Saturday, June 30, 2007

I went to the cinema in Dundrum last night. We saw Lucky You. Don't go see it. It's useless. The last time I went to the cinema there (I think) was with my brother to see Harry Potter and the something something. Another pre-transplant memory.

Lucky You is about poker. If you don't get poker you're screwed. I understand a *bit* about it but was utterly confabbled. They had entire scenes of just poker. It was about this guy who gets to the world series, faces his Dad who is his enemy and whom he hates with a passion. They throw in this weird love story side plot with Drew Barrymore which is the stupidest thing I've EVER witnessed. The main guy (the son, Huck) meets her, sleeps with her, steals her money and runs off. And then they're still in love kind of (he wants her, she not him, chase chase, argue argue, chase, fight before the world series yawn). And yadda yadda yawn. If someone did that to me, I'd deck them one. And I'm not even the type to 'deck' people.

In the end (don't read on if you want to see this film, which I swear you don't), he and the Dad form part of the last three in the world series. And the hero (the son) loses. Well he bows out. He comes third. So he doesn't even win. And the father doesn't even win either. So they both lose. If you *do* see this film (don't) there's the most random scene ever which gave us such laughs. It just cuts to Drew and her sister hanging up clothes. The sister says 'I hear Huck is doing well' and Drew responds (after AGES) 'good'. What was the point in that?!

And EVERY time (EVERY) there are three people in a scene and they need two characters to converse, the third person's phone rings and they have to 'take it over here' where they then disappear for ten minutes. No explanation as to who was on the phone. Ugh.

Anyway, after the cinema we came back and sat in my friend's porch/front garden until 2am. I was zonked. I had work this morning and slept in a little bit. Zonked. I really don't like working much.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ohh meant to say! I'm going to see the man himself, J to the T, Justin. Me and my friend got tickets, as an extra show was put on....or extra tickets were put out (what do I care, I'm GOING!) So I shall be Rocking My Body and not Crying A River on Sunday. Like what I did there? Pretty clever right? Of course, what with the weather being so unpredicatable, I may bring a jacket JUSTIN case!!!! OK, I'll stop.

It would seem the opportunity to get on my 'nice people' list (the one which I haven't created and probably won't but if I do you will definately get on it list) proves to be popular! Thank you to all the newcomers or newcommenters(!) for your lovely comments. It is feeding my addiction well. I may even last MORE then the month with no more comments... Well I won't go overboard, but it's possible!!

Something that really struck me was your opinions (and there were a few) about the severtiy of the 'break the hair straigtner' crime. I would have considered this to be a 'day in the stocks' crime, but judging the public feelings, it may be more akin to an 'electric chair' offense. (Oh the irony, electric chair would DEF cause fuzzy hair wouldn't it??).

Anyway, knowing what most of you look like and knowing what *most* of your hairstyles look like, (which are ALL tamer then mine) I see you have considerably less problems with your hair then I. So if *you* guys think this crime was bad, then that says something. Poor me. I just *wish* the eighties would come back into fashion. Seriously, i can do a GREAT "big doo". You want to see? Well tough, because you're forced to. Every. Time. You. Look. At. My. Hair. ESPECIALLY unstraigtened.

I'm working away and have NO access to the internet 9-6 and when I get home, I'm zonked hence the short blogs etc. It's okay but I'm a bit tired afterwards. I think it's the not being used to doing so much work that kills me. I mean who invented this 'work' business. Ick, not wise.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Work, work, work. I need a break. Unfortunately the person who I *work* with is terribly dedicated, a work horse if you will. And well, if you know me, you probably realise I work at a slightly different pace. Ahem.

Anyway, if I believe if it is quiet; if there is little work to be found; no work to be done. If I really and honestly have done all the work i can find (eg, swept the shop, dusted ALL the shelves) and there is nothing left to do. Nada. Zero. Zilch. I sit down. The person I work with does not believe in this method. I am told to dust. Dust what?? Dust again. Pah. So the day feels long, but I'm getting there.

By the way, dust? I don't think that's such a good idea. Same goes for 'work'.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My first time EVER being well enough to spend an evening at a concert, able to stand for the whole thing, perhaps a dance or two, and not spend a week in hospital afterwards. Justin Timberlake plays this weekend - tickets anybody? Please? *Sigh*.

(a proper blog will follow later - just *had* to get that off my chest)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I skipped along to the Diabetes clinic today. I think I arrived late. About 24hours too late, but they saw me anyway. For more information, see my REDBOOK-MEDBOOK blog.

Upon looking in the mirror today I have decided that I really, really need to get my hair cut. I don't know why I always try to convince myself that *this* is going to be the time when I grow it long. It never suits me!! Guh. It's too dry to go to the hairdressers though, as they'll just send it into knots. And then they'll whine and complain that I should be doing this for it, and using that on it and "OMG do you KNOW how bad doing THAT is for your hair???". I'll probably have to sit through renditions of 'Wow your hair is so thick!" and "HOW do you manage to brush it??". Maybe this time I'll opt for the shaved look.

