 

Completing this walk has been another one of those special moments. There have been many of them now and they just seem to keep on coming and coming. 

This week has been yet another really good one. 

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