Archive of ‘Kidney Failure Stuff’ category
It may just be December 15th to everyone else, but for us it will always be T-Day.
Today is the 6th anniversary of Terry’s kidney transplant. Which means that even although it’s cold and miserable and wet outside, we have one HUGE reason to celebrate.
(I am celebrating by having my hair cut. I know, why ruin such a great day, right? I’m sure it’ll be fine. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? And then tonight, there will be champagne, and chocolate, and… well, there will be champagne and chocolate, anyway. Happy days.)
This was the message on my desk calendar on December 15th, 2005, the day of Terry’s transplant. I tore it off and kept it (and later scanned it) because it seemed so appropriate: it was, after all, a day of putting on a brave face, of repeating reassuring mantras which I didn’t really believe in (“It’ll be fine! It’s really quite a straightforward operation, you know? This is one of the best transplant units in the world! It’ll be fine!” ) and of being scared witless.
It was the day we got our lives back, and although I know he’d just shrug and say it was nothing, that he just did what anyone would have done, it was a day that wouldn’t have happened without the bravery and complete selflessness of Terry’s brother John, who was his kidney donor.
I expect John probably felt at least a little bit afraid too, as they wheeled him into surgery that morning. If he did, though, he was most definitely the only one who knew it: I know he was the only person in the room who didn’t cry when the time came.
Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.
After the transplant, I promised myself that things would be different from that point on, and that I would never allow myself to forget those two years of waiting, or the stress of sitting in that hospital reception waiting for news. I told myself I would never again get stressed or upset over silly, inconsequential things, and I would always remember how lucky I was just to be here, to have Terry back to full health, and to have our lives back. I didn’t do too well at that. I still worry obsessively about things that aren’t really very important. I still don’t deal well with stress. I still have a tendency to see the glass as being half full, when it’s so obviously overflowing.
I think that, on this fifth anniversary of T-Day, I’m going to start trying harder with that promise to myself. I may not succeed with it all the time, or even most of the time, knowing me. But I’m definitely going to try.
December 26th, 2003. I always describe it as the worst day of my life so far. It’s the uncertainty that gets you, isn’t it? Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can start to find a way to deal with it. But as we drove to hospital that morning, and sat waiting for Terry’s test results to come back, we had no idea what was in front of us. All we could do was guess, and, unfortunately for us, we had plenty of time to do it in.
We sat for over eight hours in that waiting room.
The results of Terry’s bloodwork came back after two of those hours, but the nurse on duty wouldn’t give them to us. “The consultant wants to speak to you about this in person,” she told Terry. “It’s the kind of thing that’s best said face-to-face.”
Well. That sentence alone told us all we needed to know. It’s like saying “you’re going to want to be sitting down for this,” isn’t it? And so we sat, and we waited, and we shook with fear - or I did, anyway.
I was sure it was cancer. Along with crabs and airplane crashes, cancer has always been my other big fear. It had torn through my family before, and I’d been waiting ever since for it come back for round two. Now I was sure it had. I remember going outside to call my parents, who were waiting anxiously at home, wondering what the hell was taking so long. “I’m sure it’s cancer,” I told them, “It has to be.” I wanted to be reassured. I wanted someone to tell me, “Don’t be stupid, of course it isn’t cancer, or anything else serious for that matter!” I wanted to be told that everything would be fine, but for the first time in my entire life, my parents couldn’t give me that reassurance. No one could. I think that knowledge aged me by about 20 years.
After that phone call, I went back to the waiting room and… we waited. The “waiting room” was really just a wide space in the corridor. I can still close my eyes and be back there in a second, so engraved upon my memory has it become. Its walls were covered with posters, all of which bore titles like, “So, your kidneys have totally failed!” and “Transplant: bet you didn’t see THAT coming!” It didn’t bode well. Where were all the fish tanks and soothing pieces of artwork you see in hospitals on TV, I wondered? Why the Wall O’Doom, which seemed to say, “Yes, your worst fears will come to pass: it happened to these people in the posters, and it’ll probably happen to you, too. By the way, have a nice Christmas!”
