Monday, 21 July 2008

I have uploaded some of the pictures from my trip to Ireland, click on the links below if you want to have a nosy!

Ireland - Part 1

Ireland - Part 2 (The Wedding)

Ireland - Part 3

Today I went for the ultrasound scan on my fistula, the doc went really quiet so I could tell all was not well. Hmmm interesting he said and I said interesting good or interesting bad. He replied well I'm not going to say just yet so that confirmed my suspicions. Whilst he was scanning my arm he listened to the flow of the blood through my fistula, there was also a sound of the water pipes in the hospital in the background so Mum and Dad were a bit confused as to what sound was my fistula and which was the water as they both sounded similar.

He then explained that the narrowing that had previously been widened has returned and he was worried that it had returned so quickly. So I need to go in to get ballooned again but this time I'm also going to have a stent inserted to keep it open to ensure it doesn't narrow again! So not the best news but hey it can't be helped. Here is a pic of what a stent looks like incase you're interested... The one I will be having will be about 4cm long and when it is opened it will spring out so its 1cm wide.

I may have to keep going back every so often for the stent to be ballooned aswell so the problem won't be completely solved. There is also a slightly higher risk of infection in my fistula after having the stent inserted so I'll just have to be careful about keeping it clean. I wasn't surprised to hear that I would need this done as the last time he wasn't completely convinced that it had been totally sucessful, and I could also tell myself that my arm was getting bigger again (although my mum kept telling me that it was just me, probably to make me feel better.)

I then asked the doctor the really important questions such as will it hurt more than just having it ballooned and will I beep going through airport security if I have the stent inserted, the answer to both questions was no! He then said that there were two choices of stent, a covered one and an uncovered one (not completely sure of the difference) but they are doing some trials to compare the covered one to the uncovered and measure their effectiveness. He asked me if I wanted to be part of the trial, I'm not bothered either way and even if I say yes there is no guarantee I will receive the covered one as they pick an envelope at the beginning of the procedure and whichever envelope is opened that's the stent they use.

After the scan and the chat with the Doc I went up to the transplant ward to see a fellow dialysis patient who received a transplant 10 days ago. She had been waiting for around 5 years and although she has an infection at the moment is looking absolutely marvellous, the change in her colour in that short amount of time was amazing. So hopefully things will continue to improve and she will be out and about soon.

Finally (as I think I have waffled on enough in this post) whilst I was away on holiday I appeared in my local midweek newspaper and on an online newspaper promoting National Transplant Week (Thanks to Em and Em from LLTGL for the press release.) If you want to see the article click here.

So that's all the news really, I don't have to decide about the trial till the day of the procedure and he said he would have more of a chat about it to me then. They'll be in touch soon with a date for when it's going to go ahead.


  1. Love u Hol, keep up with the blogging. I like being able to keep up with what's goin on.
    Shiney x x x

  2. Don't worry about the stent. I had one done in March, and it really wasn't any worse than getting ballooned (which they have to do anyway before putting in the stent).

    In fact, I need to go back in soon to get ANOTHER stent, even though my transplant is working great. I'll eventually get the fistula tied off, but since it has narrowed, it needs a stent for the short-term.

    Good luck.

  3. Lovely photos :-) Hope the stent for the fistula works ok and isn't too painful to get done.
    Well done on the awareness raising:-)
    Jac x