Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I just realised I wrote a smally and never posted last week. It was just about my college library, nothing exciting!

My lung functions today were 102% which is an all time high, and that elusive 100% has finally been captured! It's really amazing and so fortunate that despite the random sickies I seem to have picked up these few months, that my lungs are doing so well. (Whacks head off wood)

My weight is also up by 2 kilos (4.4lbs) which is a relief. I've been really trying and it's good to see it pay off.

At this stage the team want my Prograf/Tacrolimus (anti-rejection tablet) level aiming to be between 6 and 9. Or 5 and 10 depending on who you talk to. I mentioned before it should be between 10-12. The reason they'd like a lower level has something to do with the fact that I'm a 'couple of years out now' and something, something...trail off.... Anyway, It's always great to hear 'couple of years out' said in such a relaxed way. It also reminds me that technically they're not 'new' lungs anymore either.

Thinking about the two years, I think at some points I've *maybe* pushed myself a bit too hard, or maybe done things that have had some people raising eyebrows. I do need to constantly remind myself that despite the fact that I'm now freakishly well (touch wood), I still have to find that balance, and that 'balance' perhaps needs to be more closely monitored than that of my friends. But at the same time, in two years, I'm healthier than I've ever been (bang wood) and I've had the opportunity to travel (which is my number one favourite thing to do!) to 14 different countries (give or take one or two, can't quite count). I've had countless late nights and got up the next day (not necessarily early, but up nonetheless...) and I've managed to complete one year of my degree course (still three to go...). It's true that your health is your wealth!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Things are going swell :) This week I went back to college and today we have the day off. There are protests in town to protest against the proposed re-introduction of fees for people in third level education. Basically, it's not going to be free anymore. It's not an issue I feel particularly strongly against (I could go into details before yet another person bites my head off, but I won't) and considering it's cold outside and I don't like marching, I'm not going. And I have a million other things I need to get done. I'm not actually a busy person, rather a very, very disorganised one.

I had my long/picc line removed on Monday and am so far doing well off IVs. I have to go back to clinic next week for bloods and review and to check my lung function etc. I should point out an error I made a while back in relation to CRP (infection markers in the blood). I said the level should be between 10-12, in fact it should be below 3-point-something. My last result back was 5 so I expect the bloods taken on Monday should (hopefully) be nothing.

That's all really :P

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I have come to a few conclusions today. First of all, today I went to clinic, which meant I had to be up, showered and dressed early. None of which actually happened "early" (must work on that) so my hair was in a horrible fuzzy state once washed. I have concluded that I *definitely* need to get my hair done pronto, the colour needs urgent fixing and I need to start straightening it again.

Secondly, it must be nearly over two weeks since I last wore make-up, which sounds so vain I know. But it's scary how different I look without it on. That sounds vain too, I know. Probably because I'm grey pale at the moment anyway, and I have fuzzy hair, but seriously, I need to start doing *something*.

Thirdly, I feel better. Not one hundred percent by any means (yet), but better. I'm unfortunately still struggling in the 'gaining weight' department, which needs attending to. I've reached that "oh that girl is so skinny" stage again. I have a target weight, and once I've reached that, I'll be happier. Plus I'll enjoy food without thinking about it. And with my hair done and make-up on, I'll feel better too. Because, yano, I'm vain.

Fourthly, I feel better.

Fifthly, there are SO many bigger problems in the world at the moment, and SO many people who have such worse problems in their life, which is why I feel so grateful that I feel better :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thank You!

And of course thank you to everyone who wished me well during that rather random blip as well - it means a lot to know people are thinking of you when you're not your best. :)


I was discharged this afternoon and it feels wonderful to be out and free! I'm still on IVs, but the PICC line which was inserted last week is still holding well (*touch wood*) and I'll continue that treatment until Saturday.

I've been put back on some of my anti-rejection tablets (Prograf) albeit at a low dose and we're holding off the other (Cellcept) as well as some of my other tablets. I've got clinic on Wednesday to check blood levels etc. I've also found my hips are rather painful when walking (I am very aware I am managing to sound like an old lady here) so I need to have that checked out otherwise I may as well confine myself to a sitting position for a while, as that's generally when I'm not sore!

