Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back 2 Gym. Back 2 Reality.

That's supposed to sound like the corny jingle one of the big stores here in SA have and play every January to promote "Back 2 School"... except it's obviously Back 2 School...Back to reality. What an irritating thing to hear in your last few weeks of holiday, but anyway, it's not the point I want to make. The point is that I'm back at gym. Went after work, and steered clear of any upper-body exercise (did quite a bit of stretching though, which hurt) and did some leg-stuff. At least I didn't really lose any fitness, but I could feel my ribs the whole time. At least I know a bit more about what to expect on Sat... cos that's when I'm trying out for Aus again! I know I might not make it, but if I don't try at least I'll always wonder. And I'd rather be disappointed then having regret. So WISH ME LUCK... it's gonna take a miracle!!!!

Apart from that I've got no news really... It's been raining for DAYS on end now, and it's cold (well relatively cold... can't compare to Bree with her Canada weather, lol!). And of course the stairs are wet all the time and I'm a bit scared of them now. So I'm clinging to the railing like an old person when going down there (and even for going up!). Had church cell last night, and we might be going on a camp or something, which will be SOOO exciting, as I've never been on any sort of getaway WITHOUT my nebulisers or WITH my new lungs. Going to be AWESOME!!!!

So tomorrow night Chris and I will be sleeping over at my grandfather's place in Pretoria (where I'll be walking), and on Sat afternoon we'll be going to the MPH/Top Gear Live Motorshow at the Coca-cola Dome, which will be very exciting!!!! So will post again Sat evening with the NEWS.... *nervous sigh*

P.S. Oh, and thanks for those who have donated towards Annelie's run!!!! That is so awesome, especially amidst the wicked "CREDIT CRUNCH"... you guys rock.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Annelie's running the London Marathon in aid of CF!!!!

So my overly-energetic aunt got in for the London Marathon, and is running it for CF!!! She is trying to raise 2000 pounds (can't find the GBP symbol!) this time!!! Please visit her page at ....

So today is the day I REALLY woke up and got off the ventilator... 5 days after the op. Can't believe I was under for that long! Have to add though that I think they sedated me for longer because I kept on trying to pull stuff out of me and was very restless... anyway... it's strange to think it was only a year ago, as so much has happened. And yet it also feels like just the other day. On the 28th, the Monday, they took me outside for the first time, wheelchair, drainage tubes, drips and all. BUT without Oxygen. It was very strange for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was WITHOUT O2. I did sometimes go without it for short periods of time, but at sea level only, not at such a high altitude. So that was wierd. Also, I've never really experienced a Joburg summer before, and the air had that sunny humidness before a thunderstorm, that I've become to know pretty well by now. Since it's obviously the same weather conditions now, I often walk to the shops during lunch-time and experience that same humidity (which in itself is strange for JHB, where the air is usually dry), and it takes me right back to that afternoon in Milpark Hosp's little garden court-thingy.

Work's been busy this week, not much to report. Rib pain better. Bruises still look disgusting. Chris and I are having coffee with an old Varsity friend of mine and his fiance (who I haven't met)... should be interesting. Going to their wedding in April. Have to go finish supper now though, so bye!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This day a year ago: breathing without a ventilator for 1st time with new lungs!

So this day a year ago I woke up and ate chips and had a Tab (sugar-free soft drink, like Diet Coke)!!! It was the first day I remember after transplant, and I really can't say it was a bad day... the nurses were great, the Drs said I was doing FINE, my parents were SO happy to see me awake and breathing on my own (with O2 still of course)...

This weekend has turned out to be surpisingly nice, considering I woke up yesterday morning with so much pain in my ribs I contemplated not MOVING for the whole of Sat... but then the serious amounts of pain pills I took kicked in and I did some quick shopping, and spend the rest of the afternoon more sensibly and watched House (medical drama series) with Chris on TV.

Than last night some friends and I went out for supper to celebrate my transplanteversary, which was lots of fun even though I felt a bit "out of it" again most of the time. The food and conversation was great and that's all that matters. Today my pain is MUCH less, and have only taken ONE pill for pain so far... Went to the picnic the couple at church organised, and then just watched some House again.

