Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I said "Jim, can I call you Jim? I'm very disappointed that I wasn't a VIP tonight as I feel all people with transplants should be, and indeed are VIPs. I feel so socially degraded, alone and down trodden about the whole affair. I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though I was/am a child of the late eighties/early nineties and thus don't have a clue who you are or what (who?) you fix I think you may be able to help. Perhaps it's the whole tracksuit and pink glasses with long hair look that shows age is no barrier, who knows? Either way, with my feelings on the matter I hope made clear (that the term 'VIP' should be changed to 'Official') I guess I am searching for some sort of emotional response to my cry of outcry. CAN YOU FIX IT?".

He said (or someone said, I'm not sure how that programme worked) :"Jim'll Fix It! (for you!)"

(at the TSUK VIP civic ceremony)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Good Lord I am unfit! Yee-ouch! Brief rundown as follows:

Thursday - Team meeting and Opening ceremony which was my first glimpse of what was to come. We (me and the two other Irish people on the team) then blagged/snuck our way on to a VIP bus which brought us to a VIP ceremony. I think team manager (team managers are allowed to go to the VIP things now and again) Mr Boggy was a bit surprised to see us there. He underestimates the Irish I think. I then took a photo in the very swish VIP bathroom which was rather swanky. The loo roll wasn't that VIP though. I met Jimmy Saville too who I suspect has been knocking back a few transplant medications on the side....*ahem*....

Friday - 3k walk and then out to support the Snooker, Ten Pin Bowling and Darts. It was also an opportunity to share taxis with my team mates, chat to the partners of my team mates and get to know them and yadda, yadda. The English people are just so friendly and welcoming!

Saturday - Tennis and Swimming. Amazing day where I got to talk to members of other teams. Inspiring doesn't begin to cover it. One woman's goal was to dive in and swim the length of the pool as she had just learned to dive.

Sunday - Track and Field (100m and Relay). I got to talk to loads of people who I had met at some of the previous events the days before. The fact that my tennis opponent and my breastroke opponents both cheered for me in the relay says it all.

Sunday night - Leann Davidson Gala dinner. Everyone arm in arm singing You'll Never Walk Alone had the more emotional people in tears. If it hadn't been the transplant games, I'd have sniggered at the cheesiness of it all, blogged about it and sniggered some more but here is probably a rare occasion where such antics are just right.

Monday - Home and learn to walk again. My rehab will start next week me thinks.

3k Walk - Silver medal (don't be under any illusions, I didn't come 2nd in total, but rather 2nd in my age category which would be adults!)
Tennis - Silver medal (ahem default medal ahem hem....but 2nd out of 2 isn't bad)
Swimming - Gold and Silver medal (I earned those ones!)
100m race - fourth
Relay - Fourth in final

Thank you to all who wished me well. To those of you who read this who have had transplants, I seriously can NOT recommend the games higher (more highly??). The social aspect alone is worth it!

Also: Does anyone know what VIP stands for? Very Important Person....But what on earth is so very important about a group of people in suits who haven't had transplants at an event where over a hundred people have been close to the edge and been saved and where there are Representatives from families who have donated loved one's organs? Helllo!!!! Pity I didn't make the TSUK agm!....Or maybe I should just buy a suit and pretend I haven't had a transplant...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Karma is:

When you leave your bag on the table. An opportunistic thief (which aren't as bad as the regular riff raff thieves you see hanging around) comes along and sticks her hand into your bag. After pilfering sufficient goods from your bag, the sister opportunistic thief then spots mouthwash. She hawks it back and swishes. She notices a strange and disgusting taste. Puzzled, the opportunistic thief examines the bottle of liquid. It reads:

Antibacterial Hand Gel

I like karma me.

Requests on the Eileen front. So, Get this, she lost her job! Gone. Unemployed. A bum. And unlike the surfing stories of last month, I swear this isn't made up. The restaurant that eventually took her on, after she went and begged to use their toilets and then refused to leave has shut down. Gone out of business. Ka-boooom. One suspects she drove their business into the ground. Made the customers go running. I think when the people of San Diego said how they loved Irish people, she just went too far: Dancing jigs on tables with tea towels to get more tips is never a good look. I pity the people.*

*Details of story may be fabricated but the jist is true: No restaurant; No job. Any comments Mrs E? If not, I suggest you seek out this website in your free time (which I'm sure you have plenty of now...) to meet up with other like minded people as yourself. Enjoy! http://unemployed.meetup.com/cities/us/ca/san_diego/

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I saw the dermatologist today (who still seems to think I "got" Cystic Fibrosis when I was six years old, and was on steroids on and off until transplant which I wasn't. I gave up correcting him - he clearly knows better then I do...) and he was happy with me. I have two or three months left on treatment and then I'm done. He's a nice fella but I never know really what to say, as I'm so used to going to see doctors and being as (or more) knowledgeable about stuff as they are: I know nothing about dermatology. At all. Zilch. But that hopefully won't matter in two or three months time.