At the eighth hour or thereabouts, the consultant finally appeared and invited Terry into his office. “Would you like to come too?” he asked me. I couldn’t even answer him. I couldn’t think of anything I’d like less than to go into that room and be told The Worst. “No,” Terry answered, for me. ”She should just wait where she is.”
I didn’t, though. As soon as the door closed behind him, I ran to the nearest bathroom and threw up. Then I returned to my familiar chair in that hateful waiting room, and I tried to prepare myself for whatever would come.
It’s strange, but in those final few minutes of my vigil, a strange sense of calm came over me – or maybe my body just realised it couldn’t panic any more. I found myself sitting there making plans in this strange, detached kind of way. I’d call work the next day, I thought, and tell them I wouldn’t be coming back. Terry had only been in his job for a few weeks, so there would be no sick pay to cover his loss of earnings: it would be up to me to support us both, so I would sell the house, and we would move in with my parents while Terry went through whatever treatment was necessary. I would do whatever it took to get through this nightmare, and I would try not to think too much about what came next.
The office door opened.
Terry stepped out, looking even ghostlier than he had to start with: something I hadn’t believed possible.
“He’s not finished with me yet,” he said, in response to my un-asked question. “He got an emergency call, he had to leave. He’ll be back soon, though.”
“And what did he say?” I forced myself to ask. “Is everything OK?”
“No,” said Terry. “Everything’s really not OK.”
And he wouldn’t say a single word more than that. Later, he explained to me that it was simply because he needed time to make sense of it in his own mind: and because he wanted to hear the rest of what the consultant had to say to him. At the time, though, I thought his silence could only mean that I’d been right, and it was cancer. Anything else, you see, I could have dealt with. I didn’t think I could deal with the C-word, and Terry knew that, so his refusal to even tell me what had happened could only mean one thing, and that one thing… well, it was as bad as it gets.
That’s why, when he finally emerged from the consulting room for the second time, and told me it was kidney failure, I actually felt relieved. Yes, relieved. I had spent the previous evening researching this. I had started to understand what “dialysis” was, and what a transplant would mean. And I knew that although this was bad, we would somehow find a way to deal with it.
And we somehow did.
So, December 26th, 2003 was the worst day of my life. But if it wasn’t for that day, then nothing else would have mattered, because what the consultant told Terry, behind the closed door of that office, was that unless he started treatment immediately, he had roughly two weeks to live.
Two weeks. Two little weeks.
It kinda puts all the ‘Snowmaggedon’ stuff in perspective…
(Another post written in advance. As I’ve written these, I’ve become more and more convinced that the act of writing advance posts talking about anniversaries is a surefire way of tempting fate, and that, by the time you read this, I’ll almost certainly have gone to my fiery death in the plane crash I have spent most of my life anticipating. In fact, so sure have I become of this fact, that I’ve even considered giving one of my friends the log-in to the blog and saying “Hey, if I die sometime in the next two weeks, would you go in and delete those ‘happy anniversary’ posts I’ve scheduled? Thanks!” But I’m kinda killing the mood here with my Harbinging, so on with the show…)
Terry first got ill a few years before we started seeing each other. He’d been on holiday with friends, and on the flight home, his legs swelled up to alarming proportions, and refused to return to normal. So that wasn’t good.
A trip to the doctor led to a two-week stay in hospital, during which he was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease which, unfortunately, there was no cure for. It might get worse, said the doctors, but then again, it might not. If it DID get worse, it might take twenty years for it to happen, or it might happen tomorrow. It could also just get better: there was no way of knowing. So they prescribed him some drugs to take down the swelling, and sent him home, instructing him to come back in six months for a checkup.
The six-monthly checkups turned to yearly ones, and finally stopped altogether. Terry’s condition didn’t get any better, but it didn’t get any worse either and as it was being controlled by the medication he was on, by the time I arrived on the scene, it had become just One of Those Things, a part of life that you don’t even think about all that much.
