Friday, 28 November 2014

Climbing Hills!

After being told at clinic no blood tests for six weeks and no clinic for three months, I found myself back at Papworth having blood tests again on Friday! When my blood tests came through after clinic, my white blood cells had jumped from being too low to too high! So I had to be put straight back on to the Myfenax once more, not on the suggested lower dose we discussed, but back on my old dose. So the saga of the Myfenax continues on, with more blood tests now booked to keep an eye on things. 

One of my blood tests is due on Christmas Day and I told the GP's receptionist that even if they are open, I definitely won't be going for it! We had a laugh - I'm fed up with the Myfenax now - so I'm trying to laugh about it. I do know it is nothing to be bothered about really, compared to what I've already been through and what others have to go through. 

We went straight from Papworth to visit family in Lancashire. It was great to catch up with my mum and sister and my sister's family and stop over for a few days. We then drove up to the Lake District. 

We decided to go for a walk on Sunday, it was a very bright sunny day, not one you'd expect for November. There are so many places to visit, it is always hard to decide where to go, but we went to Gummer's How on the south eastern side of Windermere. It's a place we've been with our girls before and as you climb the hill, there are fabulous views. 

The views stretch out across the Coniston Fells, Central Fells and over Lake Windermere and beyond Newby Bridge. From some areas you can see right across to Morecambe Bay even. It was a perfect day to take in the views. 

 The walk starts from a Forestry Commission car park just across from the hill, which is 321 metres above sea level and is only about a mile and a half. Gummer's How is one of the highest foothills in the area though, so I'd forgotten how steep it gets - well for a person with transplanted heart and lungs, particulary the lungs - very steep. So a short walk, but a bit of a challenge for me! 

As we walked the first part through a field and some woodland, the path was just a gentle incline and the views across Windermere were stunning in the sunlight. 

Then came the first leg of the steeper bit...

I managed it though and made it to the next part...

More stunning views appeared, but it was time for a little rest for me as I was getting a bit breathless. We then went on and on and on ... up higher and higher...

I managed to get to the top of these craggy steps, but then I couldn't make the last bit up to the summit. My new lungs were all puffed out and I'd got myself too breathless. It was time to stop and get my breath back, which took a while and I was a bit disappointed in myself. Rob carried on to the top, but I stayed put as I thought I'd pushed myself enough. I didn't like the idea of having to try and get medical help stuck up on a hillside; however, I do like to try and push myself just to see what I'm capable of now! 

While I enjoyed the views, I changed my mind about being disappointed. I thought of where I have come from over the last few years and how before my transplant I would have struggled just walking up the incline on the road from the car park to the gate to the field and realised just how far I had now come, managing to clamber up most of that hillside. I know I'm lucky I managed to get that far and decided I would be proud of that, rather than beat myself up for not getting to the very top. 

This is the view of Gummer's How from the edge of Lake Windermere: when I see this I can see I managed quite a lot really!

Wainwright, the renowned Lake District fell walker, said if you fail to reach the summit then it's time to invest in a pipe and a pair of slippers rather than walking boots. Well I say I did pretty damn good in the circumstances and my walking boots still have a very long way to walk yet! But, yes, I do like my slippers too now and again!

After our little bit of hill climbing, we went down to Lake Windermere, to Fell Foot Park, where we watched the last of the autumn sunshine disappear over the lake and go down behind the moutains. 

Then it was time to get warm and have a well earned cuppa at the Swan Inn at Newby Bridge and drive on to the Strickland Arms for an early Sunday roast dinner. Pretty much a perfect day and as usual there was someone we were thinking of, someone always with me, my donor, who has given me yet another beautiful memory. 

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