I then went and replaced my Mum's silicon swimming cap that ripped yesterday. She said that there was no need to replace it, but yesterday she insisted there was. And one wonders how I "got" this Cystic Fibrosis malarky, living in this place...One of these days I'll book her in to see a shrink me thinks.

Apart from purchasing that and a few other items of clothing (whoops) I didn't do much. I bought M&Ms which were gobbled down in my house because I left them on the table. My Mum always tells me I shouldn't leave things lying around like for some "opportunistic thief" to take them. I don't really see the difference between an being an opportunistic thief and a regular thief myself, maybe that's the label my thieving family use to make themselves look less like THIEVES!!! Huh...

Transplant Games start tomorrow, so I'm off yet again. Until Monday. I told my dermotologist about them, and how I will be swimming to which he asked me questions about 'always using moisturserisers and shower gels "and bladda bladda after my swimming trainings. "Trainings"??I don't think he understood me: I should have really emphasised the 'I will be' part....Oops

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ohh, would you look at that! It's yet *another* cheesy 'look how my life has changed' moments that still, 12 and a half months after my transplant continue to pop up. *Twirl*

Today we went out to the National (left that bit out yesterday) Aquatic Centre, complete with three slides and a lazy river and wave pool. It was nice. Except for the part where my hat snapped. Or...my Mum's hat that I had borrowed snapped. Right. Down. The. Middle. Forcing me to go out and fork out €1.50 on a new, stupid, red and white material (*shudder*) hat. I hate material hats!

We did a few lengths in the competition pool, had another go on the slides and came home. It was at the point of transferring paraphernalia from the locker to the cubicle and back again that I realised the change:

In October 2005, mere weeks before I was told I need to go and queue up for a transplant, myself and my brothers and sister went to Disneyland in Paris. I knew it was coming (the whole lungs being useless thing) soon and that trip served as proof that things weren't...ahem...great.

In our hotel we had a pool with two slides in it. I only went on the big slide three times as the steps were too much for lazy lungs. Afterwards, when we had all had enough we all went to get changed. And that's when I had to stop. I couldn't get changed. I sat, huddled in my towel, in the cubicle, breathing and panting. The heat was too much. The effort was too much. And I just couldn't (No such word as 'can't' but couldn't sure exists!). I sat for an eternity, eventually struggling bit by bit to get changed- even the socks were a chore. My sister called into me twice, and I did my 'Oh yeah, I'll be out in a sec-COND!' cheery routine. The third time she came pestering looking for me, I told her simply to go on ahead.

Needless to say when I caught up with them some time later they were all confused and all like 'Like where WERE you' and 'Wow, you took your time...like..'. Fools.

So today, sitting in the heat, in my towel, I COULD do it. And I DID do it. And I was first ready. And there it was: the moment when I was reminded yet again of just how lucky I am. *cheesy cheese cheese

See those stairs (get the magnifying glass out, because they ARE there)...I could only manage those three times. Three. THREE!!! Something about that doesn't seem right...although neither does being vomited out of a dragon's mouth...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Being the mature and grown up that I am, I am a terribly responsible and independant adult.

As such, when I don't want to work, I feel it is my responsiability to be the big person that I am and be the one to arrange for my work place to know. Hence, I ask my Mum. Becuase I can NOT say no and I hate doing it.

Pity, as she completely forgot*, meaning I HAD to work! I stamped my foot and slammed doors. Because I am a mature and grown up grown up. It is a good way to relieve stress.

So I worked today, 9-6 for money which makes it completely NOT worth it. But such is life.

Tomorrow I am off to the Aquatic Centre, which houses a 50m pool and the biggest waterpark (slides and chutes things) in Ireland. I believe they now have FOUR slides! That's us good ole Oirish for ya, always ahead of the toimes with a chuckle and a leap and a "Toppa tha mornin to ya!!".

* Forgot after she did call for me but claimed the phone was engaged and THEN forgot.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

*Still reading Harry Potter and Deathly Hollows and fighting to put it down*

Having briefly mentioned the proposal of an 'opt out' scheme for the organ donor list in the UK last week, I feel I should give my whole take on it. Well "should" is a bit strong, but as the title suggests this blog is all about me, so I'll talk about what I want to. So huh.

There is a real desperate shortage of organs for people waiting for transplants. Transplant is a "last option" treatment for many people. They will die without one as there is simply no other treatment left to give them. But despite the hope that the prospect of a transplant can bring, because of the terrible shortage, it's not as simple as sitting at home planning life post transplant. You live in a limbo, knowing very well, that for a large proportion of transplant waiters, their transplants will never come in time and you may well be one of the unlucky ones.