Getting ready for the week now... tidying up and deciding what to wear to work etc. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO MADE MY MILESTONE MEMORABLE!!!!

OK, blond moment... it wasn't EXACTLY a year ago, it was the Sunday... which means Tuesday it will be a year ago... but close enough!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The rest of my "birthday"...

The rest of my day yesterday was pretty cool. Jenny, Aerin and Caitlin came over in the afternoon and bought with them a yummy chocolate cake and very pretty bracelet! Also had a bit of a nap before they came. The steak was also everything I expected! It's my (recent) favourite, Camembert and Cranberry Steak with baked potato and sour cream... AWESOME!!!!!

If I look a bit hazy/sleepy on the pics, it's the pain pills!!!! But they're doing their job so I'm not complaning! Back at work today, just hope'll be alert enough! When I took those pills after transplant I didn't think they made me sleepy, but now that I actually have to concentrate I'm sure I'll feel the effects! They are schedule 5 pills after all...

Looking forward to the weekend! Will probably just watch a DVD with Chris tonight. Tomorrow night I'm having a 1-year celebratory supper at a restaurant with friends, but have to still organise all the details! Been a bit distracted lately, lol! Also going to a farewell picnic on Sunday, of a couple at church going to the UK.

Thanx to everyone who cemmented on my previous post!!! Really didn't expect that many comments, you guys are great. Especially thanks for all the prayers.

Found something else out yesterday that was very upsetting... a girl that went to school with me is in a coma on a ventilator... I heard she had cancer a few months ago, and she had a bone transplant or something, but she suddenly took a turn for the worse, and is now in a coma. It just shows you again that life is UNPREDICTABLE... and that you must cherish every moment and tell the people that you love how much they mean to you...

Update: Just learned that Tanya has passed away... Rest In Peace girl... I didn't know you very well, but you were always enthusiastic and your spirit rubbed off on those around you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The day me and the lungies started our perfect relationship...

So, on the 22nd of Jan at 5am in the morning I was waiting at the airport in PE for the first flight to JHB. Arrived there at about 7:30am, where the airport ambulance was waiting for me when I got off the plane. Then the hospital ambulance came to fetch me and off I went to Milpark. Originally they said the surgery would start at 12pm, but the heart had to go to CT, and they were waiting for the CT surgeons to get up here before they could do anything. The whole day was one nervous wait (filled with bloods and x-rays being taken)... not nervous for the surgery, but that something would be wrong with the donor's lungs and they would be unsuitable.

When 4pm came, I was finally pushed into theatre, and as soon as I saw all those people all scrubbed up and all the silver "implements" being "prepared" (more like knives being sharpened), it dawned on me that this is really IT. Time to part with my old lungs. Even though they were CRAP and gave me a hard time, they still tried their best and got me all the way to 23... much further than was expected (the Drs told my parents there was a 20% chance of me actually reaching 20). So I started crying... but only for a few mins, before they put me under. And that's all I remember about this day a year ago... surgery was 7 hours long and I was taken to ICU at about midnight.

So what was I doing today... I had x-rays at the hospital!!!! Believe it or not, I managed to get myself hurt again... Last night there was a massive thunderstorm, and I was on my way dowm to meet Chris (we were on our way out), when I fell down the stairs. Heels and wet tiles and stairs DO NOT GO TOGETHER. My feet slipped out from under me and I landed on my back, and slid down a few more stairs. Got the fright of my life and my wind was totally out. Luckily Chris came running up and got me back into the apartment and cleaned my wound for me. I was wearing a skirt, so the back of my thigh got a real nasty scrape and bled a bit. It's one MASSIVE bruise now that is disgustingly purple and red and swollen... Also, and more alarmingly, my ribs and back (on the left side) hurt like hell, and breathing has been painfull.