The reason my hair is so unbelievably dry is because I am still on my acne treatment, Roaccutane. It is a miracle drug, but I seem to have had a small relapse. I blame the sun. All was going swell until that heat wave a few weeks ago, when I literally burned in patches. And now those burns have turned into scar things. And now those scars look like spots, but I swear they're not!! Anyway, since there is *no* oil production anywhere, my hair does not get greasy. If I wanted, I would only wash my hair every 10 days or so. It sounds disgusting, but it's simply not greasy. I reassure you though, that I *do* wash my hair more then once every 10 days! (Ahem9daysHemHem)

My three months are up, but due to those pesky burns, I suspect three more months are on the cards. Bleh.

I'm off to work tomorrow and will work until Saturday. I will obviously get to come home to sleep though, as the notion of working straight, non stop until Saturday is a bit preposterous. In fact, the word 'working' is a bit preposterous in itself. Who am I kidding. I don't work. I sit and get bored most of the day and then get paid. It's a tough life really, I ain't going to lie.

Monday, June 25, 2007

From rereading yesterday's blog I have come to one conclusion. Seals probably don't have hands to clap with. Interesting.

My sister has gone off to Spanish college for the next three weeks. This means there will be more crisps to eat in the house. Before she left, I asked her whether she was taking OUR GHD (amazing hair straightener) with her. She reassured me that no, her friend was bringing one so I could use OURS for the next three weeks. "Fantastic," I said, "That's great".

Five minutes into GHD-ing my hair this evening, I discovered she had broken the thing by dropping it.

I told my Mum I suspected her of breaking it, although I couldn't be sure as I hadn't seen her do it. My Mum said she already knew because she saw [my sister] drop it. Did *nobody* think to mention this to me??? Obviously NOT!

I love an open and honest environment. Where's a clapping seal when you need one?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

*claps hands like seal*

Thank you all for your 'hellos'!! It would appear most of you are private little so and sos aren't you! How intriguing... To those who left email addresses, I promise to try and get back to you during the week. Included in that is the person I bumped into in 'House of Fraser about two years ago... I hope you know who you are? Well I guess if you don't, then you will when an email pops into your inbox soon! But seriously, thank you all! I will now put you all nice people on the nice people list which I haven't yet created and probably won't anytime soon (due to my sheer disorganisation) but if I ever do, be assured you *will* be on it!

I'm going to get you all to come back (and some more of you hiders) and say hello again next month. You've put me on a high so it should last me a while before I need my next fix. My injection of approval to ease my insecurities about myself if you will. Insecurities such as:

  1. Having hair that makes me look like I stepped out of the eighties
  2. Having hair that looks like I have just stuck my finger into a socket and left it there
  3. Having hair that has one (or two?) slides lost in it
  4. Having hair that I *know* people are staring at and counting their blessings
  5. Having hair that I have broken two (not one, TWO) hair brushes with
  6. Having hair that I brush everyday, but it just makes it static
  7. Having static hair

Is it just me, or is there a recurring theme here? Look closely now... the hints are there.... think about it...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Don't ask me why she's naked. I prefer to wear a coat to match...

Friday, June 22, 2007

OK, first off, I have just finished the 2nd 'Frequently Asked Questions' which can be found in the Medical Blog. I will save you the time of scrolling down and finding the link. Just click HERE. (Lazy *ahem*scoundrels*hemhem*)

Thank you for your questions. (KM, I put in your one from the restaurant that night...same night as I discovered the CULT next door to where you work).

I *love* hearing from people who read my blog. When I go to my inbox and I see someone has left me a comment in my guestbook, I feel like it's my birthday! I positively CRAVE such attention, like some sort of spoiled child and it really, truly makes my day. It's funny how something that takes just a second to do, can make ME so happy! Some people crave cigarettes, for others it is alcohol. Me? I like comments! And yes, I am a self centered, ego and this is about making ME happy despite the fact that it is all of you contacting me!

In all seriousness, I am not someone who actively goes out and seeks attention (except that time when I wore a rain-mac-hat and some rude person said 'my granny wears one of those' and I turned around and said 'SOOOO??'. That shocked her. Her mouth made such a perfect 'o', I could have thrown a golf ball in. Anyway, that was some good seeking of attention).

So with today being so rainy and wet and floody and miserable, I turn to you, the readers and ask you to take just 30 seconds out of your reading time and leave me a comment. You can make it so only I can read it, or you can display it for all to see! If you are a bit of a NunnyMouse type of person, it may take you a bit of plucking of courage, but I believe in you. You can do it! *cheer* What would I like to know about you?? Well:

Who ARE you? Where are you? How did you find me? Is your weather as bad as mine? Would you ever wear a rain-mac-hat?? I want to know about YOU!! So come on, cough up!! I'm waiting! So don't disappoint....

But please cover your mouth. I don't want to catch anything off you...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A year ago tomorrow. (See what happens when not much happens?? Yes, I live in the past!)

I was about two weeks off IV antibiotics and still feeling OK. This was a personal record of mine and one I was rather impressed with. Was this the beginning of a 'good' phase? Were things going to improve? I still had the ridiculous breathlessness but I felt I could squeeze another week or so without needing more IVs.

I hadn't been out on the town in a LONG time. It was coming up to Helen's birthday and plans were ripe as to where it would be held. I figured I would just go to her house and return home, skipping the whole 'going out in town' bit.

