Muddy walk πŸ‘£

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Saturday 11th to Tuesday 14th January

It was good to get out for a muddy walk at the weekend. It seems like I haven’t been for ages.

And there’s been some great news.

Scientists have found a way to keep a liver alive outside the body for up to a week using perfusion technology.

In 2018, 975 livers from 1574 potential organ donors in the UK were used for transplantation. 599 (38%) were therefore not considered suitable for use.

Hopefully this will now soon mean that more livers will become available for people who are unwell and waiting for liver transplants πŸ‘

The liver has over 500 functions.

About the liver.

I find it quite amazing really to think that the liver will still be able to do all of these things after being out of a living body for a week.

The 1920s versus The 2020s

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Thursday 9th to Friday 10th January

Here’s just a bit of very useless Then and Now information!

The estimated United Kingdom population in 1920 was 43,646,400.

The estimated United Kingdom population in 2020 is 67,886,011.

Radio –

Television –

Telephone –

Bread was Β£0.02, potatoes were Β£0.04, milk and cheese were Β£0.08, sugar was Β£0.11 and bacon was Β£0.20.

The average car was Β£270 and a litre of fuel was Β£0.04.

The fashion –

West Bromwich Albion won the Football League title for the first time.

Rupert Bear first appeared in a cartoon strip in the Daily Express.

The most popular song was Swanee by Al Jolson.

And finally, skipping was a favourite pastime!

2020

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Wednesday 1st to Wednesday 8th January

I’ve been unwell since New Year’s Eve. Haven’t moved too far from the sofa really.

Not the best way to start the New Year πŸ˜–

But now I seem to have recovered a bit, am back at work and the first week has already gone by I thought that it was now about time that I said Happy New Year to you all and Hello to 2020 …

What happened in December?

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Sunday 1st to Tuesday 31st December

Our bathroom sink decided to leak through the ceiling!

I was Day 2 on the Share your Wishes advent calendar, promoting organ donation πŸ‘

A visit to Birmingham for my clinic appointment. It’s been 6 months between appointments this time, the longest I’ve been so far. So a little trip to the Bullring first of all to attempt some Christmas shopping.

I had a really nice time at the John Radcliffe Volunteers Christmas party πŸ˜‹

And during one of my volunteer visits this was just a few of the staff and patients’ Christmas presents that I wrapped. So nice for them all to get just a little something when they’re all spending their Christmas in hospital.

It was lovely to listen to the brass band 🎺 playing Christmas carols, but from 11am until 2.30pm when you are sat right next to it serving customers on the checkout so there is no way to get a break, they were VERY loud πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Both my head and ears were ringing when I left work that day.

Then of course there were endless Christmas shopping trips, house tidying and sorting and Christmas wrapping in an attempt to get ready for the big day.

When Christmas Day πŸŽ„πŸŽ did arrive my poor Leah had a sickness bug. Her day mainly consisted of laying on the sofa ☹️

And Shingles decided to return to finish off my year. It was SO busy in the shop I’m really not too sure how I managed to get myself through my shift. But I did it. And then I had to talk myself into getting ready to go out and party πŸ˜–

I spent New Year’s Eve with this crazy lot πŸ€ͺ

Landscape gardening!

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Monday 18th to Saturday 30th November

Over the summer the weeds took over the strip of land at the side of our house 🌱

I made myself go out there when already tired after work and whenever I had a spare few minutes, I spent hours and hours out there clearing the whole lot. And I hurt my back in the process πŸ˜–

So on my day off on Monday this finally happened.

Robyn helped me in the afternoon after she had already been to the gym. We both worked so VERY hard. It was such a cold day, we were both freezing. We couldn’t even go inside for a bit of a warm up as the boiler was still broken 😨

It was a tough day, we were exhausted and both hurting but we DID it!

I felt quite proud of what I had achieved with no help πŸ’ͺ I hadn’t done myself much good at all as the next day (and for most of the week) I felt like I had been run over by a bus πŸ₯΄ but I had done it πŸ˜ƒ

The very next day we finally got the boiler fixed🀞

And I spent the following Monday in such a different way – at a spa with my friend Nina πŸŠβ€β™€οΈπŸ§–β€β™€οΈπŸ’†β€β™€οΈ

Thank you ❀️

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Friday 15th to Sunday 17th November

Boiler’s broken again. We’re all freezing πŸ₯Ά No heating, no hot water ☹️ Tough times.

