Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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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.

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16 Responses to “First day back”

  1. Suze said

    Nice to hear you’re putting Buzz to good use – not sure if I’m going to fancy taking you on though!

    So good to hear that you’ve had a ‘normal’ (whatever that is) day with your family. Gary says that I should take a leaf out of your book and aim for 45 minutes to get ready! xxx

  2. Guy Jones said

    Great reading as always! You’re going to have lots more time on your hands now that you will be able to do everything quicker and don’t have to do all that other stuff. I’m sure you’ll find great ways to fill it all up 🙂 So glad you can even use words like ‘normal’ you deserve to have some normality in your life after your struggles before this, but then again you will always be an extraordinary person (in a good way!)

    Lots of love

    Guy x

  3. Dazz said

    I’m so glad your back in Keynes. Its crazy you’re just getting back and I’m leaving for a week. It was sad today leaving MK its the first time I have been tearfull driving north. You and Kati have have made me feel so welcome and at home I’m going to miss you both very very much.

    I’m sure you’ll be back at the flat soon enough. I hope you have a good christmas. Thank you so much for just being great friends.

    Dazz

  4. Bruce said

    I really should make an effort to curb my incessant commenting – but, again, marvellous to hear.

    And big big thanks to K, too, for making Oli-tracking so much easier =D But seriously, thank you.

    Keep those days mundane.

    x

  5. Merlin said

    Hi Oli

    Great to know that you are up and about,,have been keeping a close eye on your blog.
    Read the article in the Mirror on Friday,,if you are not careful you will become too famous !!

    Anyway, chuffed to bits for you,,have a great Christmas and New Year,,and lets not forget your wonderful family/friends and last but not least Katy who has done such a marvellous job with the blog.

    Keep up the good work mate.

  6. JAMES said

    HI GUYS,
    WELL SEEMS LIKE YOUR CATCHING UP WITH ME LOL, I AM ABOUT 4 OR 5 MONTHS IN FRONT AND THINGS ARE GETTING EASIER, ITS AMAZING HOW MUCH EASIER IT IS IN THIS COLD WEATHER, I AM SURE YOU REMEMBER WHEN EVER YOU WENT OUT INTO THE FREEZING COLD, YOUR LUNGS WOULD JUST SEIZE UP LOL, WELL FOR 15 MINS OR SO ANYWAY, WELL NOW IT IS GREAT, YOU CAN WALK INTO THE COLD AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH, QUITE BIZAAR.
    ANYWAY I WONT BORE YOU, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
    REGARDS
    JAMES AND KIM
    JUST A WORD OF WARNING, SO YOU ARE AWARE, I AM NOW 15.5 STONE AND XMAS IS COMING UP LOL, OH DEAR, SO TAKE IT EASY LOL, THESE STEROIDS REALLY HELP THE WEIGHT PILE ON, ILL BE GLAD FOR THE NICE WEATHER TO BE BACK AND I CAN START PLAYING GOLF AGAIN LOL

  7. Nelly said

    Hi Oli, you sound like you’re doing AMAZINGLY GREAT!!! yay for a “normal” day (what is normal anyway, i have no idea hehehe :P) and here’s to more normal days to come!!

    Hugs, Nelly

  8. Katie Hammond said

    Blimey, I’ve been away from the computer for 2 days and so much has happened! I am just so delighted for you that you are out of hospital in time for Christmas, and enjoying some ‘normal’ days at your parents house. They must all just be so thrilled, as of course, are all of us blog-readers! I will light a candle at the midnight service tomorrow for the families of your and Emily’s donors. Keep enjoying yourself, Katie

  9. sandy said

    So glad you had a mundane day Oli, and I bet its great not to have to have extra time to do nebs, physio etc before doing anything else… What a wonderful life you have ahead of you now x

  10. Rheya said

    Mundane?! That’s a packed day to me lol! Ah the laziness of students 🙂
    Glad you enjoyed your first day back. It seems like such an exciting time for you right now, it’s the beginning of everything happy :), I get excited thinking about all the things you going to experience and the acheivement and pleasure you’ll take from things that we all take for granted. I feel happy when I do them too now lol, like ‘ooh isn’t it great’ or ‘how weird that we all do this, like this’ You’re going to have so much fun Oli 🙂 and you deserve every minute of it x

  11. Jac said

    So great to read about your first day home (which incidentally seemed busy enough to me!). Here’s to many more ‘normal’ days to come and a 2008 full of new opportunities!
    Jac x

  12. Jean Hunter said

    Oli we’ve been away for a day and I was eager to return home and tune into your blog and find out how you are doing. I am so pleased to read you are making fantastic progress and adjusting to your new life. Lots of Love Jean xxxxx

  13. Hayley said

    Well done Oli, you seem to be doing really well, we are so glad that you are at “home” albeit for the moment with your mum and dad, still you deserve some serious pampering so enjoy it whilst it lasts.
    We hope and pray that you and your family have a terrific smile, I am sure your mum will have aching cheekbones from all the smiling she will do having you home.
    Our love and best wishes to you and all your loved ones this Christmas and heres to a happy, loving and energetic 2008.
    Lots of love
    David, Hayley and Robert xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  14. rob said

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Oli. And a happy healthy new year to you, continue on with your amazing recovery. Enjoy being at home and look after yourself. It was great to see you the other day looking so well, keep up the good work. Look forward to seeing you soon. Take care mate

    Love Rob & Melxx

  15. Linda & Ian Rowe said

    Well, Gawd bless to you and yours. What a very Happy Christmas. Have not been up to date for last few days but having caught up, we now have our own bit of taste of Miracle on 34th and Wonderful Life all rolled into one. Wishing you, K, mum, dad and fab bro the very merriest of splendidly happy Christmases, and a New Year to come that will beat them all.

    With all our love, Linda & Ian xxxxxxx

  16. […] as a GroupWhen Seniors Tutor Kids, They Sharpen Their Own Minds As Well – Health OMG!First day back .broken_link, a.broken_link { text-decoration: line-through; […]

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