Saturday, 13 February 2016

Silver linings...

This time three years ago I was taking part in a campaign that the TV channel ITV had come up with,  their "From the Heart" campaign, it was the first time I was going to have to be on live TV and I remember being very scared about it because I was panicking that I would look like a whale, or I'd swear and considering it was live there was no taking that back if that happened (I swear a lot more than people tend think I do :-/), or I was just scared that people wouldn't like me and that they'd basically boo me away. That's not how it went, I got to take both my sisters with me, we met McFly, we met Lorraine Kelly and Aled Jones and everyone was very lovely. The campaign also seemed to be a great success and everyone involved did a fantastic job. At the time I was 10 months into waiting on the list, I wasn't wearing oxygen all the time and this was before I had been put on my IV line in my chest. I remember after this point I did get quite ill and it was only a few months later that the IV line became vital and necessary part in keeping me alive which was closely followed by my first false alarm.  

The campaign though, included lots of people and lots of people my age as it happened, it was the first time I had properly got involved in anything transplant I guess because anything media based before was usually very much PH based. I saw a few of the news bits of various different people in the same situation I was in and one of those included my (now) friend Bernice. I thought I'd track her down on Twitter (adding someone on Facebook is a bit creepy if you don't know them lol) and I started talking to her. It was unusual how easily me a Bernice just clicked. We become very good friends very quickly. Besides the fact that both of us were waiting for a transplant we are both so similar and that's probably why we found it so easy to be friends. Also within the transplant world you can seem to be friends with all these people and never have met them and that isn't unusual in that kind of situation. We basically became friends over junk food, disney, Harry Potter, Doctor Who and other various tv shows LOL. 

Today it's been 3 years to that day and we always seem to acknowledge today, I'm not sure why but we do and I like it. Normally we send each other a card or a little present but we're waiting till our friend Kath's Book launch on the 28th. Some times when you're angry at your lot in life (And I was angry a lot) you kind of have to find the silver lining and all the friends I gained from my situation were very much, and still are, my silver lining. The amazing friends I gained from my situation and equally theirs sometimes made it worth it. I'm not saying that I'm pleased I was ill and dying and that they were too but some good things come out of horrible situations and Bernice most certainly was one of those good things, as were many other people, but to have one of my best and undoubtedly life long friends come out of that situation is amazing :-) 

As always, thank-you for reading and chat soon. 
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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Too much information...

As a kid I was never one of those girls who was super excited about "becoming a woman" as it were. I never relished in the idea that at some point my body would bleed every month I mean honestly who would?! Really?! There were those girls though, I remember them vividly and I always thought them very strange and the fact they went on about it and talked about it all the time was even odder to me. That part of my life, to this day, I very rarely speak about. I've spoken to my mum, my very closest friends, my sisters, my boyfriend and my doctors about it, but only when asked, it's definitely not something that I offer up information on voluntarily. 

Why am I talking about this on here then? Well I'm 25 now people and do you know what that means? A SMEAR TEST... (yay?) This is one of the things that I knew if I got my transplant I would have to do and I've been dreading it. When I was put on the transplant list they had literally just changed the rules because it used to be that you had to get a smear test at the age of 21 and it was something I was worrying intensely about, but then... they changed the rules they increased the age to 25 and I literally was jumping around for joy because that was one less test I was going to have to get done before I could be put on the transplant list and I couldn't have been more thrilled about it. I have never liked the idea of some random doctor or nurse fiddling around... down there... it's just not something I ever really wanted to have done. The closest doctors or nurses have ever come is when I was younger and I had about a billion Right Heart Catheters that were always done through the groin but I was always knocked out so there was no unpleasant looking doctors or nurses in the eyes whilst they did it. Then the next closest would have to be when I had to have my catheter after my transplant  but that wasn't too embarrassing but I was just more concerned about having the really uncomfortable tube removed from my body than overly concerned about where it was or what they were doing I just knew I wanted it gone LOL. 

So today I had the wonderfully pleasant experience of waiting until 4pm to have my first ever smear test. I was worried about it all day, luckily I had a driving lesson before hand so that kind of took my mind off of it for a little bit. I turned up at the GP where obviously they were running late and I wasn't sure whether I wanted a nurse that I knew or not, do you know what I mean? I wasn't sure whether having a nurse that I knew, liked and saw quite regularly would be good or bad because does having a nurse that I like and know quite well make it even more awkward? or would it be better to just have a nurse that I've never metl and will never see ever again make the experience much better? As it was I got a nurse that I do like and see quite a lot, it's a pretty small GP surgery.

