Thursday, 30 January 2014

It's official... let the waiting begin!

So as of last Friday I officially joined the lung transplant list. All the forms and consents have been signed, appropriate discussions with Drs, surgeons and tx nurses and with a few strokes of a pen... that was that!

Didn't seem like a big deal at the time... it was only the following evening (Saturday) having been admitted for a bit of an MOT that it suddenly hit me... they could call me at any time... meaning right there and then while I was sat in the hospital. I then started panicking about it and got into a bit of a tizz and physically had to tell myself off for being stupid and it really wasn't the best thing to do when laying in bed trying to sleep!

I've tried not to think about the reality of it all too much while I've been in... hospital's can be very bad places to do too much thinking... especially when you're on your for long portions of time. This is why it's taken till now to update here as by writing this, I'm confronting the harsh reality of it all. My potentially long wait has now started, on the other hand I kind of need to be ready at any moment's notice to drop my current life and accept a huge upheaval in terms of major surgery. This part doesn't scare me for me... I'm scared for my family having to sit and wait through it all... I'll be asleep! The fun and games then begin in post op recovery... Having closely watched everything that's been going on in the lives of friends who have been through the op recently it gives me great appreciation (and a bit of forewarning) of what to expect... but I don't think you could ever be fully prepared for something like this!

All I know is, once I've got those new bad boys in my chest, we're going to need SOOOO much money just to do all the things I keep thinking of that I want to do!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Busy busy decision making!

Wow! Firstly a milestone has been passed on my blog... over 1000 page views. I wouldn't have thought that my ramblings could have been than interesting to other people.... but I must be doing something entertaining! Anyhoo... thanks for reading and let's see if I can get to 2000 quicker?!! Teehee!

So the new year is 11 days in, and it doesn't really feel like I have stopped. Back to work has cut down on the home time that extra bank holidays allow, so when I have had days off, I've been cramming things in all over the place.

New Year's eve I started looking at wedding venues online just for something to do sat down. We decided that it was worth going to look at the one that appealed most to us from the pictures, so I emailed a request. That was Tuesday- we viewed it on Saturday and had confirmed it by Saturday night.... then paid deposit by the following Tuesday! We also have the officiant booked so we have a date, time and venue all sorted!

I've done a first run of dress shopping (potentially found 'the one') but put it aside in the shop to give me a couple of days to decide if it is the right one... going back later today with mum for a second trying on session. We've picked the colour scheme, and rough reception theme... provisionally booked cake, photographer and hairdresser (all people we know!) so we've been making decisions left, right and centre... but there's still so much more to do! And all in less than 6 months!! EEEEEEK!!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Holidays, proposals, transplants, a nutcase at 37,000 feet and fraud! (Oh and Christmas is coming!)

Firstly, sorry this has sat as a draft for a few weeks, completely forgotten due to Xmas etc. Bad Karen! Anyhoo... here's what I had written in the middle of December...

What a title?! Fill you with a sense of intrigue?

So firstly, my holiday is now over and I'm cold :( We had a lovely time... Fortunately I was relatively well throughout (which looked a little dubious given the few days running up to leaving I felt like a pile of poo! Especially as on the morning of travel I had a bit of a bleed from my lung.) The humidity hit me a little harder than I'm used to, and it took a day or two to get used to. Luckily I had my little 'BeePee' o2 machine which had different settings so I didn't struggle too much with my sats, although my heart rate was super high for the first few days. What was needed? A LOT of chilling out in the sun with a book... bingo! Food got a little tiresome, although they catered for veggies (and also were happy to arrange individual meals upon request) I got sooo tired of chips and pasta. Twice a day for almost 2 weeks I was on carb overload!

The biggest news for me from holiday is that upon arrival Glen proposed so I'm now the very happy owner of a pretty sparkly ring and have the joy of getting to plan our very special day! Both our mums knew it was happening, but they were still super happy to hear the news.... even if Glen did forget to tell his mum directly! I can't believe my mum was able to keep the secret for so long... I'm surprised she didn't burst! I won't bore you too much about how he did it... but it involved Love Heart sweets!