The plan is to take this week off college and rest up at home. Unless I begin to feel really energetic/bored and sneak off for a lecture or two but to be honest, at the moment, it's one of the last things I feel like doing.

I might get my hair done though. That only requires sitting after all.

Oh and in super exciting news, I'm now a Godmother! I was incredibly honoured to be asked and get rather excited every time I think about it :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Septecemia - or "where I've been"

Where to start? Well, it's been a manic and crazy and slightly scary week- rollarcoaster in the best sense of the word.

It began last weekend, on Saturday night when we went to a family party and I wasn't feeling my best. I felt out of sorts- very cold and my throat hurt but after a couple of paracetamol I was grand again, if just a little bit tired. I was glad to see my bed at the end of the night.

And then came Sunday. I woke up at 6am getting sick. And I couldn't stop. I was shaking and in my head just needed to get back into bed. That would solve my sickness. And then it came again. Two hours later, it was the same story and my Mum found me, knowing something was seriously wrong. While I was back asleep she woke me to check my temperature. I felt so weak but told her I was sure it was fine. Unfortunately, it was 40.03 (104 something)- not good at all. We rang the hospital and were taken into the unit an hour later where I was hooked up to fluids and IVs.

I was pretty out of it (I mean, me in my right mind would never let someone *attempt* to give me fluids or IVs in anything but a PICC/long line) and just needed to sleep. I do remember trying to bargain with the Intern telling her I'd promise to drink a glass of water regularly if she didn't put me on fluids (a constant drip) though.

I was pretty much a puzzle to them. How I had ended up so sick so rapidly was anybody's guess. The diseases/syndromes/illnesses that were tossed about the first day included Meningitis, Tonsillitis, Pneumonia, Strep-something and a Gastric bug among a whole load of others which I can't remember.

For the medically speaking people, my CRP (infection markers- should be below 10-12?) were 193, although weirdly my White Blood Cells (Infection fighters) had fallen down. By Monday I was neutropenic meaning I didn't have enough White Blood Cells at all (Medic Speaky- they were about 1) so this meant it wasn't safe for me to be around anyone not gowned up in a sterile apron- so I was marked 'isolation'. I was taken off all my immunosupression drugs in a bid to get my body to start producing some sort of immunity again.

Tuesday (or Wednesday, not too sure on the days) the temperatures had settled to the mid 37 range (normal should be below 37) and i stopped spiking them. My mouth, however became very sore and it was too sore to eat. The couldn't treat it however because I was already 'taking too much stuff as it was', so I had to sit that one out. I was visited by the Haematologist who suggested I should start taking shots to encourage the bone marrow to start making WBCs. The Infectious Diseases doctor came along and he believed I had a Gastric Virus (something I disagree with). My Consultant spoke with my Dad and the actual diagnosis was that I had (have?? - pretty sure it's 'had' ) Septicemia, blood poisoning. And possibly Strep-Pneumonia as well? There's a lot of confusion still a bounty so I'm going to chat to the team next week and find out exactly what they'd document it as.

Luckily and so thankfully, I have improved. My CRP is down to 24, my White Blood Cells are now 2.2, my Neutrophils are 800 (I think normal is above 1500??), the temperatures have settled completely and I'm feeling a LOT better. I'm on and off my anti-rejection drugs and they're keeping a careful eye on my bloods. I'm still on IV meropenum, oral Azithromycin (I was on IV Ciproxin but it turns out I'm allergic to that one as evidence by a nice 'rash' reaction!)I'm hoping to be discharged early next week, all going well!

It just goes to show how quickly things can change. I just was incredibly unlucky and yet I know that I am so, so fortunate that I got treated correctly and in time too. I don't ever wish to be given a fright (or indeed, be giving others a fright) like that in a *loooooooooonnnnnnnnnnngggggggg* time! :P