So, how do you get more donors? You campaign to get them to carry donor cards, and ask them to talk about their wishes to their next of kin. But the reality of it is, is unless you have been personally affected by the issue of transplant (be it through a relative, friend, neighbour, colleague or postman) it may never even cross your mind. Hence the campaigny bit...

So in comes the opt out scheme. Everyone automatically is on the register and must go to their town hall (or if like here there are no town halls....you go...well somewhere) and take their names off the list. It would mean that all those people who "always mean to register, but never get around to it" are automatically on. But I think that people hate being forced to do anything; there would always be a big hoo-haw about being pushed into giving their organs, their choice being taken away. But you see they're NOT being forced; they still have a choice. But you'd have more donors, you'd have more transplants. I think though, with the implementation of any such proposal, that education on the issue is critical.

So am I for it? YES I AM. And I know if I was still waiting for a transplant, I would be even more for it. I'm lucky. I'm on the other side. But too many people aren't.

In the meantime, go AND GET A DONOR CARD.

Or if you are in the UK, visit: http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/how_to_become_a_donor/registration/consent.jsp

And. Talk. To. Your. Relatives.

And please, please, please, please just do it.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Well it's been 21 hours since I got my grubby hands on the last and final *weep* Harry Potter installment and I've read one chapter. Yes, one. I decided to save it for two weeks time when I can read it beside the pool in Spain. But then, being the ridiculously indescive and fickle person that I am, I changed my mind an hour ago.

G-raze, her sister (Mini G-raze), me and my sister and my "Hello, I'm way too cool to queue for Harry Potter" brother went and queued for Harry Potter. We were gobsmacked when we turned up to our local book shop and actually had to queue for the darn thing! Our bookshop is smaller then a public loo; and that queue was dang-darn long! And just for any Harry Potter dislikers, there were very few children in the queue so huh.

I think we actually missed the official launch because there was no whooping and cheering (apart from myself and Mini G-raze singing the Harry Potter tune). That or our queue were rather tired and only there out of curiosity or to buy the latest Oxford dictionary. When we saw the first book holders walk past us, we muttered MUDBLOODS under our breaths and cursed 'Pesky Muggles!' at them....Oh wait, maybe that was just me.... Ahem.

Anyway I was going to bring it to work today. But I'm fickle. And couldn't make up my mind. So I didn't.

Work was boring-ring-ring. We had about 20 customers in TOTAL. I spent some time mopping the floor where I nearly broke my neck by jumping over a wet patch and ended up doing a piroutte and tango with the mop before steadying myself. THAT was embarrasing. Especially when the pharmacist saw and I had to act like I was all cool and fine when secretly my big toe was actually throbbing! But then you see I have dignity. Unlike (keep you speakers on! It will be 1 minute and 25 seconds of your day spent well):

Or for those musically inclined, please view:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Apologies to those (Irish people) who tuned into Newstalk on Tuesday morning with high hopes of hearing my Dad talk about transplants. It would appear either Russians in Britain or British in Russia was more interesting. Hmmmmm.

I am back and feeling much refreshed following my break in England. It was gloriously hot over there so to return to grey skies of yet more rain was a little depressing. Add to that that my suitcase got left out in the rain at both airports so was wet both times was a bit annoying. Huff, never mind.

Sailing was marvellous and I got to sit in, laze sail my Uncle's boat with he and a canny young lad. We raced but unfortunately got ourselves disqualified by accident by not passing some buoy or something. But I do believe we were 'placed' anyway which was nice. The boat was a teensy bit 'whoah' to begin with because we sailed on our side (as opposed to flat) which I thought was an accident, which wasn't, but once you got used to it, it was fine.

I had a truly splendid time and came back ever so relaxed. My Aunt's cooking was/is scrumptious; their house is scrumptious; their boat is scrumptious; it was all marvellous.

Tonight I am off to dinner with G-raze, her sister, Victor and my sister. And then what shall we do?? We shall go out and get the last installment (cry) of Harry Potter.

Short and to the point blog today as I'm off out to get food in a moment. I will blog about England, Eileen, How people who don't like Harry Potter just because everyone else likes it so it looks cool and 'different' not to like it annoys me, and a host of other rambles and waffle. Pleh.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Short blog, yay for you, nay for me.

Tomorrow the Papa Bear of my family (aka Homer Simpson, aka Dad) will be doing a spot on Newstalk 106 at 8.20am to talk about transplants and the opt out scheme for donors.

For those who do not know, the opt out scheme means that by law everyone will be an organ donor and they make the decision to take themselves off the register if they are against (at the moment you put yourself ON the register).

Anyway, since I am away this week, and have probably had my lifetime's fill of 15 days of fame(!) anyway, I shall pass the torch on.

