Wednesday, October 31, 2018


IT'S OFFICIALLY 1 YEAR WITH THE SECOND "NEW" LUNGS! It really feels rather unreal. Even though I won't be spending my day as planned (more about that later in the post), it's such an amazing day of reflection and gratitude.

A year ago this time I was in theatre already, after being called just after midnight (apparently I missed a call from my Dr just BEFORE midnight!).

What an amazing year it's been!!! If you follow this blog or know me, you will know about all the travels and exercise and fun, so I'm not going to go into that now. All I can say is that I am so relieved to have had my first year without any lung complications! There has been some medication interactions and a bad sports injury (keep reading this post!), but no lung problems or signs of rejection so far. Thank God.

So on Friday I was busy having squash coaching, when suddenly it felt like someone had kicked me hard in the left heel, and I collapsed. It was only painful for an instant, but I couldn't move my foot properly, and there was an obvious "gap" by my Achilles tendon... I went to Casualty, and it was confirmed that my tendon had completely torn. So tomorrow I'm scheduled to have surgery to have it repaired... A bit nervous... I'm getting a spinal block and sedation for it. The recovery process is SUPER LONG! I'm quite upset... I've been cancelling quite a few plans now, and I'm very concerned about the World Transplant Games next year. I've worked so hard to get to this level of fitness and to qualify for squash. Everything seemed to be falling in place and now this...

Unfortunately the fact that I've been using prednisone since roughly age 6, does not help in this case. It's probably a miracle that I haven't injured myself as a result of years of steroid use before... And it means I'm prone for this to happen again. So that's rather depressing. For now I'll just take it one step at a time. Pun intended. Can't wait for tomorrow's surgery and the night in hospital to be done with!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

11 sleeps till my 1 year lungaversary with the second lungs!

How has it been 18 days since I've blogged??? Excuse the cliche, but time flies when you're having fun. In 11 days' time I'm celebrating a proper lungaversary for the first time in almost 2 years. My last "proper" lung anniversary was my 9 year one in Jan 2017. Two months before I was supposed to celebrate 10 years, I got the new lungs! So I'm super excited. I have a whole bunch of awesome stuff planned for the day!

Life's been busy and awesome. Two weekends ago we had a great Sunday afternoon pool party at Brendan and Marius' house. We always have the best times there!!!

Obviously I've also seen the favourite nephew a bit as well:

The biggest news is that on Tuesday we had the official launch function of our new NPO TELL. We organised the whole thing in 2 weeks.... and it turned out so well, despite some sleepless nights! The food (sponsored by the amazing Pippa's Food... this woman is amazing!) was delicious, the vibe amazing, the speakers great, a good turnout... we felt so blessed and special and excited! We have such great support and people have been awesome. Very relieved that this event is over though! Next week should be a bit more chilled!

It's also Jacaranda season... last year I kind of missed it... they were late in blooming, and when they did, I was in hospital recovering from the transplant. They're BEAUTIFUL right now. I went for sundowners with Andrew and two of his friends at the Westcliff Four Seasons Hotel yesterday - just for the views! We were NOT disappointed!

That's all for now... the other big thing that I need to do before the end of October is to re-qualify for the World Transplant Games next year. I've been having squash coaching sessions... this past week it was squash on Monday, bio Tuesday, squash on Wednesday and bio again Thursday. Working on my fitness! Yesterday and today I did nothing (well today I walked quite a bit in the mall but that doesn't really count). Tomorrow I'll go and hit some balls at the gym again as well as gym a bit. Loving it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

It's October!!!! Health and other updates.

So September just flew past!!! And October promises to be even more busy! Some random updates and stuff that happened in Sept below...

I joined a squash club. In order to re-qualify for the World Transplant Games next year, I have to be scored on certain criteria by a qualified person, as well as join a club. So I'm busy working on that. I'm playing a game tomorrow morning against a coach who will assess my level of playing. Quite nervous! And before that I'm off to the dentist for a tooth that I hurt by biting on a hard sweet... I think I messed up an old filling.

Spring is here (and in Joburg that basically means summer is here... we don't have much of spring. It's winter and then summer.), so I've re-potted some of my pot-plants. I'm not done yet, but the plants are a bit more organised now. I have a very clear pot-pant addiction!

Chris has a work function with a 1920's Gatsby theme, so that was fun to dress up for:

I attended another fancy event, at the same venue actually! My good friend-since-forever Andrew was a finalist in the "Top 35 under 35" Chartered Accountant awards. It was such an uplifting function to attend (while at the same time making you feel like SUCH an under-achiever!!!). Very proud of him!

I've also been able to spend some quality time with my nephew this past weekend... love him SO MUCH!!!!

Then LASTLY, two days ago was basically my 11 month lungaversary! (Sept doesn't have 31 days...). Despite having a cold two weekends ago, I'm doing SO WELL! Had a Dr's check up yesterday. In summary:

  • kidneys are the best they've been since re-transplant. Creatinine was 116, the lowest it's been in almost a year. Thanks to stopping the Advagraf and switching to Neoral and Certican, whoop whoop! (normal levels are under 90 for women and under 110 for men, according to Dr Google, so my kidneys are ALMOST like those of a normal man!)
  • liver numbers and heamoglobin was normal... previously these were issues. Dr commented that I'm doing something right.
  • FEV1 was up! (at first the machine said it was down, but then Dr realised the predicted values had changed incorrectly - the machine was moved and re-calibrated- so I don't know what the % value is but it doesn't really matter.
  • long-acting insulin has been switched to night-time, as I've been having some low blood sugars in the mornings... this might help.
  • Dr said "You have big lungs"... as someone who is on lung 5 and 6 in my lifetime, this feels like a compliment. I LOVE big lungs... filled with AIR (that is not trapped, LOL)!
  • x-ray looked great.
Needless to say I'm super happy and blessed. I will never take a single second of this good health for granted. I can safely say "you REALLY appreciate the value of easy breathing when you've lost it twice!".