Monthly Archives: August 2016

Painful hip

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Tuesday 16th to Friday 19th August

I had a day off from work today. My landlady had arranged for an estate agent to call round to the house to get it valued so I needed to get a bit of tidying up done! Then as it was a lovely day I decided to do a bit more sorting out in the shed and garden. I got on quite well and sorted a few more things for me to try and sell or to put up as an offer on the Freecycle site. The only problem was that my back and now my hip was really hurting which made everything so much harder to deal with 😫

On Wednesday most of the day was spent at work.

A lot of my volunteering time this Thursday morning was spent with a lady that also suffers with PBC. Next week she has got an appointment to find out about going on the transplant list. We had a good chat about all sorts of things and I hope I helped to put her mind at rest over just a few things. I really hope everything turns out well for her. 

I enjoy watching most sports on the TV now. Gary is a football fan and I really do enjoy watching a game with him! I affectionately say it’s because of my ‘man liver’ 😍 I was talking to Mark about this and he asked me what team I support. I don’t have a special one yet! He came up with a great idea – if I could find out where my second donor was from I could start to support that town’s football club …

Unusually I had got an appointment to see my own GP, I didn’t want to lose that chance, so off I went. I was going for my outstanding blood results. My urate level had gone down slightly and at last I found out that the test was negative for CMV, so I must have just had some other weird virus when I was ill a little while ago now.  

I decided to mention about my hip hurting while I was there as I was getting a bit fed up with the pain! He basically said he thought it was because I was getting old!! – wear and tear 😫 Great.

So I decided to go ahead and try a walk out tonight and see how I got on. I made it round and it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it might be.

Friday was just a non-stop day, a busy morning at work in the Co-op and a busy afternoon at home.

Have a look at these childrens’ lunches from around the world. There certainly are some odd combinations there 😏

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Great present 🎁

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Saturday 13th to Monday 15th August

My mum was left handed, I am the only one out of her five children that is left handed and only Leah is left handed!

This Saturday was spent with just a trip to the shops for me and Gary I think and then back to give Robyn and Tom a lift to a party in a nearby village. 

When we were in the car Robyn gave me a present πŸ˜€

What a great t-shirt. I am spoilt. I love it 😍

Another lovely weekend weather wise so between jobs and blogging some of my time was spent in the garden and some of my time was spent watching the Olympic Games, including staying up until the early hours of the morning to do so!!

And on Sunday evening we popped round to Gary’s neighbours for a farewell drink as they were moving house.

Look at these lovely iced lolly recipes I found. Delicious, and they look so pretty too. Why not give some of them a try?!

Monday was just spent doing all the never ending jobs at home! 

In the evening we went to have another look around the new house we are going to be living in. Robyn and Leah needed to have another look at the bedrooms and have the ‘fight’ about who’s going to be having which one! And I needed to have a look in the tiny one I’ve been given – I’m not sure my bed is actually going to fit in it, let alone all my junk πŸ˜–

Then Robyn and Tom made me a delicious salad!

Baked Potato KitKat

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Thursday 11th to Friday 12th August

Volunteer time! When I got on to the ward at the JR this morning, one of the doctors gave me the names of four patients that he thought it might be a good idea for me to visit. I went to see a couple and then I couldn’t remember the others’ names :/ I did feel stupid and annoyed with myself that I wasn’t able to remember. When I saw Mark later I told him that I was suffering with a bad back and leg on two separate occasions during the conversation! So when I also told him about not being able to remember the patients’ names as well he said to me ‘you shouldn’t be having problems with that now’ referring to the confusion that liver patients can suffer with. I hope I was just having a bad morning πŸ˜–

When I had finished my visiting I went and got myself a coffee and sat in the reception area. Who should come and sit near me – my original consultant Dr Ellis! I went over and said hello to him. He said he had just called in between visiting two hospitals as he needed to check his emails and he didn’t think anyone would recognise him here! Whoops, that didn’t quite work out to plan then did it? 😏

Unusually I had a conversation with the bus driver all the way back to the Park & Ride (normally they just grunt at you). He told me about his caravan in Weymouth, visits to other seaside places, how he’s been on scary rides with his grandaughter, he slowed the bus down to show me some building work that was going on! He told me about a bad crash that had happened locally and did I know how many Olympic medals we had won today?! It was non stop. But it did make a nice change.

I didn’t go on my walk this evening. It would just have been too painful and I don’t think it would have done me much good. I wasn’t too happy about this. I always look forward to my walks πŸ‘£

Anyone fancy a Baked Potato KitKat? Yes really! Click on the link to see what other bizarre flavours are also available 😏

Another Friday spent feeling unwell at work. Headache, nausea, tiredness and still suffering with the pain in my back 😩

And finally, for those of you that use Facebook, why not have a look at the ‘Amazing Photos in the World’ page. Some of the pictures on there are quite brilliant. But I picked this fun one to share with you!