That evening, I was browsing Bebo, and I saw a message from someone I knew from the hospital to another person I knew from the hospital. It read something along the lines of: On a more serious note, [Harry] got called today and is in Newcastle as we speak [for transplant].

I knew 'Harry' from the hospital, although not too well, but she was the first person who I actually knew who had got called for transplant. The excitement I felt for her was unreal. I was nervous and excited and I didn't even know her that well. At clinic the next week, a couple of members of staff commented that I must feel a little jealous but comforted me that my time would come. And to be truthfully, brutally honest, those feelings of jealousy never even crossed my mind. I was only delighted for her, my own case wasn't even on my mind.

Later that evening (it was a long evening) I went to Helen's house, (looking unbelievable skinny and ill) for her party. I had texted a friend and they were keeping me up to date with Harry. I then decided I would indeed go out on the town as I should use up the 'wellness' while I had it. Who knew when I could next feel well enough to attempt a night out?

So I did. We went to Crawdaddy's - a place I had never been before. I was only able for one dance, and my job for the night became to mind the seats beside the dance floor. I also may have got lost on the way to the bathroom at one stage which caused panic but never mind. I had a good night all the same.

And that was the last time I went out before my transplant. A mere nine days later, I would be entering the operating theatres for my life saving transplant. I hadn't got a clue, and I never saw it coming. Sitting in the wheelchair being wheeled down, that 'one in ten don't make it out' ringing somewhat in my ears, I was grateful I had gone out that night. Crawdaddy's was a nice place, and it was a good experience.

It was suitable so that I should return there for my first night out after my transplant to celebrate.

Note: For all those who read the unedited version of yesterday's blog, I apologise for changing it. Upon reflection I had to just glance at the title of my blog and I felt silly. It is all about me. Enough said.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In anticipation of my Diabetes Clinic next week, I popped along to the hospital to get my bloods done today. I had foolishly left my forms for the blood test sitting on my windowsill many weeks ago, so the ink had faded and disappeared. I got someone to fill it in again, but realised too late that I had in fact needed to be fasting. Whoops. Considering I don't really think there's much wrong with me, I don't think I'll bother mentioning that error to the doctor.

This hospital is St Vincents (where I was treated pre-transplant), and has had their outpatients department and clinics all done up since I left. A lot of people complain that it is SUCH a waste of space, as there is a huge big...foyer thing, and the wards are still over crowded. But it must be said, it *is* marvellously pretty!! I'm sure if i still attended that place inpatient I wouldn't agree though..

The stomach bug is ripe yet again, and despite FOUR sterile hand soap things that are put in front of you before you can enter, *I* was the only person I saw use them. Everyone always ignores them - it's terrible. I'm sending an email off to some investigating programme to get them to secretly film these buffoons.

I had blood taken first go(!!!!), by a phlebotomist who I happen to know. I know where she lives too so I shall now go and knock on her door next time the Mater requests my presence for bloods!

Keep the questions coming if you happen to have any!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Today myself and the two Sarahs (whom I call Sassy & Sarah and who I have mentioned once or twice on this blog - the ones I grew up with in my neighbourhood; we had a group, we had our games and stupid 'in' KNOW who I'm talking about) decided to have lunch together as it had been a good while since our last meet. We decided to head over to the farm across the road armed with a picnic basket and a feast of delicious foods. The sky looked a bit dodgy, always threatening to open and lash at any minute, but we got lucky.

(I add at this point, that the fourth member of our group, my sister, was working today so could not make it. We do not exclude people who are in the group from the group. It is outsiders we shun)

We had our lunch, munched Doritos, savoured each strawberry as though it were our last, and chittered and chattered. We talked and gossiped and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. And we obeyed the number one rule of the group - bring up embarrassing childhood memories! Ugh.

After we had spent ample time (2+ hours!) eating and talking, we decided to go on a walk around the farm. Our tummys were full but all was going well; we were walking a dusty trail, heads down babbling about something when I spotted a white shape way up in the distance. We continued to walk, while Sarah fixed her shoes. The 'white shape' then became clearer and it looked very much like a goat or donkey or bull. It was running. No, it was RACING. And it was racing towards US. I nearly wet myself! I shouted to the others to run, but Sassy had already taken off as I followed close behind, passing Sarah (who was still fixing her shoe and holding on to the picnic basket!) and thinking how bizarre this whole set up was. (I might add that I did feel a bit guilty for just legging it past the shoe fixing Sarah instead of offering to help but anyway). There was (for all we knew) a BULL charging at us, there was nobody around except the three of us, and there was nowhere to run to. They don't call Sassy a Leinster champion sprinter for nothing is all I can say!

We figured someone had forgotten to shut a gate somewhere. When we got around the corner we caught our breath between the fits of giggles. It was rather alarmingly scary though. After a while, we decided to return and thankfully the bull thing was gone. We carried on about our walk, and made our way into another humongous field where three (grumpy) goats appeared to have escaped from wherever they were supposed to be as well. We then figured it was probably a goat and not a angry charging killing bull (as previously suspected) that we had encountered earlier.

