Thursday, 5 March 2015

Planes, exam, party, zoo and leaving work.

Phew, already March!

I know February is a short month, but really, where has it gone?!!

My pretty flowers
So the month started pretty quietly, had a leaving meal for a colleague at the yummy Chinese that does veggie duck pancakes, om nom nom! Was sad to see her leave the team, but as the longest serving Tracker, it was certainly time she got to escape! Before she left, she suggested I talk with someone in finance about the possibilities that doing my course could lead to. I hadn't thought of that, so emailed a random contact from the internal phone-book to organise a chat about everything financial for the hospital.The day of the leaving meal (was actually after she'd left the team!) I went and had a chat about how it's made up and the roles etc... by the end of the chat, I'd been offered a 6 month secondment on the OK from my current manager. She agreed and eventually we got the finer details sorted out... and 27th Feb was to be my last day in Patient Access, exactly 1 month after George left us! My team surprised me with some flowers (purply of course!) chocs and a nice card. I wasn't expecting anything as technically it's only a 6 month secondment.... but Villa 10 does have a tendency of stealing Trackers and never giving them back... I'm the third!

On a plane at last!
I got to go on a plane at last! We had a short break up to Glasgow to see my brother & his girlfriend, and also to see Return to the Forbidden Planet. I was a little apprehensive about flying without any oxygen planned, but was also very excited to be able to be back in a plane, even if it was for less than an hour. By the time we landed I still felt fine, no problems breathing which was just amazing. The only side effect of the flight was a slight dryness the rest of that day, making me have a little dry cough. That I can deal with! Next stop, long haul flight!! (when I get the fit to travel permission). We had a nice few days, visiting Edinburgh and some touristy stuff around Glasgow. We went to numerous yummy eateries and a very cool bar after the show. It was nice to get away, but I did miss my girls those few nights.
Our cocktails in the Tiki Bar

The day that we went to Glasgow, the rest of my college class sat their first exam. Mine was scheduled for the following week, so although it gave me extra time to study (not really needed- or used!) it made me worry about it for an extra week, and have the knowledge that I would be the only one I knew in the room. This was my first exam since Sixth form, so over 10 years! Although I was confident that I would pass, it was still enough to make my tummy a little unsettled first thing. Needless to say, I got through it within only a fraction of the time allowed, and passed. I don't know how well as AAT don't give actual marks, but that's 1 of 5 completed. Woop!

February is a big month for us now, as it marks the anniversary of getting my new shineys! From around Christmas I had decided that I wanted to have a party to celebrate my lungiversary. Date and time were sorted, cake ordered from the lovely lady that made our wedding cake and guests invited. Although not everyone invited were able to make it, I had such a nice afternoon/evening with those that could make it. The morning of the party Glen was a busy little bee doing housework, I went to get the cake (nearly running out of petrol on route!) then I came home to get on with the rest of the food prep. In a few short hours the house had got a blooming good clean, cake had arrived, Glen had got balloons and made sandwiches and we were both ready to greet guests. Despite telling people that I wasn't expecting gifts, I just wanted to celebrate, I still got some choccies, some flowers, some awesome mickey mouse brownie cupcakes and a few pretty bits for the garden. My best friend even brought along a home-made Victoria sponge which was rather yum! It was so nice to be able to do all the prep and still have energy to actually participate in the party. I felt that I needed to say a few words but in my (very sudden) nervousness I forgot the main reason was to raise a glass to my donor!! Since then, I've started thinking about writing a letter to her family, but I just don't know how to start it off. I'm hoping that one day it will just pop into my brain and then the rest will flow!

After my party, I had the actual lungiversary day- where Glen and I went to the zoo. The initial plan was to go there to visit the new butterfly glade (butterflies are my representative symbol of the transplant thanks to a lovely pillow case that was made for me) however, it doesn't actually open until Easter! So we just went and enjoyed the day out. While out and about, I was releasing ducks for The Little Yellow Duck Project. I had 10 in total to release throughout the day- 2 proper ducks, 7 finger puppet ducks and 1 very special 'angel' duck. I'd sent a quick email to the local paper about my plan to release the ducks on my special day to commemorate and spread the importance of organ donation etc, and I ended up in the paper again! (3rd time since October!) As the photographer needed some ducks for the picture, I had held back my angel duck and 2 finger puppets. The puppets I then released outside 2 local schools in the hope that it might encourage some information sharing within the schools. My special angel duck I was carrying around for a few days as I wanted it to go to someone, and not just left on the off chance of someone finding it. I had him with me for an additional week, but at the start of this week I was back at Papworth for some tests and I decided to hand my angel duck over to my favourite res-phys, Rosie. Not only has she known me from when I first started to going to Papworth CF Unit, but we also share a birthday (which happened to be this week too!) For the first time, I was actually able to witness the happiness of someone receiving one of my ducks, she was very watery eyed and chuffed that I had given it to her. When I saw her the following day she proudly told me that he had pride of place on her mantelpiece!

I think that pretty much sums up my February! As mentioned above, March started with 24 hour ph test (if you're squeamish maybe skip a line or two!) which includes a tube with sensors on it going up the nose and down into the stomach, after about 15 minutes of it being moved a cm at a time with varying amounts of water to swallow, that tube was taken out. Now all the measurements were done a second slightly smaller tube went the same route, and this was a tube I had to keep in for 24 hours to see if I was getting any acid reflux coming up the oesophagus, which could potentially do damage to my very lovely new shineys. It was a tough 24 hours, as it was uncomfortable in my throat pretty much every time I swallowed, whether it was a dry swallow, with food or drink.... but I kept it in the whole time! Phew!! Now I just have to wait for the results to come back to see if I do get any acid reflux... if I do and it's going too high up then it could mean an op further along the line to try to prevent any damage in the lungs/airways occurring. Just have to wait and see. Keep your fingers crossed for me ;) 

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