Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Merry Christmas one and all

Posted by Oli on Monday 24th December, 2007

For someone who’s supposed to be taking things easy, it’s been hard work getting up at 7.30am every morning and commuting to Harefield for bloods and a quick how-do-you-do with the docs.  That said, it’s a good deal better than being stuck in there right now – no matter how much fun the nurses claim they all have on Christmas day.

The last couple of days have been great fun, mixed with a little bit of hardship here and there.  On Sunday I went for another walk, this time with the whole family in tow, but the freezing fog which had descended on the lake pushed my new blowers a little too hard and left me in quite a bit of pain, until I managed to warm my muscles back up in a nice hot bath later on – thanks to my wonderful bro for identifying the problem.

Although it was hard work and it hurt afterwards, it is still so rewarding to be able to wrap up warm and go out for a walk in the kind of conditions which would have had me refusing to open a window a month ago, let alone set foot outside.

I’m still requiring quite a bit of rest – sleep at night isn’t coming terribly easily as my chest is still pretty sore, which means that daytime naps are a must if I’m to be in any shape to do anything other than sit on a sofa trying desperately to not let myself fall asleep.

Today I was – I think – officially discharged from Harefield.  Although I’d been sent home and ordered back everyday for bloods, they were still holding a bed for me should my infection markers decide they wanted to play silly b***ers and start jumping all over the place again.  After seeing the fabulous Dr Carby and his wonderful team today (big shout out to Verhana and Ari) they are happy that they don’t need my bed any more and are going to give it to someone more in need – yippee!

I am still having a few issues with my immunosuppressant levels.  The drug I’m on – Tacrolimus (or Tac, as it’s known in our house) – seems to be working well for me, but since they put me on the oral antibiotic to fight the infection that was starting to brew the levels have been all over the place.  Apparently it’s not very common, but I do always like to stand out, as we all know perfectly well by now.  The upshot of that is that while they’re happy for me to have a day off for Christmas Day, I’ll need to go back Boxing Day morning for more bloods and probably at the same time in the morning for the rest of the week.  As has been said before, though, it’s a whole lot better than being in there!

As I sit and write this, preparing for bed on Christmas Eve there seems so much to reflect on: the past couple of Christmases which I’ve questioned as to whether they’d be my last; the joy being felt by not just my family but all my extended family and friends and loved ones at the gift I’ve been given; the pain that must be being felt by the family of my donor, for whom this Christmas will undoubtedly be one of their hardest ever.

Christmas, lest we forget, is all about the birth of Jesus and it seems fitting that I’m nestled in the warmth of my family to celebrate my emergeance into new life thanks to the generosity of one single person and their family.  Whatever you may believe, whoever you may pray to, this is the closest thing to a miracle I’ve ever witnessed.

May you all have a wonderful, happy, safe, warm and loving Christmas – and as you sit down to enjoy the best parts of the day, take a moment to spare a thought for those less fortunate than yourselves.

Merry Christmas, one and all.


17 Responses to “Merry Christmas one and all”

  1. Bruce said

    Merry Christmas, Oli.

    You’re a true inspiration.

    To you, K and your family.


  2. Audrey said

    Happy Chistmas to you.

    I refused to go out in the fog for fear of huge coughing fits – at least you dd it.

    Have had a little too much champagne and will, no doubt be up in a few hous, but wanted to wish you all the very best. What a strange but awesome Christmas you will have!

    Audrey xxx

  3. elaine said

    merry christmas oli

    you deserve a fantastic one, so make it good!

  4. Suze said

    All our love to you, K and your family. You’re going to have such an amazing day and we can’t think of anyone more deserving. Your speedy recovery has made everyone’s Christmas and we will be toasting to you with our family today. See you very soon. Suze & Gary xxxx

    P.S Lets hope that your hospital bed is filled again with someone following their tx very soon ….

  5. Katie Hammond said

    Happy Christmas to you, K and all your family from me and also my mum who was reading your blog over my shoulder! I hope you have a wonderful day today, especially with not having to go over to the hospital. I lit a candle in church last night for your donor family, to thank them for this amazing gift. Katie

  6. Rose said

    Merry Christmas to you, Kati, your Mum, Dad, Tim and all your family. Have a wonderful day. I know you will enjoy every minute.

    Hope to see you again soon.

    Rose xx

  7. kevnles said

    Merry christmas Oli, Kati and family, have a wonderful day.

  8. Hayley said

    Oli thank you so much for the telephone call yesterday, I am gutted that we were out but will catch up with you in the next couple of days.
    All the family send you and yours hugs, kisses and big big happy wishes for a wonderful christmas you all truly deserve it and we will have a toast for you all.
    Have the most wonderful day and we will be in touch soon.
    Our love Always
    David, Hayley and Robert xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  9. lynn said

    Merry Christmas and thank you for your inspirational blogs!!
    They help many people!

  10. sarah said

    Merry xmas Oli. Glad to ‘see’ you home, and being offically discharged.

    we were told that Tac reacts to anything and everything. and it can be quite hard to stabalise to get the levels right in the first few weeks (like warfarin ,that was a PITA drug as well, even going under hypnosis affected Peters levels lol). do you have the tacro tremors? Peter still has. Its the one thing he finds really hard post transplant, as he cant keep his hands still at all.

    Take Care

    And much love to your family and your donor family as well.


  11. Christina said

    Merry christmas Oli and family. xx

  12. Malcolm Woodman said

    The best Christmas present ever! Have been keeping the less technologically advanced members of the family up to date with your progress. Everyone sends their best wishes to you and to the rest of the Family in the deep South.

    As ever, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Love and Best Wishes

    Anthea, Malcolm, Francesca, Lauren, William and Joshua

  13. Heather Elliott (Australia) said

    Dear Oli,
    So wonderful to hear your news (via Di). Since meeting you i’ve prayed with all my heart that you’d get a transplant soon.
    I love the stuff about the mundane ordinary things of each day being so beautiful… something for all of us to remember! Hope you, K and family have had a truly splendid Christmas and here’s to a fabulous 2008.
    Best wishes,

  14. Bev and Lucy Pearson said

    Merry Christmas Oli and the same to the rest of your family. We agree with you that transplantation is a miracle. I hope your Tac levels stabilise soon. Lucy’s still haven’t 16 months post transplant, but that’s due to her having so much growing to do!

    I hope that you all have a wonderful New Year.

  15. Guy Jones said

    Heartwarming, inspiring and wise words as always Oli. Wishing you the best of health to enjoy the rest of the festive season and to see in the new year and a new you!

    Lots of love

    Guy x

  16. AL said

    Merry Christmas Oli…Much love from Texas!!!

  17. Christopher Hunter said

    Hi oli that is really good report you look so good on the camrea that was the best news report in the whole world i hope you and your life go on like this for ever more I am looking forward to meating you.

    Lots of love XXXXXXXXXXXXX

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