We finished the walk, saw some sweet children and that was about it. It soon began to pour out of the heavens when we returned home, which signalled the end of a lovely day spent out with friends. And so four friends (my sister joined us at this point) who used to spend every single summer day together (except when one or other of us would jet off for their annual two week holiday) parted ways once more. Oh except Paula and I, because we sort of live together, so 'parting ways' for dramatic effect would be a bit silly really....and that rain was coming down HARD! No better way to spend a free day then catching up with old friends me thinks...

I am doing another FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions!) about transplants (or CF if you so wish) in my Medical blog at the end of this week. If you want me to (try) answer anything, please leave a comment (publicly or privately) in my guestbook.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday. For once I am speechless. I guess I could update you on the surfing girls??

Well, if any of you had been peeking in my Guestbook of late, you would have seen Helen and Eileen's comments about the fact that there are FOUR people there not just the three (Helen, Eileen and Jenny) whom I mentioned. But you see, if people insist on complaining, I would advise *them* to start *their* own blogs and blog about what *they* want instead of parading about on the 'forgotten one's' blog and giving out as. per. usual.

Anyway, back to the story. I don't think I am bothered telling you about their FAILED careers as surfers any longer to be quite frank, because being quite frank, I couldn't be bothered. At least they have a place to stay now, although they are still jobless.

But the real hero here, HAS to be Gail. Jenny comes a VERY close second. Those two are the ones holding this vacation together. I hope that they will gain patience in dealing with the 'kids' that are on this trip. From what I hear, you may need it.

Gail, I hope you are having a wonderful time! Jenny, the same goes for you too! Helen and Eileen, I hope you aren't bothering these two like you are me. If you are, give them strength!!

And finally, apologies to anyone and everyone who just read the above and their eyes crossed with confusion. I don't have anything to blog about. I'm sorry.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!!

My Dad has been a dad for nearly 25 years. That is a LONG time me thinks. Being a Dad is a full time job, a lifelong commitment. Basically he's stuck with us and we're stuck with him. But I wouldn't want to be stuck with any other Dad anyway so I guess I consider myself lucky...

Back in the day:

I used to love the way he had a car-phone back in 1991! (Although it would probably equate to the same size as a small building these days)

I used to love the way his car-phone had speaker phone, which was probably the coolest thing I had EVER seen.

He used to have a tape (a tape! How lame) of these songs and we would listen to them while driving in France. Songs like 'Meeee-chelle..' 'Strawberry Fields' 'Let's go (let's go) to San Francisco (San Fran)" but he lost that tape (tape - snigger snigger).

He used to work near my hospital and would visit me during his lunch break, with his sandwich and bottle of fizzy something or other.

I used to love when he did my physiotherapy and I'd fall asleep.


I love the way he will (reluctantly) drive me anywhere (most of the time)

I love the way he will (reluctantly) drive with me anywhere (most of the time)

I love how he is patient, willing to help me when I need help. He will say and encourage me in his 'Dad' way. He never lets me think negatively (except when I'm driving).

Finally, when I was away having my transplant, I had one or two dodgy moments (to say the least) and all I needed was for someone (or sometwo) to be there and he (they) was.

Overall I love that he's MY dad.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Well I'm home from the National Transplant games and I'm tired. And proud and pleased but tired! I have decided to add yet *another* blog (which can be found on the right hand side) dedicated to sport and that side of things... So I will write my review in there...

Anyway, I mostly swam, and although I will miss the medal presentation ceremony tomorrow, I think I got about 5 medals. I ran 100m on the track and came second, but I wasn't actually registered for that race, which means I don't actually get a medal for that. It wasn't the medals or winning or lack of medals or lack of winning that was important to me today though, it was the experience, the accomplishment, the miracle of it all and the chance to meet so many wonderful people each with their own story to tell. As my Freeman team manager says "I was just happy to be there".

We went down to the chipper when I got home and I got a delicious quarter pounder meal with chips and after that I retired to bed. Then I got out of bed, let the dog out who then got confused and wanted to go for a walk despite the fact it was 1am in the morning! I really need to teach him to tell the time...

Friday, June 15, 2007

I got hungry. Remind me never, ever, EVER to get hungry outside the comfort of my own home again. Ever. I was babysitting. Having successfully raided their sweet and chocolate drawer I was still peckish. I decided to bite my lip and do nothing. I crossed my legs, uncrossed them, crossed them but I was still hungry. I then went and stared out the window at the rain pouring down in a melodramatic fashion; the rain acting as a metaphor for my tears of HUNGER. After spending a few seconds doing this I moved around but I was still hungry. I don't know where all that food actually goes, because it certainly didn't turn the 'I'm hungry' switch off like it was supposed to!

And then it hit me. I remembered. Their biscuit cupboard. The last time I was there, they had these uber fancy Italian bread stick things, that were like pencils and tasted delicious. I raced as fast as I could calmly made my way to said cupboard. I looked up (it's a high cupboard) and admired it affectionately. A very itsy bitsy teeny weeny tear came to my eye...Or maybe that was dust - quite possibly dust actually...