So this morning I went to work for about an hour to do the most important stuff, after which I headed straight to Milpark. Had x-rays done, and by some miracle no ribs are broken (having been on Prednisone for 18 years of my life, which reduces bone density, this really is good news), but some might be cracked, as apparently you can't always see that on an x-ray. So Dr gave me Trans Act patch and some more wonderfull painpills... In bed now, and going to take a nap soon, as with all the pain I didn't sleep much last night.
The people from the athletics track in Pretoria confirmed my booking for 9am on Sat morning to try and qualify for Aus... Murphy really has some sick sense of humour, as
I NEVER get hurt, and now, 2 days before I wanted to try again, my foot, thigh, ribs and back are sore, and I can't even walk SLOWLY without PAIN. So I'm going to have to cancel for this weekend, and maybe find out if I can try next weekend if I've got less pain then...
I'm obviously also thinking about my donor family a lot today, and especially yesterday... hope they realise how much their gift has meant to me. I don't think anyone that hasn't received an organ or had a child that has received an organ realises the level of gratefullness, that words cannot really explain. All you can do is thank God...
Tonight Chris and my dad and I are going out for STEAK... don't care how sore I am, I WANT STEAK!!!! Oh, and for everyone who have been reading my blog since my transplant, happy 1year of reading my blog, lol!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Today a year ago... the miracle CALL!!!!

So tonight at 11:39pm a year ago, I got THE CALL that changed my life as I knew it. Read my blog posts from that day here. The post I did when finally calming down and letting all my friends know (by phoning everyone awake at about 00:30am!) is this one. One very dramatic day with hearing I can't go to Florida for my transplant, dealing with that disappointment, reverting to alcohol (cocktail with friend to get my mind off things) and of course THE CALL, that didn't even wake me up, as I couldn't fall asleep... too busy thinking about everything happening to me... if only I knew! Most exciting and scary night of my life... will continue about that tomorrow!

Sooo, this week has been as crazy as I anticipated so far. My Drs appointment went FINE. Bloods were all good, altough hemoglobin is a bit low and I have to take iron tablets for 3 months, which is no big deal, as I took it a while ago but stopped. Lung functions were great. FEV1% (the amount of air you can blow out in 1 second compared to the "average" person of your weight and height) was 96/97%... and FVC (Forced Vital Capacity, which is your lung volume) was 110%. FeNO (Nitric Oxide, which may measure levels of rejection) was 18, which is good. Lower is better! Also took cookies to my Dr's rooms, the surgeons' rooms, and the ward where I was in for most of my awake-time!

My right foot is seriously sore though... I gymmed hard of Monday night, and even though my foot's been sore since last Thursday, stupid stupid Alice kept on going on the treadmill, ignoring the pain and thinking about Australia... so I woke up at 3am on Tuesday morning in PAIN... took one of the pain-pills I have left from my transplant, but all it did was put me to sleep. Decided not to gp NEAR the gym again till Sat and rest my foot. Well when I woke up this morning it felt even worse, but got Voltaren Gel, so it better get fixed now!!! Can't let pain stand in the way of that 3 km...

Will DEFINITELY post tomorrow!!!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

BIG WEEK ahead!!!!

So... this weeks I have a few big things happening: Firstly I have my 1 year post transplant check-up. Secondly Thursday is my TRANSPLANTEVERSARY. Thirdly Sat is my qualifying-for-Australia day... So quite a significant week.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I'll be gymming. Thursday I'm relaxing and Chris, my dad and I will be going out for STEAK to celebrate the 1 year of miracle-ness. Resting Friday and Sat morning is the big walk. Still have to confirm a time though, but will be early in the morning. Not sure what of the weekend's going to entail, but definitely lots of celebtrations!

This weekend's been great too. Friday night we just chilled and watched a DVD. Sat we played squash and went to an 18th birthday party (the guy's birthday's actually on the 22nd, same as my anniversary!) which was VERY cool. It was also me and Chris's 3 month anniversary yesterday, so we went out for lunch today. All in all a very relaxing weekend.

Anyway, I'm off to church now... have a good week!

Friday, January 16, 2009

End of the week...

