Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The upsides to transplants and campaigning...

As I promised here is the more positive blog...

Firstly I want to thank you all so much for the encouraging and supportive comments posted both on here and on my Battlefront page...

Good stuff about my kidney transplant...

  • I can go to places I couldn't before
  • I can do things that I couldn't before
  • I can experience things I have never experienced before
  • I can dance till my feet hurt rather than until I am worn out and have to go home
  • I can spend more time with family and friends
  • I can be spontaneous without having to worry if "THE" phonecall would come
  • I can plan things in advance knowing I will be well enough to attend
  • I don't have to stick to a strict Renal Diet
  • I don't have a fluid restriction
  • I don't have to have dialysis!!!!
  • I can take up new hobbies
  • I don't have constant nausea
  • I can do normal every day things without getting tired
  • I can go out more than once in a day (pre transplant I often had to say no to going out in the evening if I knew I was doing something in the day)

This is just a short list, I am sure I will think of more later...
Overall it has totally transformed not only my life but the life of my family!

So the upsides to campaigning....

  • Learning new skills and improving others
  • Meeting people that I would never have met
  • Having the support of volunteers, celebrities, friends, family and strangers alike
  • Standing up for something I believe in and feel passionate about
  • Knowing that I am doing something good and helping other people
  • Being a part of changing peoples lives
  • Making a small difference in the world
I decided to look back and see what I was doing this time last year, I remembered I was working on placement at a local school but I couldn't for the life of me remember what my health was like... but then... it all came flooding back!

"I worked all day Monday and then went straight to the hospital for dialysis.All was going well until the machine started pumping my blood around. The needles were in but I must have moved my arm slightly and the pain was excruciating. My fistula had blown which means the needle had gone out the other side of my vein resulting in a swelling on my arm which the nurse kindly went and got some ice for. It also meant the next day there was a huge bruise to match the other one the nurse had given me the previous Monday! So my arm is dark purple at the moment and quite sore but hey these things happen. The nurse has advised me to go for a scan of my fistula to make sure its still working ok. My mum is going to ring up on Monday morning to see if there is any chance I can go on Wednesday as I am already heading up to the Royal Liverpool Hospital to see my transplant surgeon! So will keep you posted.

This is my arm below (not a great photo as I took it myself with my left hand) ...

the top bruise is the most recent from last Monday and the bottom bruise is from the Monday before, it's still a bit swollen and quite hard to the touch, so not a pretty sight really... hopefully it will clear up soon!"

I remember not long after this I had to have an operation on my arm.

I may have kidney disease for the rest of my life and I may suffer side effects from the tablets I am now on. But would I swap these and my new life for my life this time last year, back on dialysis with all the restrictions that came with it - NO WAY!

I now have a brighter future, will be able to graduate, get a job, travel and fulfill some of my other dreams thanks to the generosity of my donor. I intend to make them proud in whatever I decide to do with this "Gift" I have been given....


  1. It's good to hear you're feeling more positive. I think it's good to take stock now and again - recognise what you're not happy with, even if you can't do anything about it - and then remind yourself what's great about the world.

    I always used to say when I was listed that if I could find one thing at the end of every day to smile about then it was all OK. And now, my transplant is the only reason I need every day to smile.

    It's good to see you back to yourself. x

  2. It's nice to see you're back to writing cheerful blogs now Holly ;) I'm glad you can see all the positive improvements in your health post transplant and the positives to volunteering. You're a real inspiration.

    Moll x x

  3. Geez, your arm (in that photo) looks worse than mine did!!
    I'm so glad to have run in to your blog. Good to see someone share some of their experiences.
    I've been on dialysis for two years and am still waiting for a transplant. I thought I had myself a living donor...then, for no apparent reason at all, the Cleveland Clinic cancelled our surgeries at the last minute. Originally my transplant was scheduled for this Wednesday...no more...and for no reason, as I said. I cannot believe they could do that to me!!
    In January, I had a graft put in my arm, only to have it get infected after only a month...so yes, it got discolored and is still, but not as bad as yours. Would I ever have another graft???? No!!! I really would rather have full complete productive use of both of my arms.
    Good to hear you're feeling better after your transplant. That's the part that I'm STILL looking forward to, but hopefully not for long as I network and try to find a living donor.