I reached my hand up and slowly opened the press door. I spotted the bread sticks immediately, gleaming like a long lost child of mine (that I've never had) and then, as if my eyes suddenly came into focus, I noticed the open packet of McVities balancing precariously in front. Balancing poorly. And just as I thought it, it happened. The McVities wobbled to and fro and then to. I tried to close the press as fast as i could, but it was too late. The packet just fell. I actually managed to trap the bag inside the press successfully, but the contents had fallen and snowed (a LOT of crumbs in those biccies) ALL. OVER. THEIR. COUNTER. And I mean ALL. I was in shock. I opened the press to let the now empty wrapper float down. Mocking me.

And after that? I felt hungry no longer. Nothing like a great big mess to clean up that you stupidly created to make you forget about your real problems...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I am a complete idiot. 'May' breaks??? MAY?! I only clocked the fact NOW that we're in June. Well anyway, my parents went off to Helsinki today (did I mention that's NOT in Sweden?) and we're here by our merry selves until Sunday. P to the Y, parté!! Ahem.

I got up nice and early for a change and waved my Mum off. I had great plans for the day to go shopping and do all sorts of interesting things, but then it wouldn't stop raining! And its the kind of rain that even if you wore a rain coat, umbrella, umbrella hat, waterproof trousers and socks, the rain would somehow still blow in and you'd be like a drowned cat. I don't DO the drowned cat look.

I'll be babysitting later and it was the two year old's (now three years old) birthday recently. She's - you guessed it - three now(!) and I couldn't even get out to find her a nice little present. Or a card.

I drove my sister around the place in my car today and learned that the majority of drivers seem to know NOTHING about yellow boxes. The minority of drivers who DO know about yellow boxes seem to give me this sly look as though they are telling me 'Ah go on, I'm going to stop....sure just pop in there....yes that's right, YOU..pull in in front'..and as I get ready to 'go' they just change their mind! They just slowly pull into the yellow box, with me. RIGHT. THERE!! Glaring at them and occasionally throwing my hands up in a terribly dramatic fashion. And then what do they do? They just stare right ahead and sometimes squint their eyes as though they are oblivious to me looking at them. They pretend to be really focused on something ahead, but I can see. I can see their twitching. I can see their uncomfortable-ness; their shame and embarrassment. Argggg!!

Anyway, driving is improving, and I have toned down my 'weeeeeeeeeeees' when going over speed ramps.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Well, for some bizarre reason my blog has gone into double Dutch, or some other similarly confusing language. I was told to 'Almenden', to sign in. How funny. I actually had a good chuckle at this because I am just that immature about things sometimes.

It's late, it's foggy and my parents are off on holidays tomorrow to Helsinki (which isn't in Sweden as I thought) in Finland. They go away on a 'May' trip most Mays. Last year, my Mum didn't go to Malta because she was afraid I would get my call, despite my insistence and complaining and promising that I wouldn't get my call and she could go and enjoy her holiday. She didn't go. I didn't get called. But according to my dad he would 'never go there again' so it worked out for the best.

The two Mays previous to that, they went to South Africa (05) and Thailand (04). Both those two times I went into hospital a day or so before they left as the hospital wouldn't let me do home IVs on my own and I simply couldn't last the two weeks without some sort of treatment.

AND for some more BORING information (you should really go click that red 'x' up there now now), the time they went to South Africa was the time where I took my rather serious, puzzle the doctors, drop down to less then 6stone turn for the worse. I also did my Leaving Cert (A-levels) in hospital and was filmed for the RTÉ1 documentary 'Our Lady's' (which was about the hospital). I never watched it since, as I dread to see how thin and sick I must look but I have it on video so I may watch it yet.

Other then that, no more news. Update on the 'tres amigos' Eileen, Helen and Jenny:
They have now gone to LasVegas to NOT gamble (too risky) but to have a good time. They have accommodation (for two) with a pool and all standard SanDiego things. I'm frustrated and overly jealous but as well as that, I'm happy for them. And excited.

And FINALLY; stupidly I encouraged you all to go visit Jac and then didn't leave an address for you to bother her at! Just click here!! And enjoy but then come back and promise never to return even though you WILL secretly return but won't tell me so as not to hurt my feelings.

Is it bad that I didn't check with Jac before broadcasting about her first?? Hmmmm

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tiring Tuesday: Now this weather is just freaky...

This morning I got up nice and early and decided to go for a lengths swimming training thing down at the pool. They run these trainings Monday-Thursday every week of the year, and it's all people my Mum's age (including my Mum) and older. They have different levels of ability, from people who swim S.L.O.W.L.Y to people who swim competitively and very fast.

The pool is a fantastic size, and I think the second biggest in Dublin (about 35metres), and it is divided into six lanes. Lane 1 is the slowest with lane 5 being the fastest. Despite my Mum's numerous explanations, I can't quite remember what lane 6 is used for...

Anyway, I was put into Lane 4. Talk about being thrown into the deep end (geddit??!), but I guess you could say it was a case of sink or swim!!(OK, I'm sorry..) It was rather intimidating though. I used to swim quite a lot when I was younger (about three times weekly) so I have a good stroke technique, but my fitness is really, really poor. I wasn't able to do more then four lengths continuously at a time, and at that I needed a huge rest. I think I just need to learn how to pace myself...