Too many jobs

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Monday 8th to Wednesday 10th August

I had to try to get my head working again this Monday morning. You could say I was feeling a bit stressed! I hate trying to get back to normal after being away on holiday. And I had so much to do. I needed to catch up with some normal jobs and I also needed to sort some stuff that was lying about so it could be taken to our local charity shop, amongst many other things.

But when Robyn got in from her gym and yoga sessions we went off to Banbury instead of getting the jobs finished :/ Neither of us were in the best of moods so we called in to Costa (that always seems to calm us down!) and I did some blogging and then it was time for the dreaded food shopping.

Tuesday was my first day back at work following my holiday and I was going with a bad back πŸ˜–

In the afternoon I had a phone call to make to try and sort out a quote for the buildings and contents insurance ready for the new house. Why do they ask so many questions! It takes up so much time. And then of course there are always the things you can’t answer, so you have to go away and find them out. A frustrating job!

There was also a pile of paperwork from the solicitor waiting for me to read through and sort out, forms that had to be checked, signed and sent back. So complicated, I couldn’t get my head around them very easily πŸ˜’

There were also some bags and odd bits hanging around from my holiday still waiting to be unpacked and put away.

Too many things that all needed doing at the same time – I was stressed!

But I did get to read this lovely story made possible by organ donation – a bride was walked down the aisle by the man that had received her father’s heart. What a great thing to be able to do πŸ˜€

I didn’t feel great on Wednesday but off to work I went. My back really hurt and I had pain in my hip and down my leg when I walked. It seemed like an awful long way to work this morning 😩 And then I had to keep standing up while working at my till today as I was so uncomfortable.

I worked until 4pm and then I had a bit of food shopping to get. By the time I got back it was just about time for me to leave again to get to the doctor’s surgery. I had an appointment with the nurse to get my blood taken so that my uric acid level could be checked again. 

You really must have a look at these great pictures in Giving Life. I find it quite amazing really to think that I was led in an operating theatre like that, being monitored, cut open, a part of my actual body I was born with being cut out, having my amazing organ donor’s liver put inside me, stapling me back together – all those people saving my life.  I would have loved to have had the opportunity of having photos like that taken of me so that I could look at them now. Even better, I would have loved to have had my operations filmed so that I could watch them back. Fascinating!

And now for something nice to end on – I knew it, chocolate cake really IS good for me. Now I have a good excuse for eating this πŸ˜‹

Holiday over

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Saturday 6th to Sunday 7th August

We were all up reasonably early on Saturday morning as we had to pack all our things back into the car and vacate our caravan before 9.00am! I don’t know why on earth it has to be quite so early πŸ˜–

We stopped in nearby Perranporth to have a look around the shops and do a bit of last minute present buying. Gary and me also got a nice cooked breakfast 🍳

Then we set off for our long journey home. We actually did really well. The traffic wasn’t too horrendous, which it sometimes can be. We stopped for a comfort break and a stretch of the legs. I think we made it back home around 5.30 ish. 

I popped home briefly but Leah had gone away for the weekend to USC (Ultimate Street Car) festival and Robyn was going out for the evening, I didn’t really know what to do with myself, it’s weird when you first get back from a holiday isn’t it?! and I didn’t really feel like straight away getting on with some jobs! so I just went back to Gary’s. My back had recently become painful for some reason so the journey home had been a bit uncomfortable at times. So I was looking forward to relaxing – and there was Wifi πŸ˜ƒ

Would you dare to walk on this Coiling Dragon Cliff walkway? I know that I would definitely be scared, but I would like to have a go! You really must have a look. Quite amazing.

And also have a look at these incredible balloon sculptures πŸ

On Sunday I went back home for a while as I knew there were certain things that needed to be done – the girls had very kindly still left me some jobs around the house :/ welcome back mum! It was a lovely sunny day, they were both out, I guess I was maybe still in holiday mode and I really didn’t want to spend any more time stuck in the house on my own, so I went back to sit in Gary’s garden and did some blogging. That always seems to take my mind off of things. 

Then in the evening we went down to Bitter & Twisted for a nice meal. Sweet potato, haloumi and red onion flatbread for me πŸ˜‹

Cornwall πŸ– continued!

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Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th August

Wednesday – Another beach day. I think the beach we went to first was called Porthgwidden. Then we had a bit of a walk to find some lunch, Gary saw someone from his work to have a chat to (funny how you seem to unexpectedly bump into people that you know when on holiday far from home!) and then we joined his mum and dad who were stood near the harbour beach. The others eventually joined us and we all went down and sat on that beach for a while.

You can see that Gary had come prepared for any rain showers that we might have today!

