Saturday, 7 October 2017
Four Years On ...
It's been a while since my last blog, as life has been busy over the summer and I've deliberately been giving myself some time out from some social media while I've been adjusting to yet another 'new normal' with my health. My lungs aren't functioning as well now following all the health problems I've had over the last year and I've been concentrating hard on building myself back up so I can remain stable in readiness to face stomach fundoplication surgery this autumn. I'd been 'all set' and geared up with a date for it, but now it's been postponed due to a cold and chest infection. Hopefully the operation will go ahead soon though and help address some of the problems with my transplanted lungs.
We had building work going on over summer too, which has kept us fairly well occupied, our
conservatory being rebuilt and having a whole new makeover. Ted, our cocker spaniel, also had his fair share of health problems too and in between all my hospital stuff and building work we've been up and down to the vets all summer, until he was properly diagnosed and had surgery to remove a grass seed that had travelled through his paw and embedded itself inside his leg.
All's well that ends well and Ted is fully back to normal and it's a joy to see him running around the garden and park and playing with his friends again. We managed to escape back to the Lake District for a few lovely days in early September and although it seems to be one step forward and two steps backwards with my health at the moment, I've been been enjoying the autumn sunshine and recuperating in my new conservatory, enjoying the peace and tranquility now the builders have finally gone.
Last weekend, we celebrated my fourth transplant anniversary - September and autumn will always feel such a special and emotional time for me and my family and we are all forever grateful to my donor and their family for giving us all this extra time together. We've been able to do so much as a family since my transplant and celebrate so much together.
This last year has seen some of the hardest and ongoing struggles with my lungs and health - it's felt like there's been a whole circus going on inside my lungs at times, but somehow we've managed to keep on overcoming the problems together as a family and with the strong support of the Transplant Team and friends.
All these struggles have left me with more fragile health and poorer lung function and exercise capacity, but somehow this last year has also been the year that has managed to surpass anything I had dreamed of pre transplant and I've been able to enjoy the most precious of moments.
Before Christmas I saw both Sarah and Rose graduate and this summer I was able to see Rose complete her teacher training and this September start in her first teaching post. These are things that I didn't ever think I'd see when I first fell ill and were things that flashed up in my mind that I would miss out on, having being given only a short time left to live. Four years on, I've been able to see these things actually happening for real and with much gratitude to my donor.
And then came baby Freddie. Back when I was sick, even contemplating grandchildren was beyond a dream and felt too far ahead in the future, but this has been the year that our first grandchild was born. My health struggles somehow pale into some insignificance when I spend time with Freddie. Sarah and Freddie visit regularly and it's been wonderful to spend so much time with him, watching him change and grow over the months. Sometimes all the health issues help emphasise just how precious some moments are and what is most important in life.
It's been another exceptional year to celebrate and now I'm starting year five. I cannot quite believe where time has gone since my transplant or since my diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension or how life has moved on in new and unexpected directions yet again.