Off bright and early in the morning so probably no blog until Friday. Toodle pip!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Medical Stuff blog updated! Click, Click, Click. It's just a blog about my Newcastle appointment, minus the waffle! ;-)

In hindsight, I realise that I may have blocked, alienated and excluded yet another group of society from reading with my blog yesterday. I hope I did not offend those who are Celiacs, those with egg allergies and those with nut allergies. I can say with confidence people who fall into those groups would probably prefer to have that sort of problem then have mine so each to their own!

A forewarning: My blog has been rather abandoned as of late what with me away and the like. Unfortunately for la blog, it's going to happen again.

I am off sailing from Tuesday until Friday in the South of England. No, I cannot sail. And I shall probably only be sailing for one hour on the Wednesday anyway. And 'sailing' is such a strong word anyway....crew/spectator is probably more appropriate. But I shall still refer to it as a 'sailing trip' as it makes me sound really cool.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Today I had to order a batch of gluten free bread for a Celiac customer.

I have two friends who have an allergy to eggs.

I know someone who has such a bad allergy to nuts, that even a trace of it in food can bring on a severe reaction which would require immediate treatment and the administration of an emergency injection.

What relevance has this I hear you ask?

Well, while I as a diabetic who requires an injection before most foods; a person with Cystic Fibrosis who requires up to eight tablets before I take anything with fat in it can empathise with the above three situations, I have, in my opinion, the longer end of the stick (is that a phrase?). I may have to spend several minutes gathering together all my paraphernalia before the art of eating begins but:

I have absolutely NO restrictions on what I eat. I don't have to stop and think about the contents of food, wondering if could they poison me; I don't have to gaze longingly at tasty food and go without; I don't need to call ahead to other's houses and make sure they don't cook something that could bring on an allergy; I don't need to inquire every.single.time. I visit a restaurant to make sure that the food is safe for me to eat.

I have NO restrictions; all I have to do is prepare my body for it.

Glass empty or glass full? I say full.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Yesterday I woke up still feeling nauseated which was, to be honest, crap. I never realised how awful having that is...

Clinic went well, NO REJECTION which is probably the most important thing. Things looked 'OK-Good'. It's not as clean in my lungs as they'd like, what with there being a few secretions to be found everywhere. (Secretions being like....snot....sorry...). They sent off a few samples to microbiology (the lab) to see if I was growing anything funny.

Sadly, they suspect a bug called Pseudemonas, a bacteria which I grew in my old lungs since I was three years old. It means I have to start taking my nebulisers again (google it) twice a day. I stopped taking them a few months ago, after the docs allowed make the desicion to stop or continue.

Dr. Lordon in Newcastle feels any amount of Pseudemonas, be it tiny or whatnot, isn't a good thing. Considering I once read in a tabloid that this is a "Flesh eating bug", I think he must have been reading the same article and decided to go with the journalist's opinion! ....That or he studied medicine or something like that...

We left at lunch time, went and saw Harry Potter in The Gate cinema and then went to the airport and came home. Good trip me thinks.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I arrived in good time for my clinic yesterday morning (approx 7.45am) but I don't think anybody noticed me as the phlebotomist (blood taking lady) left without my blood! Maybe you're supposed to check in somewhere? Bleh. At about 8.30 a nurse called me in and took my blood (FIRST GO!) and we chatted about something.

I then went and saw Paula, the (other?) transplant nurse, who is always very sweet and nice and let me talk some more! I told her about my man sized dinner portions but lack of weight and she said that may be just the way I am. Hmmm.

I was the third bronchoscopy of the morning and went in, feeling nice and confident with myself. The team were as nice as ever, and the guy who does them (or does something in there) who I refer affectionately as Mr Tayto badgered me once again for some Tayto crisps. And just while I was feeling nice and calm.

Canula (drip needle thing in the vein) went in first go, but the spray, and gel and other crap gunk they put in my throat and nose was mank. The last thing I recall is saying 'Ooooh it's working now!' and seeing the nurse(??? really need to learn the professions of those people) repeating my words to the doctor.

This time though, they changed my fool proof cocktail (why??) and I reckon what they did was: give me sedation, anesthetic and 100% amnesia drugs. Anyway, apparently I was AWAKE and responsive and calm throughout - so much for sedation. But whatever it was they gave me made me so nauseated and ill afterwards. If anyone has seen the Harry Potter film, where he has quick flashbacks, that's pretty much what it felt like. Whack bam and done. I was done by Midday but slept all day until about 9 or 10pm. The nausea stayed with me much longer though. Huh. I also, unfortunately ran temperatures for the afternoon - not incredibly high ones, but high all the same and enough to make me miserable. Coupled with the nausea and ickiness made me feel awful. And here is the part where you crank up the volume of those violins for me!

Anyway, that is my last bronchoscopy EVER, unless for some reason my lung function drops or I take a turn and feel unwell. So yay for another milestone!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

We arrived into Newcastle at about midday yesterday and took the metro into town (or Grey's Monument which I guess is town...). We decided then, since we couldn't decide what to do, to go to the hospital and get our keys for our accommodation. I went up on to ward 27a (transplant ward) which as always was strange. We got to the flat and for the first time EVER discovered there was a kitchen and TV room there. Interesting.

