Year +1 - A Year of Incredible: Today it is twelve-months to the day since I had my kidney transplant, and it's been one of the most amazing, exciting and challenging years of my life. It was only after I had my life-changing operation that I started to understand what life as a transplant recipient was really going to be about.
Category: The Transplant Series
Day +11: Homeward Bound
The day had finally arrived. I had grown very attached to the amazing staff on ward 726 but after 13 days in a room by myself, I was ready to go home and be with my beautiful family. I had missed them terribly.
Day +10: Origins
Day +10: Origins. In contrast to my outward facing 'fitness freak' persona, many have asked how I ended up chronically ill and eventually on the slab receiving a kidney transplant. The story began two decades ago and my my eventual diagnosis which was due the curiosity of a particular GP I saw by chance and his desire to do good by his patients. Thursday was a day where I was waiting and did practically nothing - this is an appropriately long read.
Day +9: Holiday Snaps
Day +9 was a day of more positive news and moderate exercise, albeit tempered by more waiting and watching of the world go by. Sometimes you don't get exactly the news you had hoped for, but when it's for your own good you can't help but feel contented and grateful.
Day +8: Fitness Rewards
Day +8: Some time ago I made a pact with myself: To be as fit and active as possible and not to let my illness drag me down. My motto has been to 'only slow down when you have to'. Admittedly I was forced to slow down a lot, but staying active yielded tangible benefits. Exercise and healthy eating works. Trust me.
Day +7: Long Awaited Reductions
Day +7: Long Awaited Reductions - Monday became the beginning of the end of my stay on ward 726 - the end was now in sight. All I would need to see me through was a lot of patience, regular painkillers and and plenty of cardboard pee bottles.
Day +6: Biopsy Disquiet
Day +6 [Sunday]: The road to recovery is not necessarily a smooth one. There will always be bumps along the way and realistically speaking, these bumps are to be expected. Nothing could dampen my general sense of gratitude but there was definitely a certain amount of anxiety that is generated by these unexpected forays into the unknown.
Day +5: Drugs and Blessed Relief
My life had already irrevocably changed for the better, but there was a lot of information still to take in. The staff knew it was front-loading their patients and to take it easy by drip feeding the essential aspects of their care that was to be self-administered. The Doctor warned me that I was now a very different beast from the one that entered hospital seven days earlier and that it would take some getting used to.
Day +4: In Business
Day +4 was a day of genuine progress. A lot went on and it was an emotional roller-coaster. I was being held together largely by contact with friends and loved ones... and by the near constant physical and emotional support from the staff on Ward 726.
Day +3: Bad Boys and Painkillers
Day +3: Every day is a learning experience; every day is a mini adventure. This is uncharted territory for me and to say that I was unprepared for the call is an understatement. But as I had no preconceptions, I had n choice but to take everything in my stride.