Friday, 11 November 2016
Coming out of hospital and home is always a big step - it's a step in trying to recover, complete the drug regime and hope it works its magic. It's a chance to take stock - be away from the hospital and amongst ordinary routines to try and work out what you can still manage, so you can gauge where you are up to. An opportunity to challenge yourself a little, but keeping a balance of what's sensible for your health too. Most of all it's time to try and grab some special times with family and friends and enjoy some better moments in the middle of all the chaos. And this last few days has been all about that for me and my family - simply finding my feet again, catching myself up, accomplishing small daily challenges and trying to enjoy all there is to enjoy.
There's been plenty to squeeze in and enjoy in between hospital visits over this last few weeks. Somehow or another all the hospital stays have managed to fall in between exciting events that are so important to us as a family. That's given me good opportunities to focus on positive things that are happening in our lives. Firstly, there was Sarah's graduation ceremony and I was so pleased to have managed that. The thought of being able to see my girls graduate was one of the things that kept me driven through all my long illness and transplant recovery.
This week we had Rose's graduation to attend and celebrate. This I knew would be a real challenge as I'd only just come out of hospital after being treated for yet another bout of rejection, that coming straight after increased treatment for the first round of rejection and organised pneumonia has left me feeling very weak, shaky and exhausted. We started drawing up a plan A, plan B and plan C on how I might manage to still be part of it, as I was determined to still celebrate and enjoy this special time for us. It was going to be trickier compared to Sarah's graduation, as it was being held in Bournemouth, would be a bigger event and would involve travelling.
In the end, we came up with a compromise to enable me to cope, but still be a part of Rose's special day. We decided that the actual ceremony would be too much to deal with. Firstly, there would be a lot of waiting around beforehand, followed by a few hours formalities, then photos and drinks receptions etc, which would be too much for me with how I am at the moment. Secondly, I'm so heavily immunosuppressed because of the rejection and there was going to be massive crowds of people, which isn't such a safe situation for me at the moment. The ceremony was an afternoon one too, so it meant I'd have to manage the whole day plus eating out afterwards somehow. To try and do it all would have been too difficult.
So we decided to cut out the middle bit for me; sometimes it's a needs must and making a few sensible adjustments means you can still enjoy everything and be part of it and not miss out on everything.
We had a good journey down and had a lazy evening with TV and pizza in the apartment we'd rented - home from home and lovely family time. In the morning, Rob and Rose went off to the university to pick up Rose's gown. Then everyone got dressed up and ready and I was able to see her all gowned up and we went down to the gardens on the seafront to take some family pictures. Everyone then went off to the ceremony and this gave me a few hours to rest up and take my time to get ready to go out for the meal we'd planned for evening. All afternoon long, the family sent me photos and videos as each part of the event took place, so I could see everything going on and not miss out on the fun.
In the evening we went out for a few hours for a lovely meal together and I had a wonderful time celebrating with everyone and it felt fantastic to be well enough to go and be out and about a little at last. It all felt a little surreal and very special to be sat eating in a lovely restaurant with my family, when only a few days earlier I'd been ticking off my breakfast, lunch and dinner charts back in hospital!
The following morning we travelled back home a day earlier than planned, so I could have more chance to rest up before another lovely event with friends - Bernice's wedding to Scott. Bernice had a lung transplant three years ago and we became friends while we waited for our transplant calls. We had shared our journeys together and with other friends who were going through similar at the time. We've all remained good friends and Bernice's wedding was always going to be such a special event after all she has overcome and it's all thanks to our donors that we can celebrate such a wonderful milestone in Bernice's life together.
All in all it's been a very special and uplifting week. Happy times!