I was walking around the grounds when a car suddenly stopped and a man jumped out. My first thoughts was that this was some sort of lunatic...who then started calling MY name! I hate when lunatics know my name...you wouldn't believe how often that happens. Anyway, lunatic it was not, but rather one of my favourite, if not theee favourite doctors who looked after me. Of course, in the professional capacity of patient I can't and don't have favourites, but if I did, you can be sure he would be the one (let's not beat about the bush, this guy is my topdoc!)! We hugged and chatted and I met his gorgeous little girl. He then said it wasn't me he recognised but rather my Mum, because I look so well he didn't notice me! *gloat*. Anyway after a good ole chat and gabber I/he had to go. It was this doctor who prevented me from going back into ICU when I had the bad bit after my transplant. To say I have respect for him is a complete understatement.

Yesterday evening, me and Momma went out to dinner to a place called Scalini's. YUM!! We went there for my assessment back in 2005, so naturally had to take the 'after' photos.

I slept well in the flat (despite my Mum's constant Laugh Out Louding at her Bill Bryson book)and managed to get up early for my clinic this morning. But because this blog is getting so long I shall put 'today's' blog in Thursday. Uh huh.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I got the flight times wrong. I thought I was leaving Tuesday night, but in fact left just after 11am. In the panic the followed the realisation of my mix up which left me with very little time to pack, the blog had to be put on the back burner.

In case you do not know, I am theeeeee most indecisive person to walk this planet, hence the two hours to pack not being enough. I can spend ten minutes at a time looking at my wardrobe deciding what to bring, spend ten minutes looking at my empty suitcase and turning back for a further ten minutes to look at wardrobe. And then I still can't decide, so pack the most impractical of things. Pah.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Well I am well and truly recovered following the weekend's adventures.

I meant to say that this week is Transplant Week in the UK. I vaguely remember it last year because they were filming on 27a, the transplant ward. We were told to stay in the room for a while, which was fine because I had no blood counts anyway. We saw it on the news later that day, and you saw my arm pop out of the room and call a nurse across. See, I just couldn't resist. That nurse became the ward's talk for the next week. Hey, with only 5beds, it's not like there was ever much to talk about anyway.

I remember eating my breakfast and watching GMTV and seeing a girl with CF who was waiting for a transplant talking about...waiting for a transplant. I only caught the very end but I'm almost certain I now know who that blonde girl is, but due to medications messing with my head I can't be too sure. If it is who I think it is, then she's had her transplant since. Of course, it is entirely possible that I imagined the whole thing.

If anyone from the UK is reading this, I sincerely urge you to sign up as a donor. If anyone from Ireland is reading this, I urge you to do the same. In fact, if you are a human being reading this, please sign up. If you are my dog and reading this, please GET OFF MY KEYBOARD.

http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/how_to_become_a_donor/registration/consent.jsp (sign up here, those of you in the UK)

As you all probably know, I am one of the lucky ones who received a transplant a year ago. Without that, who knows where I may (or may not) be today- really doesn't bare thinking about. Towards the end, my infections were becoming so severe, doctors told me that it could just be one bad one and that would be it. I only waited six months which is incredibly quick and although in my mind I was in it for the long haul (I estimated a waiting time of 18months +) sometimes your body and mind aren't exactly moving in the same direction. I hope that if you are not already a donor, that you will think and consider it.
Tomorrow I am travelling east to England for my last and final appointment in Newcastle. I hope everything goes OK. It is a bronchoscopy and biopsy (where they put a camera down into my lungs and then take samples to test for infection, rejection, and to make sure all is sparkly).I will be conked out for the day, and no doubt will be thoroughly confused with all the Geordie accents upon my awakening but never mind. It will be nice to see some of the team who have cared for me, but from what I have gathered a LOT of the staff on 27a have changed and moved on. I suppose nothing stands still for long...Now please do not fret, I shan't be leaving until tomorrow evening so will have time to blog before I leave. And THEN when I'm gone you can all wish me luck!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Oxegen day 2: FANTASTIC. Absolutely breath taking. The Kooks, The Killers, Rufus Wainwright, Daft Punk, Razorlight and a FUNFAIR made for a great day. The funfair part was electric; and it was my first rollarcoaster, heart racing thing I'd been on since Disneyland in 2005. Weeeeeeeeeeeeee-eeeeeeee!

Pete Doherty was there with his Babyshambles crew, but I wasn't much impressed by him. The music wasn't bad, but I got sick of watching the stereotypical rock'n'roll drugged up rock star prance and stumble around the stage. The only reason I know who he is, is because he's the on-off partner of Kate Moss and I only know her because of her on-off druggie boyfriend. Bleh.

