Thursday, 13 April 2017

Small Steps

It's been a little while since my last blog and that's just because I've had a blip with my health again. I literally just picked up a cold to start with, but having very little immune system due to my transplant, unfortunately I wasn't able to fight it off. My transplanted lungs were already left quite fragile from the acute rejection episodes I'd experienced before Christmas, so infection took a hold in my lungs and I ended up being blue lighted to my local hospital.

Our NHS is constantly being criticised, but I have nothing but praise for the care I was given - I had the NHS at its best. I had an emergency home visit from the GP within less than an hour of phoning and was immediately ambulanced to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage. The GP, paramedics and the staff at the Lister couldn't do too much and it helped make me feel safe and secure. I was in quite a state physically, and mentally a bit more than worried about what was going on with my lungs. I already had a bronchoscopy and biopsy with my transplant team booked for the following week because my lung function had been dropping again and had never recovered back to where it had been since the rejections.

By late afternoon I'd been transferred to Papworth and was diagnosed with a severe chest infection and started on IV antibiotic treatment. Further investigations showed I'd picked up a strain of influenza too, so I was moved into isolation and given extra treatment for that. I think it's demonstrated to me just how serious infection can be with transplanted lungs and being immunosuppressed or if you are vulnerable due to other health issues or your age. I've always known it and have gone out of my way to try and avoid infection, but there is nothing like actually experiencing it to bring it home what a life threatening experience just catching a simple infection can become. 

A few weeks in hospital and now home again, it's taking small steps and time to recover. I hadn't been able to do much for myself because of my poor breathing and lack of strength and Rob automatically went into 'carer' mode yet again. It's been difficult to measure progress on a daily basis as it's slow, but over a week we can see signs of improvement that are encouraging. I've actually managed to start eating more, which will help build me up a bit I hope. My Sats have improved, although my breathing is still a struggle. I think this is very encouraging and hopefully I will feel the difference soon. It seems to take me forever but I've been able to wash, dress and bathe independently in the last few days, which again, feels like a huge step forward. 

My consultant did say this will take a few months to recover from, so it really is small steps, but I've done this before, probably many times now over this last seven years, so I am confident that if I keep on pushing myself, I will keep on progressing forwards. Hopefully things will be onwards and upwards from here. 

I'm looking forward to a quiet and relaxing Easter weekend with my family and just want to say a massive thanks for all the messages of support, love and good wishes you have sent us. It really does make a difference when things feel like they're a struggle. Wishing you all a very happy and peaceful Easter weekend. Enjoy. 

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