Also while I was away, I checked in on Facebook just to see what was going on, and found out that a very good friend of mine got the gift of life and received her double lung transplant. After that, I made certain that at least twice a day I found my way to the free wifi area to keep an eye on her progress. When I first read she'd gone down (albeit the day after it happened!) I didn't know what to do... I wanted to cry, and cheer, and tell someone... but I was in a queue waiting to make dinner reservations and had to contain myself until I'd rushed back to find Glen. I'm so happy for her and glad to hear she's getting stronger each day :)

We did a lovely jeep safari trip towards the end of our stay so that we actually saw the island, and I'm so glad we did.... Antigua is a beautiful country with many gorgeous sites and a lot of history that they take so much pride in (even their bad parts of history they're still proud of as it's what made them who they are) We as a nation could learn so much from them! The couple we shared the day with were lovely, and ended up being friends we bumped into regularly round the hotel (and even on the same flight home!). Our guide found out we'd just got engaged and proceeded to serenade us both while driving along a very bumpy track... very awkward- on both counts!!

Our flight home was eventful... and not in a good way! We were mostly all boarded when it became apparent that a man 2 rows in front of us was agitatedly looking for something and went to see the stewardess. About 10 minutes later a member of security escorted his wife to the plane from the airport terminal. She looked like she struggled up the stairs (I thought she might have been ill, scared of heights or disabled etc) eventually she got in and to her seat. The plane took off and we were coming home. A short while into the flight I started to notice that she would shout at her hubby... thinking 'ok, end of holiday blues, domestic!!' Her shouts gradually got louder and more colourful. I then noticed that one of the stewardesses was banging on the toilet door and asking if they needed any help, then heard the woman shout back something which must have been a yes, but she had barricaded herself in so the door wouldn't open. Eventually she came out and was shepherded back to her seat. Things got more interesting when she started throwing things like pillows and jumpers over her head to the people sat behind her (the row in front of us), then she got up and started shouting at them because they complained about her. The husband was warned to get her under control or she would have to be restrained. After more shouting and throwing of stuff, she barged into the galley and helped herself to water (as the staff refused to get her anything while she was throwing stuff) - by this time they'd moved the couple directly behind her and cleared the seats... we were now the closest to her!- For a moment or two I thought her nice big tumbler of water was coming directly for me, but this was hastily forgotten as she made a dash for it down the aisle. All of a sudden there was a shouted 'NOW!' and about 8 members of cabin crew swarmed over her and manhandled her back to her seat and promptly restrained her... several seat belts around her body and chair (and later found out, a pair of handcuffs!) After that I was quite freaked out and got a bit sick so tried to sleep it off, but every time I'd start dropping off she made a stoopid noise. I know she was restrained, but I was a bit jumpy that she'd somehow escape and go on a rampage! I think I can honestly say that that was my first flight where I actually felt scared! Eventually we landed at Gatwick and had to wait for the police to decide what to do with her... arrest her... before we could all get off the plane.

A few days after getting home I checked my bank account online, and found that my current account had been attacked by some Korean fraudsters who had taken several hundred pounds. I called the bank immediately and they were really helpful and got the money returned to me within the hour... only problem was that my card got instantly cancelled and a new one ordered... a week before Christmas! I was set out into the world of Xmas shopping with no personal bank card... luckily I had the house card and my credit card so didn't suffer too badly, but Glen did have to pay for my work meal out as I couldn't get any cash out!

And now it's 2014!! Christmas and New Year have passed and everyone's back to work and depressed about the weather!

My thoughts for this year.... it can't be any worse than last year! Not just for me, but for so  many people I know, 2013 was an awful year. I'm so glad to see the back of it! 2014 has promise to be a brilliant year... I'm starting to do some research into our wedding, complete with a trip to look round somewhere this weekend... with wedding, comes a mini-moon (a full on far away honeymoon will likely have to go on hold until my chest is better), I;m likely to be listed for transplant within the next few weeks so you never know, by the end of 2014 I could be puffing away with some shiny new lungs?!! We're having our hallway decorated in a few weeks to make it look soooo much nicer and fresher than it is now. I think it was a big reason that people were put off buying our place last year. If we have time and money then we both want to move... but maybe we should hold off at least one major thing for the time being?!!

Oh and my friend who had her tx before Christmas is doing fantastically... I'm so happy for her and looking forward to hearing about all of her adventures, which sound like they might be starting with going to the gym and big shopping trip!

Now for the picture... what could it be??