I thought id just write a little post as an update on how things are going.
I am just over two months post-transplant now and I’m feeling good! I’m still having weekly appointments with the liver team at Derriford so they can keep a close eye on me. My new liver is happy and doing good things! To begin with, my liver function tests were up and down every week because I’m young, my immune system is fairly robust and was fighting against the new liver and giving me slight bouts of rejection but each time this happened my consultants increased my dose of anti-rejection meds and luckily that’s been successful in sorting it out. My consultants are still juggling all my meds to get the right balance for me. It really isn’t straight forward all this post-transplant business but I am so very fortunate with how things are going and that any little problems I’ve had have been sorted quite easily. I have managed to get this far without being re-admitted to hospital, I can’t quite believe that. I also cannot believe how well i’m feeling. I honestly feel 100 times better than I did before my transplant. I’m making up for lost time by doing as much as I can and enjoying every single day. I still get tired and a few other little niggles which would probably be a bigger deal to someone who is used to being healthy but compared to how I felt and what I was dealing with before, it’s a breeze! I sometimes forget I’m not a ‘normal healthy person’ I won’t ever be, I still have things to contend with and to be careful about but like I said, it’s nothing compared to before. I’m able to do normal things like go shopping, going out with my friends, go to gigs, cook, walk, play with my niece and nephew. I’m able to do all of that and more without feeling sick with exhaustion and having to rest for days afterwards. I am so full of life and it feels amazing! It sounds silly but I get butterflies and feel so excited every single day just thinking about my life now and the future. I’m one of those really annoying people who’s just excited about life! I had so much taken from me and every day was such a struggle for so long, so it’s hard not to be overwhelmed with how well I feel and everything I’ve got now. I never forget that all of that is down to one person, my donor and of course their family for making that brave decision. They are all on my mind, even more so at the moment with Christmas coming up.
Tomorrow (Monday December 15th) NHS Blood and Transplant are launching their Christmas campaign to encourage people to not only think of presents and their own families this Christmas but to also think of what life is like for people on the transplant waiting list – how hard it is for them, how thankful post-transplant patients are to be off of the list and how families make that decision to donate and help people on the waiting list. They contacted me a couple months ago after my transplant to ask if I would be happy to participate in the campaign by sharing my story with the media. As I am very passionate about organ donation and always striving to get more people to sign up to the donor register I was of course more than happy to be a part of it!
It all kicks off tomorrow morning when I will be speaking to the breakfast team on BBC Somerset at 8am. My good friend Martin, who donated 60% of his liver to his son two years ago, will then be speaking to them about his transplant story at 9.30am. I will also be on the ITV West Country news at 6pm tomorrow night, along with other transplant patients. I will post links to all of this as well as the news paper articles that are featuring stories from the campaign.
The campaign has drawn a lot of attention which is great as it will hopefully encourage more people to discuss organ donation and sign up to the register, that is the main reason I have been so open with sharing my transplant experience from the beginning. Lots of people have already told me that reading my blog and being aware of my experience has encouraged them to be an organ donor and that is all I wanted!
So get ready for me to bombard social media with transplant stories, including my own this week and please help the cause by sharing and of course as always I will just say, if you haven’t yet done it PLEASE go and sign up to the organ donor register now and discuss your wishes with your friends and family! If you have already done it and you know the importance of it then try and encourage others to do the same. Christmas or not, there will always be thousands of people waiting for life saving transplants and there will always be a huge shortage of organ donors unless people like you and I change that.
My dear friend, Stacie, who has been waiting for a heart and double lung transplant for over two and a half years now, asked me to be a part of her Christmas transplant blog. She wrote two separate blogs, one featuring people who are currently waiting for transplants talking about what it would mean to them to get their transplant this Christmas and another featuring people who have had their transplants and how Christmas will be for them this year now they are no longer waiting.
You can have a look at both of these by clicking HERE.
I will do another post in a few days with links to all the Christmas campaign stuff, if you follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook you will see me posting links to it all on there.
Thanks for reading x