Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This weekend was unbelivably hectic but incredibly inspiring. On Saturday afternoon, I travelled up to Liverpool (worst journey in the whole world - Virgin didn't give me my ticket, said they would, then proceeded to try and make me buy a new one at every. single. change.) to stay with my old flatmate (she's not old, we were flatmates at uni. You know what I mean.) in preparation for a pretty big day on the Sunday.

The reason for this escapade was to support the Tighe family in their annual Ste Tighe tournament, in memory of their son who was killed in 2006, and who saved the lives of 5 people through the gift of life. The family are incredible, you can see their ITV interview here

The day was fantastic - dozens of 5-aside teams from all over Liverpool joined together in a huge tournament, to raise money for LLTGL. It was fantastically organised and I just can't get over how amazing the Tighe family is. They lost there son only 2 years ago, but they were genuinely touched that we had made the effort to come all the way up...I felt it was the least we could do.

Talking to donor families helps me better understand that little bit more about what goes on on the other side of it all. It's very hard to imagine unless you are in that position, but the more I learn, the more convinced I am that spreading the word and getting people to think about the option of organ donation helps everyone; just seeing the comfort the Tighes now get knowing people are walking around today because of their son reminds me that even that small bit of comfort the gift of life can bring to a donor family is extremely valuable.

I felt very humbled by everything I saw on Sunday. Sometimes tragedy brings out the best in people, and watching scores of people cheering Paula as she stood up to take the mic and thank everyone for their support brought a swell of happiness about human nature and just now great everyone can be. I also got to meet Holly, our rather lovely Advocate who is generally being a little shiny star in amongst hours and hours and hours of dialysis. I will put some piccies up when I get a chance.

This post is sounding rather hippy and hug-a-tree but nevermind. I am happy, inspired and motivated. Off for bloods later this morning, won't get the results for a while I shouldn't think but I shall keep everyone posted.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The other night I was working a bit later than usual and decided to run for the last train. I learned several things from this experience.

1) My lungs are good when I run (yay!)
2) My legs are not.
3) One should not wear ballet pumps when running
4) ballet pumps with big bows on are even sillier.
5) My diaphragm was not good at all.

Well actually, whilst I was running I was fine, I ran, got my train and collapsed on it in a grinning sweaty heap, however later on, my diaphragm decided to demonstrate its lack of appreciation and get very grumpy and painful. This was quite strange, predominantly because as I understood it, my diaphragm is paralysed, so surely it wouldn't be affected during over exertion...? (any medic types feel free to educate me on this). The other bizarre thing was the type of pain bought old memories flooding back. It was a very similar pain to the stuff I had at the beginning of various lung collapses, and it really freaked me out. I don't quite understand why it freaked me out so much though as I knew this wasn't the same. I am fully aware I have new lungs (even I am not that blonde) and that they are much better behaved than their predecessors, but I couldn't shake the fear, and went to bed a bit of a nervous wreck. Needless to say all is fine, but it's funny how a sensation can bring back such strong memories, physically as well as mentally.

Continuing on the topic of health (ooh haven't discussed health stuff for a while!) Harefield rang. Several times in fact (I'm not v easy to get hold of as I listen to messages then, er, forget to reply) and apparently my kidney function isn't looking as great as it could be. As with all new areas post-transplant it's always a tad nervewracking to hear something isn't quite right, but hopefully it was a dud result or it just needs some medication tweaking or something. Either way, I'm off for more bloods next week to get it checked thoroughly. Come on little kidneys, cheer each other on, get each other hyped up into over-enthusiasm mode.

Other life stuff? Peachy thanks. Yay!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I can't believe I haven't posted in almost a month! That is pretty shocking. I tend to post of course when there's something to post about; I wouldn't want to write for the sake of it.

It occurred to me the other day, I have an awful lot of material I have written for a book (some of it from this blog) which I am currently doing nothing with so I might post a few bits of that...

My youngest sister turned 18 at the beginning of the week. Thanks to me being rather poorly she grew up a little quicker than perhaps she should, but it still feels weird that she is now a real grown-up (well as grown-up as turning 18 actually makes you.)

Work is going well; I think I am still struggling to adjust to the fact that I'm not immediately perfect at this. Thinking about it logically I think it's because I haven't challenged myself properly since Uni. When I was ill I always ensured I kept myself busy but of course they were doing things I was naturally good at (talking about myself) so it came easily. I got told at work the other day "you are the smiliest person I've ever seen!" which I took as a huge compliment! It reminded me of one of my old favourite quotes: "Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important" which I used to remember whenever I felt down about looking so poorly. Anyway I can't help smiling. It's genetic.

The Breathing Life Awards were held last Thursday and looked amazing from the clips I have seen on the net (which can be seen here). It's a very glitzy night organised by the CF Trust to recognise people with CF's achievements; everything from getting through the toughest times to academic and sporting achievement. The emotion there on the night is incredible; I was lucky enough to win an award in 2005 and it really was a night to remember, so massive congrats to everyone who went and was nominated this year.

I hope everyone else is out and about living and enjoying life, and making the most of this weekend's beautiful weather so far this weekend! Long may it last...