I'm going to keep it up though, as it's something I want to get confident at again, and the other ladies (and one man) are all so welcoming. They had all known about my operation and were all so nice and interested. While waiting on the transplant list, my Mum used to hand her 'transplant phone' (my Mum bought a special phone that only Newcastle had the number to, as she couldn't have her proper phone turned on in class) to the coach every class, despite the coach's insistence that she would have a panic and heart attack combined if it ever went off.

The Irish Transplant Games are on this Saturday and it will be my first time to take part in anything like them, so I wanted to get a 'bit' of 'practise' in beforehand. I reckon a tiresome hour spent in the pool is good enough. I'll use the 'Hey I had a TRANSPLANT you know!!' line if anyone says anything, because that's bound to work at a thing like that!

I shan't be taking them too seriously, as I will be travelling to Scotland to take part in the British ones next month, and I reckon they'll be ten times harder! Yes, for those, I think I may just spend TWO hours in the pool beforehand.. Oh dear...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mundane Monday: This weather is freakishly HOT!!

Update on the girls: Well their surf coach still isn't impressed with Eileen and Helen. Eileen has claimed that she can indeed swim, and went to the beach yesterday to prove this point. It would seem that Eileen can imitate a puppy drowning all right, but Helen won't go near the water. The coach, unsurprisingly is NOT happy. He has gone around town telling every landlord to make sure they don't get accommodation, so they're living in a motel (not even a HOTEL) at the moment. A new rival called Jenny has arrived on the scene now, and she can surf, swim and do everything the coach wants her to do(!) so the girls are less then happy. But she can also cook and clean and come up with good ideas, so the girls, although less then happy, are also slightly less then sad. They are now calling her 'MOM' and are understandably devastated when she leaves their company for any length of time. This makes showering and going to the toilet increasingly difficult for Jenny.

Nah, I'm only messing. Some of that is true, but most is not. They are ALL in San Diego and it's getting increasingly annoying.

I thought I'd use this post to say my shout outs:

To Jac, yooohoooo!! How creepy/stalkerish is it that I read your blog too! In fact, anyone should read her blog *go, GO*. But then if you go, you'll probably find her SO interesting and funny, you'll never come back here again...*cry*

To Shell and KM and Penny and Jail and Irene and Melon and G-raze: Big hellos!!

And to Jinnáy : Jag hoppa det du er njuta av din fridagen , kasta lott av älska!! (I hope that makes SOME sense...)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A day in the life of a participant of the Women's mini-marathon 2007 through photos. A slight cop out, but we all like to look at photos anyway... Apologies for the inevitable red 'x's that some of you are bound to see. I'm an athlete not a computer....person..

That's me, my sister, and my mum before the marathon with the signs...

^^These were some of the people behind us when we were waiting to start. If you look carefully, you can see where the mob goes around the corner, where I'm guessing it goes on and on and on. And you can also see those funky green really COOL plastic visors that were obviously given to us for free! Only losers wore them.

^^The queue to get to the starting line: Some more of those geeky visors in plain sight - the SHAME! You see it didn't take us eleven minutes to get to the start line because I was as slow, nervous and cautious as a turtle. No it was because of these people. If you zoom in, you can see the balloons that mark the start.

Yes, these balloons right here. (Well it would be a pretty huge coincidence if an unconnected-to-the-mini- marathon -big- bunch-of-balloons were displaying just like that on the same day as the mini marathon) MORE unfashionable VISORS. What are these people? Desperate??

Well....OK, I follow the crowd. I was desperate. That's me crossing the start line. And look how I look ahead as though I don't know the photo's been taken even thought it's clear I'm taking the photo!! Must be that visor inflicting uncoolness in me.

So then we walked about 3miles or so and...

That was me as we passed St Vincent's, the hospital where I was treated for six months before my transplant. A year ago, I sat in a wheelchair, on oxygen, with IVs going through me, as my dad acted as a drip stand and watched the mini-marathoners go by.

By this stage, I had dumped the visor and adopted the 'professional athlete water bottle' look.

So we walked some more (3 more miles I'm guessing...) and we reached the finish line and we all got a medal and we all came home happy as Larry. And this final photo is of me at the finish line. And I know it looks like I MUST have been last because there are no other people beside me, but actually we came BACK to the finish line for this photo. So we basically set it up.

And so that was how I spent a day (or less then two hours) as a mini-marathon participant. I will eventually tell you all about what happened, the things people said, etc, etc. For now though, I need to go blog again, to catch up on my blogging.

Here is a link to a YOUTUBE video, which wasn't taken by me (I actually think it's a HE-SHE who shot this) but it really encompasses the greatness of the day. There was music throughout. And notice the CROWDS moving in the opposite direction. This was the half way point. The camera-man is going up the bridge, and the other MOBS are going back into town. Seriously, LOOK. AT. THE. AMOUNT. OF. PEOPLE people!!!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

RedBook-Medbook blog updated: Check it out. Just results, but I know you care and desperately want to know. Admit it...go on...

OK this is really the last time I do this. I did actually finish the mini marathon, honestly, I'm not just buying some time here, I've just been rather busy! And hot...

