First day back
Posted by Oli on Saturday 22nd December, 2007
First off, I should quickly clear something up: when I say I’m “home” what I actually mean is I’m back at Mum and Dad’s (the ‘rents). While this is, in a very real way, “home”, it’s not – technically – “home” as in sleeping in my own bed on my own pillows and waking to my own view. Luckily for me, I am still managing to wake with the wonderful view of my darling K beside me, something which I’ve had to struggle without for the last 4-and-half-weeks.
Today has been the most wonderful day – surprisingly mundane, but it’s surprising how mundane takes on a whole new meaning when you’re kicking around at home with new lungs.
I was completely thrown this morning when I had to get up to go in to Harefield. I’m so used to working out what time I’m leaving then working backwards through nebulisers, physio, breakfast, meds and extra time to get dressed, washed etc. Last night I sat with my alarm before me and realised I had no idea how long it would take me to get up and out in the morning. Wash… Dress… Breakfast… Tablets… Leave. That’s, what, 45 mins max? I’ve NEVER been up and out of the house in 45 minutes. It’s usually at least an hour-and-a-half. Mark that down as one more surreal post-transplant experience.
We rocked up on E Ward for 9.30, saying a cheery good morning to a couple of my favourite nurses, and promptly had my bloods done. It was a bit of a wait to see the docs, who were on their rounds when I turned up and we had to wait for them to get to us, but when they did they were happy enough that I not only looked, but still felt well. They sent me toddling off home again, to return tomorrow, and we were back home again by 12.30pm after a torrid journey back up the M1 (bad choice Dad…).
No sooner had we got back than my Bro rocked up to start his Christmas break from Plymouth and it was bacon sarnies all round to celebrate. It was so unbelievably normal it was almost weird. Get your head around that one!
As bro popped off to collect his sporting buddies for their weekend’s festivities (of which I plan to be a part next year), I decided it was about time I tried my new lungs and strengthening legs out and took myself off for a walk around the block. The ‘rents couldn’t help but join me as I positively marched myself round the block, doing a circuit round behind the house in about 5 minutes, something which took me at least 10-15 last time I did it, and that was nearly a year ago, since when I’d not even have contemplated it.
By the time we got back, including having a quick welcome home chat with the neighbours, K had arrived back with Cliff and Dazz, our very good friends, who stayed for a chat and a cuppa. Eventually, we managed to pack them both off, Dazz needing not only to pack for his holiday, but also to finish his shopping for skiing gear, visit relatives and catch some serious Zzz’s before his long drive North – all in the space of 3-4 hours. Not the most organised of our friends is our Dazz.
When they’d gone, I heeded my doc’s advice not to do too much and took myself off to bed for a while, waking after an hour or so feeling slightly cloudy headed, which told me, like it always does, that I’d slept well and – honestly – would feel a whole lot better once I’d woken up.
Sat and chatted to Mum in the kitchen while we prepared a fruit basket for the ward staff to take in tomorrow – fruit being the antidote to all the cake and chocolate they get given at Christmas time: I don’t want to be responsible for staff going off sick with massively high cholesterol.
Plonking myself in the lounge with Mum’s flashy new lap-top, I then settled in to spend an afternoon going through my Hotmail account and cleaning it up and reading through the 3 pages of messages left for me on my Facebook page. Crazy. I can’t believe the amount of love and support I’ve had over the last month – it’s left me as close to speechless as I ever get. You know, like, 50 words a minute rather than 100.
After dinner S&S came over for a game of Hollywood Buzz (thanks Suze and Gary!), which I cruised, naturally. We were going to be joined by another friend from Luton, but sadly as I directed him to the house we established he had a cough and I had to turn him away, which felt horrible, but it’s really, really important for me to quarantine myself at the moment.
So instead K and I settled on the sofa to watch the final of Strictly Come Dancing, which entertains me more than it should do and I find myself ooh’ing and aah’ing at the lifts, holds and twirls like someone who actually knows what they’re watching.
It’s been the most wonderfully straight-forward, mundane day and I hope there’s many more to come in the next week or so. Thanks again for all your support and love you’ve sent, through the blog, Facebook, email and cards. It means the world to me, and it is still helping me through the tough parts of everyday. And don’t get me wrong – there are still the tough parts to get through. But each day I get stronger and each day the tough parts get a little easier. Sooner or later, the tough parts will be so brief I’ll hardly notice them, and the good times will start to roll with a vengeance.