TGIF!!!! It's been another tough week with a few irritations... Road Rage etc!!! If I wasn't on a pill for my blood pressure (I swear I take a pill for EVERYTHING), I'd have had a heart attack, I'm sure. Well obviously not really but I felt like it!

I also managed to hurt my foot while gymming :-( Nothing serious, just pulled a muscle in the ball of my foot (from walking at some ungodly speed on the treamill training for the 3km race walk)... so yesterday at gym I only cycled 6km and did lots of weights (upper-body sore today!). Resting today and hopefully tomorrow my foot'll be right for lots of squash and gym. I'm also seriously doubting my ability to walk 3km in 27mins 30 seconds. I know it sounds like loads of time to walk 3km in, but for some reason it's REALLY fast. Doesn't help of course that I'm so short either. If my leggies were longer it would've been a breeze. So I'm not too optimistic about the Australia thing right now. At least I tried I suppose.

Tonight I'm going to Chris's house and just watching a DVD or something relaxing. Tomorrow night we'll be going to a 18th birthday party! While wrapping the gift last night I realised it's been 7 years since I was 18.... and I felt REALLY REALLY OLD... I also keep hearing of 25 year olds having kids left right and centre. What's up with that? I'm not NEARLY ready for a child, and that's if I even consider ever having one, which I most probably won't.

So anyway, hope your weekend is cool!

P.S. If this post seems negative, sorry, it's not intended that way!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Middle of the week...

Nothing much exciting happening so far this week... the best part was probably GETTING MY GLASSES! Will post a pic of them later... Eyes are definitely appreciating them!

Went to gym on Monday and watched the first episode of season 5 Grey's Anatomy with Jenny afterwards. Went to see Anywhere but Home with Chris at the movies last night, which was really nice. Saw a woman there on O2, with the exact samy portable O2 I had. Talked to her a bit, told her I used to have the same O2 and had a lung transplant. She said she's "far from that" though... which I assume is probably some sort of denial, as she obviously doesn't realise how short of breath she seemed. What's quite wierd though is that I saw a guy on O2 Saturday night at Defending the Caveman too... why did I NEVER see people on O2 when I was on O2 as well??? I assume it's because of Joburg's high altitude that more people here need O2 or something...

Feeling a bit irritated today... thought I lost my wallet (thank goodness I didn't!), and have some sort of sinus headache going on. Ugh...

Monday, January 12, 2009

The start of another week...

The end of last week and my weekend's been great. Firstly, on Friday things began moving along regarding organising mt 3km race walk to qualify for the WTG... I'm still waiting for a final confirmation, but seems like it will be Sat the 24th... quite fitting seeing as it's 2 days after my 1 year transplanteversary! Pretty nervous about it... want to qualify SOOO BADLY! Will be training almost every day.

Friday evening we just watched DVD, Sat morning I did some shopping (nothing exciting, just exercise pants and internet stuff and going to bank and a birthday present for someone etc.), Sat afternoon Chris and I played some squash and did 2km on the treadmill. Sat evening we went to Montecasino and saw Defending the Caveman (part of my Xmas present from him!) and had THE BEST BURGER EVER afterwards. The show was very funny and I enjoyed it a lot. The burger was so delicious my mouth is literally watering thinking about it... Had a Jalapino (spelling?) and Mustard Burger with a Greek Salad. Heaven....

Yesterday was just as cool. Chilled and did nothing during the morning, and had lunch with Paul and Jenny and some of her family. Yet again, the food was so great... roast beef and roast potatoes and yummy veggies and choc pudding with fresh berries afterwards... DELICIOUS!!!!!! Mmmmm... should diet or something this week, lol!

My dad came back from PE after his LONG holidaylast night, so now I'm not alone in the flat anymore. And other good news... my glasses seem to be ready today, so will be picking them up after work!!!!!!!! My poor eyes will be SOOO happy. Hate my stupid contact lens (I have a bad left eye, so wear only 1 contact lens), and if I don't wear him my poor right eye suffers cos he has to do all the work!

