Saturday, November 29, 2008

Balancing act

The good news: I've had a great weekend. I went out on Friday, meaning to only pop into town for a couple of hours, coming home and having a nice sleep. In reality I got in at 3am. Such is one of the results of living life and having a good time!

This morning, I was up and dressed by 10.30 as myself and two guys from college were heading down the country for the afternoon to a friend's house for some college related work. In fact we left at midday as the driver overslept. The countryside (about 8km from where my Dad grew up) was a bit of an eye opener. I don't know how people survive living with nothing but fields around them for miles in every direction. Where is the MacDonalds??? So coming back up to the city this evening was a bit of a relief. (And I mean that with no disrespect for people who live in the countryside - it's just, I've grown up in a very limited little bubble which consists of a farm across the road, and the city centre 20 minutes away and every conceivable shop or restaurant down the road from me. And I don't do change very well. )

The bizarre news: I seem to have taken a 'step backward' with my leg pain (boom boom). I'm taking painkillers (beautiful, beautiful killers of pain) about twice a day for the pain and I'm having difficulty walking on it. I'm beginning to think I probably underestimated what I did over a week ago- thinking I merely pulled a muscle, I probably tore something or something equally ridiculous by placing my foot up on a chair. I mean who on earth lands themselves walking with a limp by putting their foot up on a chair for goodness sake??

The leg is slightly swollen (and obviously sore) at the moment. Post transplant, fluid retention (kind what very old ladies look like with 'c-ankles') is something to be taken very seriously. So now I'm questioning whether I'm swollen, whether there's an infection, whether I have fluid retention. Did I really just pull a muscle? When did it start getting seriously sore? Is this something that happens a 'normal' person, or is this because I have no immune system? Who do 'normal' people call when this happens? Am I being a hypochondriac? Should I just keep popping the pills and hope it will all just sort itself out? Have they ever performed a leg transplant??

[This is the thinky-thinky, waffle bit here now- you can stop reading here. Run.:] There is always a balance to be found when dealing with life post transplant. You push a little, you pull a little (I don't actually know what I mean when I say that, but I think it relates nicely here somehow). You have an obligation to do the most you can to take care of the gift you've been given which means you get yourself treated the minute you suspect you have an infection, a cold, a temperature.

And then you go out (actually, you stay in, work on assignments) and do silly things, which really in the bigger picture are just a tad embarrassing (I wasn't even exercising when it happened!) and you wonder whether it constitutes as a 'real' problem.

It's just one of those 'thinking out loud' situations which a lot of people don't really think about- someone gets a transplant- that's it, they're pretty much fixed right? Thankfully, for the most part, yes, but the thinking doesn't ever stop. And maybe it's that 'thinking' which ensures that all bases are covered so everything does stay fixed: For every ten queries ("Oh my gosh, is that a bruise on my eye?" "No, that's smudge mascara"- "Oh my gosh, why are my hands blue??" "Because it's cold outside"), you catch that one real problem. Better to be safe than sorry.

I just wish I didn't feel guilty about wishing I had crutches!!