Another not so hot fella I heard was that head wrecking Dizzy Rascal. He won some newcomer prize a few years ago, and his yellow and black coloured video was on for a while. He hasn't changed much.

I then saw the BEACH BOYS!!!....Or one at least. I think his name was Brian(?). So Brian the Beachboy played Beach Boy songs and it was good. He was in the Blue tent, where I managed to sneak into the disabled seating area. Innocently of course. It was only when I was enjoying the luxury of being able to sit down when I saw the marshal turning people away, shouting that ONLY PEOPLE WITH THE DISABLED WRISTBAND were allowed in. Whoops. I then got talking to said Marshal which meant that when I left the tent, I was able to get back into the disabled area upon my return without interrogation. Interesting.

The Killers closed the night, and despite rumours that they were terribly live, they were excellent.

After that, there was a push and crush and cram for the buses, but we got there eventually. Eventually.

I'd definitely go to a festival again, no doubts about it but I wouldn't camp. I think I'd just take the bus and get a day pass. That or smile at a celebrity, use them, get and keep their number, ignore them until about three months before the next concert, treat them sweet and keep them buttered up, and then have them invite me as a VIP. I'd have to of course drop in my transplant story to make *sure* they felt sorry for me thus ensuring I wouldn't be tossed out at any stage, even if I *did* develop a diva-esque attitude.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Oxegen day 1: Thankfully the weather was on our side so it was gloriously sunny and hot. Despite my factor 35, I still caught a bit of the sun, and now have a slightly pink glow to me. We set up tent in good time and then rested for a period while we listened to Avril Lavinge singing about being somebody's girlfriend or something...

My latest food obsession is Original Doritos and Peanut M&Ms so I was well stocked up. Unfortunately by late evening, I began to get annoying and niggling stomach aches. They had plenty of Portaloos dotted around the arena and campsite but they were waterless, flushless and stinky. Not to be too graphic, but to say they were quite litreally a pile of **** would be the pun of the century. And last century. Anyway, the prospect of walking around a muddy campsite to get to these 'loos' a few times was not the most appealing. When things like this happen, you just need to be home I think. Or I did anyway. So me and my friend left after Snow Patrol late on Saturday night and decided to come back on the Sunday. It would seem that we were not the only ones with that thought as everyone else on our level of the bus was wearing the campsite wristbands too. I think the mud was putting a lot of people off. Ick.

Anyway, a nice sleep did the world of good and I was rearing to get back out on Sunday morning. Yaaaaaaaaaay!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Second Post:The K club was nice, but the day was fairly long. Myself and my Mum manned the tent with three people from Genworth (google them), the sponsor. They had a three hole putting area set up, and for every hole in one that a spectator could get, Genworth would kindly donate €2 to charity (€1 for Golfaid and €1 for Cystic Fibrosis). It was a good competition really - it cost the people no money to take part, but Cystic Fibrosis would benefit. My Mum stayed out on the path and attracted people in (in remarkably true Apprentice style!) and I (and the Genworth people) took their details and gave them the putters and balls.

I think because myself and my Mum have a personal interest in raising money, we were highly motivated to make as much as possible, whereas the Genworth people were just there to represent the company. That's not to say they weren't enthusiastic by any means, but I don't think they would have gone to the lengths to attract and force and push the people to take part like we did.

Anyway, I only got out on to the golf course for about 30 minutes or so. I didn't think I'd have any particular desire to be there, but having spent a while at the holes, it was rather addictive. Unfortunately the 'big' names were all finished by the time I got out to spectate, with only Montgomerie left. I didn't watch him though. A part of me wishes I could go down tomorrow to purely watch, but what can you do?!

At the holes, the nice golfers threw their balls out to the crowd. But then in a move that came right out of a Hollywood movie a young boy politely asked a golfer (probably his idol or something) for his golf ball. The obnoxious golfer then waved the boy aside with his golf club and hissed 'I'm play---ing with it....(d'Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh)'. He sighed and walked off, caddy in tow. I mean this guy's probably minted, he has a hunderd such balls lying around. Tsk!

Oxegen tomorrow - yipooo!

Today I am going to the K club. Did anyone know that the European Golf Open is on? No? Neither did I.

But what *do* I know?

I know I have Cystic Fibrosis and I sure as heck know I can talk about it. Queue a place at the K club!

A few of you are asking about EILEEN again. That is too long a tale to tell at the moment. I need sleep, because I am going to the K club tomorrow. Did I tell you that? Did I ever tell you my medications cause memory loss? The meds I am on for my transplant...

No? Did I ever tell you I had a transplant? No?? .....

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I am a firm believer that men and women are equal. Anything a man can do, a woman can do too - if not better! Any job a man does, a woman can too. And vica versa. Men are no better drivers then women, and likewise, women are no better then men. And so the list goes on (use your imaginations, you can see where my point is going).