Hope your week is cool, especially to all those lucky people who had a holiday and are back at work today! Unfortunately I don't have much sympathy, lol!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gwynneth and my laptop is 1 year old today!!!!

It's SOOO cool that Gwyn is 1 year old today!!!! She's definitely the most prayed-for baby I have ever heard of, and it has payed off!!!! She's a miracle baby in all senses of the word, and quite the symbol of hope! Confessions of a CF husband was one of the first blogs I ever read, and been addicted since. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! May you continue doing so well and giving you parents so much joy!!! And on unrelated note my laptop is also 1 year old today... Got it about 2 weeks before my transplant, and thank goodness for that!!! I would've been lost without it in JHB!!!

My week has been pretty rough... trying to get my glasses out of the optometrists, but they seem pretty slow and my eyes are hurting, work's feeling slow, been to gym, been to gynae, been to bank trying to organise some stuff, been trying to organise someone to official me in order to qualify for Australia, and not getting anywhere... so it hasn't been the most pleasant of weeks. At least it's Thursday and almost weekend, and have some cool stuff planned!!!!

Trying to think what to do for my 1 year transplanteversary (thanks Emily for this word!!!)... obviously most of my friends are in PE, but HAVE to celebrate it... Anyway, have to go now, hope you have a good weekend!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

First weekend of 2009...

Had a really nice weekend... good start to 2009! Swam twice, played squash and gymmed twice, went out for supper with Paul and Jenny and some of her family and had THE BEST STEAK EVER... ( steak topped with camembert cheese and cranberry sauce, with a baked potato and sour cream...mmmmmmmm). Also talked in church yesterday morning... The sermon was about thankfullness and the whole of Jan people can share their stories/testify, and I really wanted to do it. Went well I think!

2009 Is really going to kick off this week with things returning to normal and no more public holidays for a few months :-( I'm also seriously training for end of Jan when I'm going to try again to qualify for World Transplant Games in Australia... Lots of gym and lots of sleep!!! Been a bit bad about sleeping lately... my mission for the week is to sleep 8 hours every night!!!!

Anyway... hope your first week of 2009 is a productive one!! That is if you're not still on holiday... gggrrrrrr...

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 is HERE!!!!!!!

Hope you had a great New Years Eve on Wednesday night!!! I definitely had a better one than I have the past few years! Chris and I went to a theme party hosted by friends of Chris (Daniel and Alice) based on the BBC series Allo Allo, so all the food etc was french. VERY yummy. Daniel even wrote/compiled a play/mystery with the caracters of the show, which we acted out in between courses. Will def post some more pics later on!!!

I also went to the optometrist on Wednesday afternoon, as I've managed to lose my glasses about 2 weeks ago, and my eyes have been suffering quite a bit at work. I'm trying the contact lens thing again for the first time in years, but my eye is not liking the air-con!! The good news I got is that my eye has improved!!! (Only my left eye is bad) I really didn't expect this... maybe it's the increased amounts of oxygen in my system??? Anyway, I can't wait to get my new glasses and free pair of designer prescription sunglasses I got with it!!!

Yesterday I just chilled and Chris and I went for a swim at Jenny's place (he's teaching me to dive!!!!), as well the most delicious prawns that Paul brought home! We also watched the last episode of The Heart is Beautiful, which was very touching, as my donor family was on and I saw what my donor looked like... Was pretty emotional as you can imagine, but I'm glad I saw it nevertheless. She was an awesome woman, and my heart goes out to her son and family. I am unbelievable gratefull for their selflessness despite their grief. It was also very good hearing her mom and the rest of the family say that knowing that her life saved people helped them in their grieving and that something good came out of their loss. If they ever wanted to meet me I'd be more than willing, but obviously it might be pretty traumatic for them.

At work again today, but at least it's almost weekend!!! Can't believe a week ago was Boxing day... feels quite far away. Don't have much planned for the weekend, but I'm giving a testimony in church on Sunday morning, so have to prepare for that. Will also definitely be playing some squash and run a bit. Hope your first weekend of 2009 is awesome!!!!

P.S. The pics are New Years last year and this year...