Ever wondered what goes into retrieving an organ for transplant? (I know it’s heart and lungs but it’s still interesting!)

I saw this from the Royal Papworth Hospital, which is one of the largest specialist cardiothoracic (heart and lung) hospitals in Europe and includes the UK’s main heart and lung transplant centre.

“Some of our National Organ Retrieval Service (NORS) team take on the #TetrisChallenge to show all of the kit required for retrieving a heart or lungs (sometimes both) from an organ donor. In this picture we have:

❀️ An OCS (Organ Care System) heart machine and an OCS lung machine – transports the donated organ

❄️ Ice boxes – to cool and protect the organ

πŸ’‰ A cell saver – enables patients to receive their own blood back during surgery

⚑️ Defibrillators

πŸ‘¨πŸ½β€βš•οΈ Scrub box – for the scrub nurse

❀️ TOE (transoesophageal echocardiogram) probe – provides an ultrasound scan of the heart

πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈ DCP box – for the donor care physiologist

πŸ‘¨πŸ½β€βš•οΈTP box – for the theatre practitioner

πŸ’Š Medication box

🧰 Roadside bag

πŸš‘ As well as ambulance driver, Transplant Coordinator, Theatre Practitioner and Senior Staff Nurse.

Once we get notified that there is potentially a suitable heart or lung – altruistically donated by an individual and their loved ones – for a patient on our heart or lung transplant waiting lists we deploy this team, and a surgeon, to retrieve and inspect the organ. If the organ is assessed and deemed to be of good enough quality, it will be brought back ready to be transplanted into the grateful recipient at Royal Papworth Hospital.

P.S. We didn’t have enough time to unpack each of the boxes – sorry πŸ˜…”

And now have a read of Cora’s story (I will just warn you that the video shown is very difficult to watch πŸ₯Ί) It’s always amazing when families have the courage to agree to organ donation at such an incredibly tough time.

Thank you to ALL organ donors and their families ❀️

Virus 🦠

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Saturday 9th to Thursday 14th November

Maybe explains why I was looking pale at work. Looks like it’s time for a virus 🦠

My usual one that I get quite regularly but this time making me feel quite poorly and the rash being quite a bit more painful than I’ve had for a while πŸ˜·πŸ˜–

Looking pale

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Friday 1st to Friday 8th November

November, yuck! It’s getting very close to my least favourite month of the year πŸ˜–

On the 3rd of November I had been back at work since having my transplants for 4 years. It’s still as tough some days as it was at the start!

Well done to Derbyshire Police ‘who stepped in to deliver a human organ for an immediate transplant at a Birmingham hospital after the ambulance it was being transferred in broke down’.

Happy Bonfire Night – I didn’t actually get to see any fireworks πŸŽ‡ ☹️

While I was at work on Friday, three different customers told me that I was looking pale. It has been a tough week, full of stress and worry πŸ˜–

And finally, congratulations to Lewis Capaldi on reaching the US Number 1 spot with his song Someone You Loved (it was also Number 1 here in the UK for 7 weeks).

‘Many people might not know that while the song lyrics can apply to many situations, Lewis connected the message with organ donation.’

You can hear Lewis talking about the story behind the song in this video from NME magazine. (Sorry about the swearing 🀬 ).

25th Anniversary

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Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th October

The Organ Donor Register has reached its 25th anniversary this month! More than 20,000 lives have potentially been saved or transformed thanks to its introduction.

And I am one of those people πŸ’—πŸ’™

The Organ Donor Register was set up in 1994, after a five year campaign by the amazing Cox family in memory of Peter, who died from a brain tumour in 1989 aged 24 and became a donor.

Read The Cox family story

Join today and help save more lives – Register your decision

Have a look at this fascinating video. Their moving in a straight line?! 😱

Well done to England in the Rugby World Cup πŸ‰ I’m looking forward to the final on Saturday 🀞