But today, I would somewhat disagree. I think had a male been present at the 'crisis', we wouldn't have been in the 'crisis' in the first place.

Location: "Work". No seriously, "work" but I wasn't really, really working so make your own minds up.

Time: Between 9 & 5

Problem: It was cold. Very, very cold. Now something I don't do is complain about the temperature, because as a rule of thumb, whenever I'm cold, others are warm; whenever others are baking, I'm freezing; when they be cold, I be hot, when they be cool, I be a geek.

So the one I work with complains that the heating is broken. The lady above the shop comes down and rants raves shouts complains politely expresses concern that the heating may be broken. I conclude from this, that the heating is probably broken. Our toilet is also blocked. We shiver as we work while we are bursting for the loo. How lovely.

So queue the plumber who comes along and fixes our toilet for us. *Joy*

But a couple of hundred out of pocket, and we're still cold. The plumber looks at us as though we be crazy; pockets his money and walks off. While we stand there like snow-women.

I make phone call after phone call after complaint after phone call trying to get an electrician to come out. We're closing in on lunchtime and the place is an igloo - apparently (remember, I have no sense of work temperature).

So *eventually* at about 3pm, a kind man comes out to us. We tell him our sorrowful tale about how the place is falling down around us and how we have worked so hard through the cold all day. What can be done about this? Can it be fixed? Can he help us NOW? We neeeeed heat!! We get down on our knees and beg!

"Sure" he says "no problem". We about jump into his arms, do a jig, pop the champagne. What a wise MAN he be! He fixes our problem. We fork out *another* couple of hundred for his saving grace.

What was the problem?

Someone had turned the thermostat down.

Man = smarter then woman. For once. Man made a few hundred yoyos from turning a thermostat up. Smart man be he. I wonder does he have any vacancies because *that* sounds like an ideal job to me!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Today the house phone rang. I answered it. It sounded like the caller on the other end didn't realise that they had phoned, as nobody was speaking at the other end of the line but I could hear noise and music. My Dad has accidentally called home a few times without realising it in the past, and you just need to SHOUT and he realises his mistake. I've even heard him chose the wine he's having for dinner before...Anyway, we then taught him how to 'lock' his phone, which basically prevents idiots from making such idiotic mistakes again. Fool proof.

So figuring this was the case, I started shouting "HELLO?! HELLO!?! HELLOOOOOOOOOO!! LO! LO! LO!". My Mom asked me who was on the other end, to which I told her I didn't know. But then I realised that whoever it was had the same radio station on as us. And there was a slight echo on their line. Who was this freak?! Frustrated, confused, annoyed and tired I shook my head in disgust. I then looked down and a blue light caught my attention from the corner of my eye. I reached into my pocket and took out my phone.

Calling Home... 45sec, 46sec, 47sec....

My eyes popped out of my head. I hung up swiftly, smiled meekly at my puzzled mother and ran off. Needless to say my keypad is now locked... *blush*

I meant to tell you about the most important part of the concert on Sunday. I don't understand how it did not occur to some people that umbrellas wouldn't be permitted to a standing concert. Clearly selfish people who have little consideration for the people standing behind them. (Remind me to rant about TALL people who stand at the front, another time...). Anyway, after the concert, all the confiscated umbrellas were up for grabs. FREE UMBRELLAS! I got a beautiful pink and white dotty spotty one. I love it when stuff like that happens!

I may add though, that I of *course* have posters up around town in case anyone wants to claim the umbrella. Anyone? No?? Well if you insist!

Work tomorrow until 6pm. Yadda, yadda yawn.

Also, PLEASE know if you left me private comments (no matter how long ago), I WILL get back to you! Sincere apologies....

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Anyone this side of the world, will have noticed the rivers that have been pouring out of the sky these last few weeks. November weather, not mid summer. Sunday was no exception. It didn't stop Justin Timberlake performing, nor did it stop a few thousand fans turning up. He didn't manage to sell out though which is surprising. He had to get 50cent to cancel his gig in town and join him, just to get all the 50cent ticket holders to come to HIS concert. Still, it was brilliant.

We had standing tickets, and although the gates opened at 5pm, we decided not to bother rushing. We clearly were not the only ones as we were really up close. I would estimate about 5-7 people from the front. So, pretty close. While we waited, a fan of this blog came up and asked me for my autograph. I'm joking, I spotted Shell (a regular visitor to the guestbook) and ran over like a lunatic and she did likewise. Luckily we stopped in time though because that could have been one nasty crash. Anyway, hellos and goodbyes done, we made our way back to the stage.

