Thursday, 27 March 2008


Hello everyone, sorry for the lack of updates hope you had a Happy Easter!

My Auntie came over from Northern Ireland for a week (she goes home tomorrow) so this has been nice, by the next time she comes over there will be a new addition to the family (my little niece or nephew), talking of which my sis-in-law is showing!!! This is really exciting, only 6 more days till we find out the sex of the baby!!!

So back to Easter, I had a lovely Easter Sunday, I spent the afternoon with my uni friends which was lovely, I’d not seen them in a couple of weeks because we’ve not been in uni. So we all went round to our friend Hanne’s she had started hiding the eggs for the Easter hunt, which was meant to be for her daughter Ellie but we were all just as excited! There were little arrows pointing to where the eggs were and we even had a little egg and spoon race then spent the rest of the afternoon chatting! Then I came home and had a lovely Sunday roast with the family Turkey and all the trimmings finished off with half an Easter Egg!!!

No other news really my arm is still sore and the bruise seems to be getting bigger and darker each day also the uni article is coming along well, not quite finished yet though! Got three more assignments due in on the next 3 Wednesdays so I better get my bum in gear and get some work done!

Right speaking of uni work I’d best get some done…

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Newspaper article...

I have been asked to do an article for my university newspaper, I’m very excited about this as hopefully it will raise more awareness of kidney failure and organ donation.

I am struggling to fit the past 3 years of my life into 700 words and portray what life is like for me on dialysis. I want to put across how uncertain the future is whilst waiting on the transplant list the fact that the call could come at anytime, tomorrow, next week, next month or even in 5 years time!

If the article makes even one person sign the organ donor register then it will be worth it as over 8000 people in the UK like me need an organ transplant to save or radically improve their lives. However due to the chronic shortage of donors, 450 people die each year waiting. The ever growing demand for transplants means that waiting lists are rising each year. When asked 90% of people say they agree with organ donation but only just over 20% have signed the register!

To sign the organ donor register click here or ring 0845 60 60 400.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

So not much to blog about really, had dialysis last night and a nurse that hadn't been in for a while needled my fistula, she didn't know which way the blood flowed in my arm and didn't ask me before she started! Eventually when she realised she wasn't getting any blood in the syringe she asked me which way the needle usually goes in (I don't usually look so she is lucky I knew the answer) turns out she was going in the completely wrong direction, the result being a very sore arm today! Ah well at least she'll know next time!

Me and my mum went to get our hair cut and coloured today, I’ve gone for a change and had a red/brown colour put on mum went for her usual wacky purple streaks!

I had an exciting invite yesterday; my bro and his wife Fiona have asked if me and my mum want to come along to a 3D scan they’re going to have of the baby! This will be on the 10th May and by that time Fiona will be 25 weeks gone, and will have had her 20week scan so we’ll know what sex the baby is!

The whole family are really excited and my bro even bought a bottle sterilizer the other day on his own!!!

Friday, 14 March 2008

The Trafford Centre...

Last night I went to the Trafford centre with 2 friends of mine, a lad I dialyse with called Gary and Steph who I used to dialyse with but she received a transplant before Christmas, I miss her lots at the unit but so glad she is doing well and is free of dialysis and can get back to some sort of normality. Us three are the youngest at the unit me being the baby (21) then Gary (he will be impressed I’ve called him a lad he is 28) and then Steph (30).

So Steph picked me up from my house around 5.30 and we set off in rush hour traffic for the T centre (which was a bad idea) a journey that would usually take 30mins took over an hour! We were texting Gary every so often to check his progress and of course (being a man) he was running late or maybe it was the fact that he didn’t set off till 6.30 which was the time we were meant to meet him at! We arrived and decided that Gary was going to be ages so we should go to Selfridges and look at all the stuff we couldn’t afford!

After that we wandered round and looked for a place to have tea, we settled on a place called HA HA bar and grill. Gary eventually turned up an hour late! So we ate around 9.00 it was lovely I had good old steak and chips and we stayed at the restaurant chatting for ages, mainly about kidney related stuff as it’s the one main thing we all have in common! Anyway a fab night was had by all and a cheap night too as Gary was as ever a gentleman and paid for everything! So we’ve decided we’re going to make it a regular thing and take it in turns to pay, my treat next time so I’m taking the oldies Ice-skating and then for a Chinese!

Thursday, 13 March 2008

World Kidney Day

Today is world kidney day the purpose of which is to raise awareness about the importance of our kidneys – an amazing organ that plays a crucial role in keeping us alive and well – and to spread the message that kidney disease is common, harmful and treatable.

