Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Late Birthday Present- Pain in the Arm

As I mentioned in my last post I had my birthday at the end of August a quiet affair with the family to mark my final year of my first half century.I had not long got back from my holiday in Sussex so made do with a nice meal rather than going out and getting blind drunk and painting the town red (just joking many years since I have done that!)One thing I had not mentioned in my last post was that during my holiday I had been suffering pain in my arm. This was I thought the result, of the exercises I had been doing in the gym as part of a pulmonary rehab course I had joined just before I had left for my holiday.The pain lasted till well after the holiday and so I found myself attending the GP's on my Birthday for some pain medication. Because the pain was not improving this should have been a clue. My GP suggested it was a trapped nerve and prescribed  DF118 they did help but the pain was still apparent.

We went shopping at the end of the week and when I got back my mother commented that I had rash on my shoulder I put some antiseptic cream on it and thought no more of it. Over the weekend though the rash developed and got very red and tender and the pain I was having got worse then it dawned on me why. I had developed a case of Shingles (Herpes Zoster).
This condition is something that is a risk for immune suppressed transplant patients and older people are more prone to it, guilty on both counts! Then as eating a  was packet of Bombay Mix and considering my next move I felt my front tooth fall out what Joy!!! The tooth was a crown and would be able to be refitted the next day I hoped, but as the next day would involve a trip to Harefiends Hospital for treatment with anti viral drugs I was really fed up.The only positive was that my temperature, blood pressure &  lung function were not being affected. I rang the hospital and spoke to the on call doctor who advised me to attend the hospital early the next day as the condition can become very serious when the immune system is suppressed and responds best to early treatment.

The next day was rushed and stressful for both my wife and I.First thing I rang the dentist's surgery and found that the earliest appointment was for 10.30 I rushed down to town to have the crown fixed back in my jaw curing the lisping voice that had developed as a result.
Then I went back home and packed up a bag , my Bi-pap machine and  medication with a vague hope that I might not need them but I realised admission would be a high possibility.I rang an cancelled the appointment that I had to review my Bi Pap at Churchill Hospital that day and finally I rang a friend who would be visiting on the Tuesday and suggested we meet up when things were sorted out.

I got to Harefield hospital and was asked to wait in a treatment room as I could present risks to other transplant patents attending the clinic. When the doctor saw the rash, which had by then developed into a mass of blisters, he told me that admission was inevitable and by the end of the day I was back on F ward.
I have been on the ward for a couple of days and the pain has become quite bad and I am glad to be here and receiving treatment with IV drugs which will continue for at least 10 days happily I have managed to get my laptop into hospital so I will keep everyone updated during my stay

Back Again

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Older and wiser

My holiday is over and time has ticked on. I had a great time and enjoyed being by the sea again, for my wife it was a chance to catch up with her family and for me a chance to revisit the old haunts that I frequented when I was training to be a Nurse.
I was so aware of the differences that a year and a transplant had made to the visit and although I didn't manage to do as much this holiday some things I took in my stride that I could not manage last year.I will talk more about these later.
One thing I did when I got to Hastings was to buy myself a compact camera to use when I am out and about I had tried out a couple and settled on a Nikon P300 which I found was the best at image stabilisation which I need because of the shakes I get through anti rejection medication I have yet to settle on a DSLR to buy so I felt that this would be a good stand by second camera.
During the first week we went to Eastbourne to attend the annual airshow and I was able to get some great photos of the planes I used my Canon DSLR to take them because of the zoom required for good pictures.I got many nice picture of planes that did a flypast over the pier

Spitfire

I was also impressed by the aerobatics team that did a demonstration

 My family were shocked by the noise of the F16 that flew over


Finally, later than planed, we were treated to the the premier aerobatic team who were only able to do a fly past due to the weather conditions having deteriorated by this stage

Red Arrows
 The rest of the holiday was filled with a lot of walking up and down hills which I coped with better than I thought I would and I was able to spend a day at the sea in Eastbourne on one of the days when the weather was good I had hoped to walk along the beach and get some pictures in some rock pools but alas it was not to be as the tide times that day did not allow it but I did get a picture through one of the groynes looking towards beachy head using my new camera

Holywell

I also was able to take some pictures of  Brighton and the famous pier using the easy panorama function which I think you will agree does a good job

      One other trick that my new camera had in store was slow motion video and so to illustrate i have included a small piece of video of some seagulls on the seashore 
video


I am so grateful to have made it back to Sussex again and without my transplant I feel sure that I would not have had this opportunity. I sat by the sea drinking coffee and realised how luck I was to be able to breath in the sea air with my new lungs.
I gave thanks to the anonymous 45 year old donor who selflessly left me the gift of life 10 months ago that has enabled me to have a quality of life again that I thought I had lost forever. I have recently moved into my last year of my first half century. The experiences I have been though have made me realise how lucky I am to be writing this blog.
I follow people who have not been as lucky as me and are still waiting such as Victoria Tremlett she is presently deteriorating and desperately waiting for a transplant you can follow her blog on my blogroll
Past the Point of No Return she is needing a transplant very soon or she will die.
She is one of the people who is in danger of dying while waiting,
as three people do every day in this country  
If you are reading this and have not signed the donor register please take the time to click on the flashing heart in the right hand column of this blog and that will take you to NHSBT website where you can add yourself in a couple of minutes.Then you will receive a card in the post to carry with you in your wallet or purse.When you do, please speak to your next of kin about your decision so that they know what you want  as they will be asked about your wishes.