Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday 9th October, Week 15 Post Transplant.


I feel like I have finished a term of school, because yesterday I finished up my last gym session.  I have really loved doing gym, but the driving to and fro is tiring and the outing generally eats up that whole day. So I'm looking forward to having more time to myself, and putting a bit of distance between the hospital and I.

I was rather chuffed when I managed to pull off the best distance anyone has ever done in a 6 minute walk test at the Alfred Gym!  At 7 weeks as you know, I got 715 metres - the women's record.  Well yesterday, 15 weeks post transplant, I pulled 780 metres, beating the blokes record by 30 metres!!  Our head physio said he was a 6 foot two rugby player, haha!!

The staff, in particular Louise Fuller, who is the head of the Pre and Post Transplant gym, are a wonderful group of dedicated people. Lou knows exactly how much exercise to give you each week - how much she can push you, and when she thinks you need to pull back.  She is full of zest for life and loves her patients achieving goals big and small, and always give a whoo hoo when you do something exciting!

We are so lucky to have her and all the staff who work there.  I will miss catching up with them and the patients and seeing how other patients progress.

The thing I noticed the most in gym, is that most patients are quiet to start off - mostly because you just feel so unwell and want to go back to bed!!  You don't feel great so your not that talkative, and also you don't know anyone. Eventually you start feeling better, and get familiar with your group (the education talks also help to break the ice) and you start talking more. Well the gym sessions get a lot longer!!   And Lou has to start being a teacher, and tell us off for not working!!   Hehehe.

Gen and Ranj - Ranj helped me get up for the first time after my operation.

Gen, Vedad (physio) and fellow transplant recipient, Chris.

Our wonderful Lou, Gen and Chris.

Chris and Gen holding the plank!

Phew - did it!

This lovely lady and I suspect we have the same donor (she received a heart).
Same day, near the same time op, and same blood group.

Horse Riding

Several weeks ago, I went home to mum and dads and had my first ride on Andy. Wow what a wonderful experience.  To be able to ride trot and canter again, without feeling like I'm underwater fighting for breath, was just fantastic.  Since then I have ridden about 5 or so times, and Andy is back now in Melbourne.

Gen and Andy - first ride.

The first few times, I got my dad to help with saddling up and such, just in case it was too soon for my sternum to be doing the girth up and such!  But I can do it all myself now, and weights (such as carrying heaving shopping bags) and mostly ok for me to carry now too. 

My sternum does feel completely solid now - though occasionally things still click or pop, which is surrounding tissues, tendons etc!  Once I realised it was that, and NOT my sternum, I stopped panicking! haha!!

I still find the smallest things amazing. Just being able to lead Andy, without having to constantly ask him to slow down (he has a naturally quick paced walk!) and catch my breath - to carrying his heavy rugs, to just being able to have the energy to ride! It's all so magical. 

And it's like that with everything. To jumping out of bed in the morning, feeling energetic and no mucus to cough up.  To go for long hour walks exploring my suburb (which I was never able to do since I moved here!), and to laugh, without becoming exhausted from a coughing fit!

This is a video of Andy and I on our fourth ride. It's taken at my agistment property, near the lovely Dandenongs.


Darling mum has been living with me ever since my operation - and quite a bit before that too while I was in hospital having my IV's antis and then doing home IV's.

Next week she will be able to go home, and get back to her normal life with her husband!  It's been a long and sometimes lonely time for Dad - I am so very lucky to have such wonderful parents. 

I can never thank them enough for what they've had to give up these last four months or so - but hopefully seeing me the way I am now, it was well worth some of the sacrifices they had to make!

I'll miss mum enormously (especially our ritual of watching Lost - we made it through all seasons 1 to 6!!!) but I am so glad she can go home and be with Dad, and they can go on holidays again! :)

Other bits and bobs

I'm still juggling doses of insulin and will be seeing the diabetes doctors to discuss trying a different insulin (I'm currently on one that is short and long acting) as I keep having hypos in the night. My body simply wakes itself up and I need to eat to get my BSL's up again.   I keep two pieces of rye bread by my bed and nom nom nom!! Not good for watching the weight, but I haven't got any other choice at this stage!!  So I hope that appointment comes up soon! Otherwise I will get very fat, lol!!

I'm also still juggling anti-rejection medications in regards to my kidney function, so still having regular blood tests and changing doses accordingly. But the doctor appointments are getting longer inbetween, and I no longer feel like I am living at the hospital!

I think that is all the news. I still pinch myself every day at what I am able to do now. It really is a miracle.

Bye for now
Love Genevieve