The main job of our kidneys (which are roughly the size of two fists and are located deep in our abdomen, beneath our rib cage) is to remove toxins and excess water from our blood. Every day our kidneys filter and clean 200 liters of blood – a quantity that would fill about 200 bottles or 20 buckets! Besides this kidneys also help to control our blood pressure, to produce red blood cells and to keep our bones healthy.

Studies of different races living on different continents worldwide have consistently shown that about 1 out of 10 adults has some form of kidney damage.

People with chronic kidney disease are 10 times more likely than healthy individuals to die of heart attacks and strokes (cheerful hey?). The health of their kidneys may also progressively worsen to the point where the kidneys must be replaced (this is the stage I am at and is called "end-stage renal Failure- ESRF"). Either patients receive a new, transplanted kidney or they are kept alive with “dialysis” like me.

Detection of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is easy simple, routine tests of our urine, blood and blood pressure can show early signs of kidney problems. Goods news is that if problems are found these can be slowed down and even stop chronic kidney disease, by taking medicines and changing some of our living habits.

Click here to find out more about World Kidney Day!

Monday, 10 March 2008

The big question...

Yesterday the BBC one programme the Big Questions came from my home town of Warrington!

So the big question was… Should live donors be encouraged to provide a kidney to the transplant service by offering them financial compensation?

Britain has a shortage of kidney donors. Around 6,000 people are currently waiting to receive a transplant. In desperation some patients are traveling abroad to buy kidneys from live donors. 25 years ago Iran decided to allow live donors to sell one of their kidneys for transplant and it is claimed that waiting lists were eradicated as a result.

I was asked to appear on the programme to debate this issue; I declined however a friend and fellow dialysis patient appeared on the programme. He stated that he did not agree with this. I am tempted to agree with him and feel that those in desperate need of money may be exploited and it could end up that they would feel pressured to donate. More education and promotion into organ donation is necessary and maybe in the future the opt-out system will be put into practice to improve the shortage of organs.

Click here to see the message board from the big questions, and people’s thoughts on the subject.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Jimmy Carr

So this week has been a bit of a nightmare my mum and dad have had a tummy bug and have been really ill, they caught it off the little boy I was talking about in my last post. Thankfully I have managed to avoid it and have tried to keep as far away from them as possible (in the nicest way obviously).

My dad usually takes me to dialysis and mum picks me up, dad was too ill on Friday so mum took me (this was a bad idea) she hadn’t eaten for two days so was pale and wobbly, she dropped me off and I sent her on her way hoping she made it home without being sick (she looked awful). So I didn’t want her to come and pick me up and make herself worse so thankfully my big bro came to the rescue and picked me up! So I’m hoping they’re both over the worst of it and are on the mend.

So last night mum, dad, bro, his wife Fiona and I were all due to go on a night out to see Jimmy Carr on his latest tour (repeat offender). Mum and Dad were too ill and so I invited one of my friends and Fiona invited her sister. We had a great night, Jimmy was very funny but extremely rude, and he even managed to take the mick out of someone waiting for a kidney transplant! We queued up at the end of the show to meet him and get DVD’s and programmes signed. I let him know that I wasn’t impressed about the joke and told him I was waiting for a kidney transplant, he was a bit taken aback but his words were “Well you look pretty f***ing well though don’t you?” to which I replied thanks, he was lovely, so I forgave him and he wished me luck with my wait.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Everyday Life

Not much news really just been busy with boring old uni work, which seems to be paying off as I found out on Thursday that I passed another assignment with a mark of 73 which is a 1:1! So I’m chuffed about that!

So on the 21st April I’m starting a Work-Based Learning placement which I’m really excited about as well as a little nervous as I don’t know how my energy levels will cope. Uni has been very helpful and have sorted it out for me to do my placement over 10 weeks part time instead of 5 weeks full time. So I’m going to be working with 6 and 7 year olds in a primary school 2.5 days a week. I have my first meeting with the teacher tomorrow, so I’ll see what I’m letting myself in for.

So dialysis hasn’t been too bad, had a dodgy time a couple of days last week with my BP so my dry weight has been put up yet again, which (as usual) I’m not happy about. I also got my blood results back and they caught me as I’ve not been as good as I should be, I’m rubbish at remembering to take my renagels (phosphate binders) I hate taking tablets (I have a fear I might choke, which is practically impossible) These ones are quite big and I have to take them anytime I eat anything!!! Apart from that everything’s ok.

I am shattered tonight as today me and my folks looked after our friend’s little boy who is 20months, so I have spent the day playing trains, singing wind the bobbin up and twinkle twinkle little star and even managed a trip to the park to feed the ducks and play on the swing! Had a fun packed day running around after him, and now an early night for me I think…