In the evening we went to a local Domino’s for pizzas. I had a nice vegetarian one!

Thursday – A lovely sunny day but for some reason when I first woke up I felt a bit weak and wobbly and wasn’t quite with it! I don’t know why :/ Gary and me went over to the cafe on the site to join his mum and dad while the others were down on the private beach that belongs to the caravan site. I had a coffee and a croissant sat out on the bench in the sunshine πŸ˜‹ I eventually started to feel a little better. Then we went for a short drive along the coast road. We got out and peered over the edge at this lovely place, which is actually called Hell’s Mouth!

As it was still a lovely evening we then went back and joined the others who were still on the beach, for a little while. A barbecue for us all after that.

Friday – We went into Hayle this morning to have a look in the shops there. Well all two of them! Not a good place to buy any ‘holiday presents’ for the people back home! Then we drove on into Carbis Bay for our last afternoon on the beach :/ 

I was quietly sat enjoying my ice cream when suddenly a seagull came from nowhere behind me, swooped down and just took it out of my hand. It happened so quickly that none of us could quite believe it 😫

Then it was time to go back and get ready for our final family meal out at a local restaurant. I chose a Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach lasagne which was lovely.

 And tomorrow we have to travel home πŸ˜πŸš—

Cornwall πŸ–

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Saturday 30th July to Tuesday 2nd August

Holiday ‘near St Ives in Cornwall’ time!!! πŸ€—

Saturday – Up at 4.30am to get ready, leave to pick up Emma and Jamie and off we go! We stopped at a service station near Bristol to get a coffee and meet up with the others. Gary’s mum and dad. And his sister Ali, husband Tim and their girls, Lily, Molly and Katy. All of Gary’s family! After a stop on the side of the road for tea and to cook bacon rolls!, a further stop for yet another drink for those that wanted it and big long traffic queues, we finally arrived at the caravan site. And the sun was shining 🌀 Unpacked the car, a trip to the shop and then an evening meal with everyone over in the club conservatory.

Sunday – A day at Carbis Bay beach as the weather was hot and sunny β˜€οΈ The sea was still freezing cold though, but I did manage to have a paddle!

The evening was spent over at Ali and Tim’s caravan having an elaborate barbecue.

Monday – How could the weather be SO different so quickly? The rain never stopped all day or all evening 🌧 We didn’t really know what to do so we basically just went out for a drive to nowhere! and ended up getting stuck in lots of traffic, so on the way back we stopped off to get a massive Cornish pasty for Gary, Jamie and Emma and a nice sausage roll for me, a much needed late lunch 😏

Tuesday – There was a bit of an improvement in the weather today, rain showers but there was also some bright spells. We spent the day in St Ives. Emma and Jamie went off to do their own thing so me and Gary walked amongst the boats in the harbour while the tide was out, had a look in the little seaside gift shops and had a great lunch – gourmet fish and chips for Gary and just chips with fresh bread and butter and a good old mug of tea for me. Simply delicious πŸ˜‹

We noticed that the tide had come back in then along with the seals! that like to come into the harbour and wait for the fishing boats to return after their day’s fishing 🐟 It was lovely to stand and watch them. They always attract quite a crowd and they seem to love the attention and pose for the photos that everyone likes to take.

In the evenings we usually met up with all the others for a drink over in the caravan site bar/conservatory so we could all get the chance to connect up to the free Wifi! and see what was going on in the outside world. This just goes to show how much this is a part of everyone’s lives now and just how much we all miss it when it’s not readily available to us. I must admit that it was very frustrating to me, as I couldn’t research things for my blog easily or receive the emails I knew Robyn and Leah had sent to me concerning the house purchase, without being able to connect to the Internet 😩

On one of my trips over to the conservatory I did manage to find these photos though! 

The beaches in Cornwall are beautiful when the sun is shining but look at this Hidden Beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Or this lovely place in Tuscany. 

Could be worth a visit!!!

Tired

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Thursday 28th to Friday 29th July

Even the regular parking attendant man at the Park & Ride said I looked tired when I arrived there this morning! And I was incredibly tired. I felt as if there was just nothing left in my body. I think everything must have caught up with me πŸ˜–

But I think my volunteering visit to the John Radcliffe was successful this Thursday morning. I went to visit a man that wasn’t keen to talk at first and then it ended up with him saying to me ‘I’ve told you more about my life than I’ve told anyone and in a very short space of time!’ His story was heartbreaking at times really. I do hope he will be okay and I hope that my visit was of some use to him. I then went to find Mark and while we were chatting the other men on the ward started to join in too. 

I didn’t really have the time to spare but I drove into Banbury afterwards to do a bit of shopping and I also needed to return some things I had previously bought, as I knew I wasnt going to be able to do it at the weekend.