The breeze left us today so it was just amazingly hot. I was working of course. But never mind.

In the meantime, I'd like to shout out to my friends in SAN DIEGO who I believe have been reading. Eileen and Helen were selected to participate in a Surfing Competition and will be out there until the end of August. The organisers of the competition gave them no money or a place to stay, so they're trying their best to make the best of a bad situation. Life is hard on them at the moment, and they have resorted to playing percussion on their surfboards by day to earn their way. They feel it socially degrading and feel their dignity got left behind on the aeroplane. I think their surf coach even dropped them when they got out there too. Apparently they applied for a spot on the team over the Internet, but Eileen forgot to mention she can't swim. And Helen neglected to tell them she doesn't like sports.

Nah, I'm only joking, there is no surf competition. But they are out in San Diego. It's annoying.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Again, I'm sorry. I know I thought, you thought, we all thought you'd get a nice long ramble about my mini marathon (the bit where I actually got over the start line) today, but sadly today was spent basking in this Mediterranean heat wave.

We actually went over to the farm across the road for lunch, but once we arrived we discovered there was a power outage so the kitchen and restaurant were shut. After spending a few moments fuming like a lunatic, pulling my hair out having been deprived of food (as any normal, rational person would do) I calmed down and we decided to go on the walk.

To say it was stunning and beautiful would be an understatement. It was marvellous. I will put up photos as soon as I can be bothered and then I'll finish my never ending mini marathon saga.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ok, I lied. Today happened to be even hotter and the heat affects my ability to get thoughts in my head, down on to the keyboard, so there's no update about the mini-marathon today. All I can do it apologise. And hang my head in shame....Out in the back garden as I sip my pina shame.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Feeling hot hot hot (weather hot not sickness, temperature, ohmygoodness what's WRONG with me hot) Hence no blog. I will return on Thursday!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Well I have had a nice long rest, and to my complete and utter disbelief I am not even stiff today. I feel a little achy in my right hip when I walk, but apart from that, fine! And can you believe it, I didn't feel breathless ONCE during the entire journey. Not once, not even a little-teensy-wincy-itsy-bitsy bit!

I'm going to write about my mini marathon experience over two or three posts because I'm just that waffely and dramatic I can't simply write "I walked, I finished". Pur-leeeaze!! What am I? A mute? (That said in no way meant to offend mutes, I DO apologize now...)

My Mum had told me on Sunday that I was under no pressure to finish, that I could try and do maybe half the course and my Dad could pick me up and take me home. OR, if I wanted to do it all, I could stop and have breaks and sit down, and I WASN'T to feel pressured by other people or pressured to keep up with others. No pressure OK?? When she first mentioned such a notion I looked at her with my OhmyGAWD-Moooom-you-are-SOOOO-stooopid look and told her 'MOM, I am NOT dropping out!'. This idea of being picked up was thrown about the place a few more times right up until Monday when we got to the start line, by which time I just humoured her and assured I would indeed say 'Oh NO, my legs - are - BREAKING - I need to stop' if I became tired. She seemed satisfied.

We arrived in town at about 2pm, with the race due to begin at 3pm. I have never seen so many ladies dressed so brightly in all my life- it was incredible. We had to make our way from the Luas to the starting line (which itself was about a MILE, so any sponsors out there, keep that in mind) but for some bizarre reason everyone around me was RUNNING to the start line. Either they were eager beavers, or were people who didn't really know where the race start was so kind of just...ran...aimlessly...Weird. It was about this time, I realised that I had done NO training WHATSOEVER except for that stint of 'jogging' about a month ago, which I did all of twice (talk about dedication!). I then considered the whole 'lift home' option and felt it was good to have as a back up.

Anyway, myself and my mum made our way to the start line, where we stood for about half an hour. It then began to drizzle. And rain. And RUIN MY TAN!! That was annoying. Luckily my mum had a geeky very practical rain mac which we held over us until it eased off. I wanted to wrap it around my waist to protect my beautiful legs from any more damage and preventing it from looking like something was running down my legs, but my mum felt prevention from pneumonia was a better idea. Yeah...Whatever.

Then came the instructions from a God like, muffled and hard to hear/understand voice. Things like:

Nooow ladies, let's have a big S for SAY-FEH-TEEE!! (Symphony?? Did he say 'Symphony'?? What would he said THAT? Mum what *is* he on about??)

Nooow ladies, BIN-LOINERS (some clever clogs brought bin liners in case it rained): PLEASE be careful when dispooosing of yer bin loiners. Think of those behind you when taking them off, they are VERY easy to slip on (Can you imagine slipping on a bin liner??? Or *seeing* someone going flying on a bin liner?! Whoooop! Hahhahaha) ind we dooon't want eny injeries!
Noooow ladies, Umburellas! Umburellas aare LETAL! ....

At this point some smart guy unplugged his microphone he got cut off, thank goodness. The rain and drizzle settled off (but the damage was done- my poor legs). Our hearts began beating with anticipation as the cheers marked the runners starting. This was it. I took a few deep breaths and shook out my arms to 'warm up'(?) (and because that's what they do on TV). I shook out and rolled my neck. Someone from behind pushed me and I yelled 'Hang on!!' I did a bit of jogging and marching on the spot. I doubled tied my laces straightened my socks. I looked at my watch and studied it for a few seconds. I then felt I had done enough studying and decided this was it. And so off we SET!!!