Honestly though? The experience wasn't too bad. They ask you a few routine questions which are simple enough then the awkward bit happens they ask you to get unchanged from the waist down and cover yourself with that paper stuff that they stick on their beds and then they stick a very cold instrument up... there... and it's a bit uncomfortable but I can't say it was horrendous it didn't hurt and when they actually take the swab you can barely feel it. I think the fact I had a nurse I know made it easier because we just chatted about stuff we normally chat about and it just made it seem like a normal ordinary appointment, which admittedly it probably is for her just not for me. The whole appointment probably lasted about a maximum of 5-7 minutes tops and it probably would have been shorter if I hadn't talked to her so much LOL. 

I was extremely nervous for this but now that I've had it done I know that I'd be fine to do it again. It's nice to get rid of that fear and now if I had any problems I feel like I might be less anxious or nervous or afraid to mention them, which can only be a good thing. Apparently I'll get sent the results in the post and that could take a few weeks but I'm not expecting anything untoward to occur it was simply a routine thing that I had to have done.    

As always, thank-you for reading and chat soon. 
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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Driving along...


It's been a while since I started driving now. I'm definitely taking the slow and steady approach to it though, I was never going to be one of those people who do any sort of intensive course because firstly that would massively stress me out but secondly I don't think I would have coped well having that much car information shoved on me in that space of time. So any way I thought I'd update you all on my driving progress thus far. 

First and foremost, I passed my Theory test. I wasn't sure it would happen quite frankly,  I was getting so stressed out about the Hazard perception part of the test that I honestly thought no matter how much I practised or did it I would fail that part of it. The computer, in my mind, had it completely against me! I kept seeing the sodding hazards before the computer wanted me to be seeing them so then I tried a new tactic and thought hey if I'm seeing them to early just click a bit after but nooooo.... clicking a bit later ended up being too late. At a certain point I just gave up and was like "if I keep doing this I'm just going to stress myself out too much and turn into a wreck, just go in there and see what happens." So that's what I did. I knew I would pass the question part of the theory  because that was easy it was literally just the hazard bit and I really do think that if I hadn't passed that part of it I may have given up the whole driving thing altogether and as dramatic as that sounds I really think I would have, just because I don't want to do things that stress me out it's just not worth it, for me anyway. But put that aside I passed and that's all that matters :-). 

Driving however does stress me out a bit but not in the bad 'I want to pull my hair out' kind of stress more in the 'I'm not naturally good at this and that's annoying' kind of stress which is the kind of stress I expected and that's not a surprise to me. Driving a Automatic is much, much better for me though because it takes all the pressure off as in driving a manual was so, so stressful for me personally and this just doesn't have that pressure to it. Today (29th Jan) I think was the first time that I actually felt kind of comfortable at the wheel, like I was controlling the car and it wasn't controlling me like it always seems to be. I don't think my driving instructor has that much patience with me though which is slightly frustrating for me because I really am trying but I just think he gets a bit impatient with me at times, he also seems to take great offence when I say I can't do a lesson a certain day if I happen to have a appointment or am at my boyfriends which I find very odd. Hey ho it might just be case of him having to get used to me more. Although saying that I feel like I should get impatient with him, he never seems to be able to decide what speed I should be going at he's always going "A bit faster please." Then the second I am "Oh no a bit slower please." and it's like that constantly for 2 hours :-/ I mean seriously make up your mind! 

I do find I get distracted quiet easily when I'm in the car as well so when I eventually can drive I'm going to be one of those horrible people who say "don't talk to me while I'm driving" I'll be fine if people are talking to each other in the car it's just if a question is directed at me that I'm like "Who? What? Where? Why?" and the next thing I'll know I will have hit a curb or a bush or a car or a person or a anything really lol.  

So I guess to sum up my driving so far, it's coming along it's just going to be a while before I can actually drive because that's unfortunately the type of person I am when it comes to these types of practical situations. In an ideal world I would be a millionaire and I would be able to afford a chauffeur and therefore wouldn't have to put myself throguh the stress of learning how to drive LOL.  
 
As always, thank-you for reading and chat soon. 
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