I went for my walk in the evening. I did notice when I got back that my feet and toes were particularly painful this week. 

And then even though I was tired I thought I had better make a start on getting some packing underway for my holiday. It was a bit of an effort but I made myself go up to my bedroom to sort out some clothes!

The British Transplant Games have started today until 31st July. 

‘They have been in existence for over 30 years. Developed by the Transplant Surgeon Maurice Slapack in 1978 the Games was originally an international event welcoming teams from France, Greece and even the USA, today the British Transplant Games see teams from hospitals across the UK come together to compete. Many athletes also go on to take part at the World Transplant Games.

The Games help deliver Transplant Sport’s aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation whilst increasing public awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register and discuss their wishes with their families.
They have been staged annually since 1978 in cities across the UK and this year’s Games will be held in Liverpool’.
So over the four days there are over 25 different sporting events, over 700 recipients take part and it is watched by over 1,250 supporters.

I wish everyone taking part the best of luck. Maybe one day I will be one of those people! But goodness knows what event I would take part in πŸ˜‚

On Friday I went to work as normal and then spent the rest of the day and evening doing final packing and tidying up the house a bit so at least I left it in a half decent state before I went away.

And then Robyn gave me this, before I left with my suitcase and bags to go to Gary’s.

She’s so kind 😊

Time for a recap on all my recent results just so that you are up to date with it all! 

The incision from having my mole removed has all healed nicely and the result from that was a ‘harmless non cancerous lesion’.

The ‘wart’ on my lip has gone, I have no scar there and thankfully there is no signs of it coming back at the minute. This apparently was ‘solar keratosis’ which is the most common skin condition resulting from skin damaged by the sun over many years. ‘Solar keratoses’ are usually rough, scaly patches on sun-exposed areas such as the head and face. They are common, especially in older people, many of whom have more than one. But thankfully so far I have only had this one!

The result from my ultrasound (because of my heavy bleeding) was that I have not got fibroids, so that was good news. I think maybe that must have been just one of those things as, thank goodness, I haven’t suffered with it again. 

I am still waiting for my blood results to get back to my doctor’s surgery to see if CMV was the cause of my recent illness.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that I recently got a call from my GP telling me that my uric acid (urate) level in my blood was too high so I needed to pick up a prescription for some tablets which I would need to take ☹️ This can cause Gout, which is a form of arthritis, so I guess I need to not be stubborn and take the medication. I have to get my blood taken again in a month’s time to re-check the level.

At least some of the results are good so far 😐

Miniature Calendar

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Monday 25th to Wednesday 27th July

A tough few days coming up this week! I was feeling stressed, fed up and tired!

I think Monday was just spent doing odd things about the house.

Tuesday was back to work. I hadn’t slept very well so I was very tired. I didn’t seem to have much concentration again either.

Wednesday was work again. I did my extra two hours too. My body was aching and I didn’t seem to have much energy.

I came across this article on healthy livers being grown which will I think be very useful in the future. Anything that can help to reduce the time people have to wait for a new liver is a very good thing in my opinion.

Here’s 9 essential facts so that you can read about how you can try to keep your own liver healthy.

A transplant of a different kind that has been in the news is that a man has received a hand transplant, in fact both of his hands, as they were injured in an accident at work. So the donated hands obviously have to be matched in the same ways as a kidney or liver for example, but then as they are always on show, the appearance of the hands also needs to be taken into consideration too.

It’s always good to hear about the amazing things that can now be done to help people live their otherwise difficult lives.

On a lighter note you really must have a look at this Miniature Calendar. Tatsuya Tanaka has posted a different picture every single day since 20th April 2011. That in itself is an amazing achievement πŸ˜€

This picture was posted on 27th February 2016, the first anniversary of my second liver transplant. And with me being a massive chocolate lover too!!!

Riverside

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Saturday 23rd to Sunday 24th July

So my weekend was spent at Riverside Festival in Charlbury. Saturday was really hot and sunny, Sunday was cooler and cloudier with rain showers.

There was a whole group of us there which made it much more enjoyable. My friend Lou, Rio, Robyn and her friends Yaz, Rochele, Sophie, then Leah, Julie and Hannah and her friend Chloe.

I also spotted some other, more unusual, visitors that seemed to be watching the main stage too! (They came from the Oxfordshire Mind ‘dog project‘)

On Sunday afternoon there was a man walking around doing card tricks. He came over to our group and showed us a few of them. He was very good I thought. None of us could work out how he had done them and we were close enough that we should have been able to see! Something different πŸ˜€

The festival ended with a bit of country dancing in the rain 🌧 Fun though.

And here’s just a random ‘fact’ for you –


This was sadly the year my lovely dad died, but also the year my lovely daughter Leah was born! So three life changing events for me during that year 😐