50cent opened up and told us all how 'you didn't think I was gona be hur, did y'all? It was a surprise wasn't it? You guys are all surprised aren't y'all?'....Em actually no Fiddy. It was on the news on Friday, but never mind. He got the crowd warmed up because he 'Told ma fren Justeen that I'd warm y'all up... Ole..Ole, ole, ole...'. He didn't *quite* get the melody right (obviuosly someone just told him to get the words right and we'd take it from there) but that was okay because we all took over and sang it over and over again. For anyone who doesn't know the 'Ole' song, it began at the World Cup 1990 as the Irish chant for Italia '90. We sing it everywhere we go. That and 'The Fields of Athenry'.

We were then all instructed to put our middle fingers up in the air and scream obscenities. Or one obscenity over and over again. That was funny. Of course being the nice young lady that I am, I blocked my ears, shut my eyes and had no partaking in such rude antics. Ahem.

"Fiddy" then threw his hat and jacket out. In OUR direction. But too far over to the right, and too far away. But we were *this* close. My mission is to do two hours of arm lengthening stretches a day for my next concert. I'd love some memorabilia like that. Of course I could just go find someone with connections and butter them up, but that would take too long. I could do my arm lengthening stretches while watching Home&Away.

Timberland then came on and busted a few beats which were swell. We wanted JT though. And JT came. I can't even remember what he opened up with but it was excellent. And he was really sweet, because every so often he would fit 'Dublin' into his songs. 'Ain't nobody love you like I love you - Dublin! You're a good girl and that is why I love you - Dublin!'. He then said how Eyer-laaaand was the best crowd ever. I swear he doesn't say that to all his crowds honest. His dancing was amazing as was his talent. He could play the piano, guitar AND sing.

Anyway, the rain stayed away nicely, only coming down once or twice. Thankfully I had my rain-mac-hat. Unfortunately I did *not* have my camera. D'oh! I took the battery out to charge it and then I forgot the pesky thing. But memories are more important. Never mind, as at times like this, I am reminded of William Wordsworth in his poem, Daffodils when he says:

(Never mind)For oft(en), when on my couch I lie (often!!)
In vacant or in pensive mood (bored),
They flash upon that inward eye (I remember it)
Which is the bliss of solitude (which makes me happy);
And then my heart with pleasure fills (which makes me even more happy),
And dances with the daffodils. (I remember the Justin Timberlake concert).

See photos may and will last a lifetime, and in old age my memory may fade, but at least I'll always have the....oh wait....what a stupid poem!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Second Post: Well I decided now was as good a time as ever to shout from the rooftops about my transplant....yet again. Since it is raining and pouring (and the old man is snoring) I have decided to blog instead. I have blogged a long (you may need to read this in the segments that I should have written it in) post about it. If it's any consolation there is very little waffle in it, it just so happens I like to drag things out a little bit.

It can be found in my RedBook blog on the right hand side (don't bother your Barneys, I've hyperlinked it) so those of you who wish to read about it, can and those who don't won't have to. I think that's fair. I like fair.

And thank you to those of you who have wished me a happy Txday! Woo! I had a cake, Toblerone, Doritos, and M&M peanuts without insulin. I am an idiot.

First Post: Can you see my ticker up above? What does it say??

That's right, it's my TXDAY (transplant day) today! Happy Birthday to me. I'm loving every minute of it, and long may it continue. I shall continue to make each and every breath count; to marvel in every experience, be they mundane or extraordinary; to use stairs instead of lifts and elevators; to run upstairs and not walk and to live and love life to the full.

It looks like my JT blog will go ahead tomorrow. I may well blog again later-depending.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Last night I received a text from my Mum at midnight. My Mum and Dad are away (again) in England for a while. So I'm lying in the leaba, and I get a text wishing me a happy birthday along with directions to a gift. I got out of my bed, and followed the instructions. I found a lovely present with a Winnie The Pooh 1st birthday card from my family. *cry*

My transplant is a bit unusual in the fact that it happened over a weekend. For those of whom I haven't tracked down and forced to listen to my tale, there were one or two delays before my transplant could go ahead, which basically meant that although it was scheduled for Saturday night, it didn't go ahead until Sunday afternoon. I had to go to bed knowing my transplant was the next day. Weird.

Do you know what happened on the 1st of July last year? England got knocked out of the world cup to Portugal. Ronaldo *winked* and Rooney got sent off. I bet you didn't know that! Or...remember that. Well I knew, because I was resting/sleeping/lazing for the match, so missed the start; flew to England during the match, missing the middle and was still travelling while it was ending. We caught the highlights on the BBC1 news.

It's been a year. A whole long year. And while my 'real' birthday isn't until tomorrow (I was operated on the 2nd of July) I'm celebrating anyway.

I think going to Justin Timberlake and standing about 10 people from the stage; managing to walk and walk and stand and basically not sit for about 5 hours is celebration enough for me. JT is the man, as is 50cent as is Timberland. Amazing. I will write about it tomorrow. Not because I don't have room now, not because I have rambled enough, but rather because I'm not working tomorrow so need some 'stuff' to blog about. It was good though. Or should I say 'sweet'....