....And then we stopped. It actually took us eleven minutes to get to the start line.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I finished the 6 miles in under two hours. I can't believe it. I will blog later when I've had something to eat...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

One day to go: ONE, JUST ONE!!!

Jump under my umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh-ay-ay....

Talk about typical. One day to go, and all today it RAINS. I hadn't really banked on that. I will still wear my shorts, but I'm getting really worried. I mean what if my fake tan runs??

Saturday, June 02, 2007

2 days to go. (...and possibly three until I'm home again after the six miles!...oh dear)

Well with such a short amount of time left to go, the time has come for me to really kick in the last of the preperation for the mini marathon. As I have said repeatedly, I can only do my best, and a mere year ago this would and could not have been possible. Anyway, that said, preperation is key, SO:

Legs smooth as silk: Check
Legs tan layer one: Check
Legs tan layer two: Check
Selection of shorts: Check (both board shorts and surf shorts. May need to get running ones...)
Cool wrist band: Check (I'm not sure what this actually does...)
Cool Athlete like water bottle: Check

Practice Running: I'll get to that...
Practice Walking: As above.

I still haven't decided about the sign yet (see yesterday's blog). I agree it's a funky idea, but I just don't want people to think I'm saying 'Oh hey look at me, I had a transplant, tell me I'm great' kind of thing. I do reckon it's a fantastic way of showing the positives of transplant though, so it's a matter of weighing up the pros and the cons.

Secretly however (is something posted on a PUBLIC blog secret??!), I think I am a bit anxious of having people coming up and telling me I'm 'brave' and hearing all that 'inspiration' talk. I am not brave, and I wasn't; I was called (pushed, forced) to the plate and I responded. To say I had acted with bravery would mean that there was thought and deliberation, that I said 'let me be brave about this for a moment' and I didn't. I didn't really have a choice; I just responded. I think anyone in that position (or any similar scary sounding medical circumstance) would do exactly the same; we just don't realise what our bodies are capable of until they are tested. I think to people who have never had transplant (or any serious illness or dilemma) touch their lives, often it can seem simply amazing, which provokes the 'brave and couragous' comments and perhaps they feel that they themselves could never go through such a thing, but they probably could. They just don't know it.

As for the 'inspiration' comments, again, not for me. MissT made a very good point a while ago, that although we don't feel ourselves to be inspirational, and we activly play down any such related notion, some people can be inspired from other's situations. I mean I am inspired quite a lot by different people and it does indeed spur me on at times, but I guess I've always considered myself to be 'normal', thus to hear 'oh you're such an inspitaion' is just cracked.

Trying desperatly not to sound like some grumpy old hag like a crazy cat lady or similar here! Just voicing my rambles in a jumbled way...

Anyway, I have a further two days to decide about my 'sign'. Hmmmmmm

Friday, June 01, 2007

When participating at the Transplant Sports Badminton Event in April I got to know some lovely people. One of whom had had a liver transplant a couple of years ago. This was the first time any of us had come on such a trip, so we all found it interesting to talk about our transplants. Clearly we all share that nosey streak, which I refer to as natural curiosity.

This 'liver lady' said that when she was preparing to go home following her operation, she asked a nurse what she should do now. Should she tell people she had had a transplant or should she keep it secret. The nurse said to her 'Well y'know, you don't have to go out wearing a neon sign telling the world "I've had a transplant", you can tell who you like, or nobody if you don't want to'.

I've always been very open about my transplant. I don't tell everyone, but the way things are in this country, everybody knows everybody, so most people know. I don't shy away from talking about it, as I reckon it's a great way to raise awareness. Not everyone is for transplant, and when I say 'raise awareness' I don't mean 'push people into it', or stuff a donor card sneakily in their back pocket when they're not looking, but rather to get them just to think about it.
29% of people in this country are donors. It's a lot, but hardly enough. That's why I do what I can to try and get people to consider it. (In my totally non pushy forceful ways of course!)

Anyway, this weekend will see me attempt to run/walk/crawl the mini marathon. Six miles which would have simply been inconceivable this time last year. I can't say I've exactly trained as such, but I'll give it a shot and hope to raise some awareness and money at the same time. I can only do my best after all!

So last night we came up with a novel (ish) idea, that I would wear an A4 size laminated sign that says :

11 months, 1 day & 19 hours
since my lung transplant!

Support Organ Donation!

My sister who'll be participating (although with her own friends as she doesn't want to be caught dead with family apparently) will be wearing one that says 'sister's' instead of 'my' and my Mum will have one saying 'daughter's'. We will have donor cards to hand out if people comment.

Anyway, I think the idea is a bit cheesy if you ask me, although it should hopefully work. I haven't decided to wear mine yet, as I don't really want to come across as attention seeking. It goes back to the 'you don't have to go out with a neon sign telling the world' comment. I know I don't have to, and laminating is as fancy as I could get anyway-no neons for me- but if the donor rate is so low, then anything to help...

If anyone thinks this is totally tacky please let me know!