Such was the extent of this Not Thinking, that when Terry started to get ill again, the year we bought our house, we didn’t instantly make the connection between the New Illness and the old one. It started on Boxing Day of that year (Boxing Day has never been good to us, as you’ll discover), when Terry was struck down with a really bad bout of food poisoning. He was staying at my parents’ house at the time, and was ill enough that even my dad, who normally worries about NOTHING (Seriously, you could tell my dad a nuclear bomb was headed towards him, and he’d probably just wonder aloud if he had time for a quick cup of coffee before it got there) was starting to become concerned. A quick call to Terry’s family, however, who he’d eaten dinner with the day before, confirmed that they were all suffering similarly: the obvious conclusion was that it must have been something they’d eaten.
The problem was, though, that Terry didn’t ever really seem to shake off that bug. Sure, he’d be OK for weeks at a time, but every so often he’d be violently sick, for no reason we could think of. He went to see his doctor, of course, who seemed completely unconcerned. “Acid reflux,” he said. “Take antacid, avoid greasy food and elevate the head of your bed.” Terry did all of these things, but nothing seemed to work. In that first year of living together I grew used to him getting into bed and then, a few minutes later, throwing the covers off himself and rushing to the bathroom to be sick. (It was hard not to take it personally, to be honest. I mean, I know I look different without my makeup, but for someone to actually throw up at the sight of me?)
I worried obsessively about all of this. I think he did too, although he would never have admitted it. Still, though, we failed to make any connection between his existing kidney condition and this new acid-reflux. After all, the doctors didn’t seem worried, so why should we?
That December, we went to Las Vegas and got engaged. I don’t think Terry got more than a few hour’s sleep that whole week. The reflux was, by that point, the worst it had ever been. He couldn’t lie down AT ALL without feeling sick – I could actually HEAR the acid gurgling in the base of his neck – so he tried to sleep sitting up, and couldn’t. By the end of the week, he was walking around looking like a ghost: it was obvious that there was something very wrong.
At the airport on the way home, I bought some trashy magazine, the name of which I can’t even recall. One of the articles was a “real life” story about a girl who’d gotten engaged, only to lose her fiance to cancer a few weeks later. The headline was something like, “The best day of my life was immediately followed by the worst!” It was real cheery stuff, I’m telling you. (It was one of those magazines that’s full of stories like that. “Ten Places You Didn’t Realise You Could Get Cancer!” “I Almost Died of a Brain Tumour: So Could You!” ”Aliens Captured My Cat!” You get the picture.) I couldn’t get that story out of my head, though. This is what would happen to us, I thought. There was no way Fate would let me be happy and enjoy my engagement. I would be just like the girl in that magazine, and the proof was sitting right there beside me, looking like Banquo’s ghost. In a way, I almost felt like preparing myself for the worst was a way of circumventing it. I mean, what were the odds of the thing I feared the most actually coming to pass? It would be like someone who’d spent their entire life being terrified of lighting being the one to be struck by it: sure, it could happen, but it wasn’t all that likely. Was it?
When we got home, Terry told me he wouldn’t be going back to work: instead he booked an emergency appointment with his doctor, and I sat at my desk at work, showing my engagement ring to my colleagues when they asked, and feeling totally unable to accept their congratulations. I knew I wouldn’t be getting married. I knew it was just a matter of time before I got the call confirming my worst fears.
The call came on Christmas Eve, at lunchtime. I was in a store at the time, buying Terry’s Christmas present. I remember watching the assistant lift it down from the shelf, and wondering if this was the last gift I would ever get to buy for him, or whether he would be around to actually use it. (It was a Gameboy Advance. They were, like, so totally cool back then.) It’s only now, as I write that down, that I realise how ridiculous it sounds. I was SO SURE there was something seriously wrong. So sure. And yet… I’m a hypochondriac. A born worrier. I’m almost ALWAYS sure there’s something terribly wrong with someone I love. And again, I was using this knowledge almost as a comfort blanket. I’ve felt this way before. I’ve had these fears before. I was wrong then, I could be wrong now.
It was the only time I was ever right about anything. It gives me no joy to say that.
When my phone rung, I could tell right away that Terry was horribly upset. “You’ll never believe what the doctor said to me,” he began. I turned and walked out of the shop, my stomach churning.
The conversation, it turned out, had started with the words, “I’m afraid I have some very bad news.” Well, you never want to hear THOSE words, do you? The “bad news”, however, turned out to be no news at all to Terry. “You have something wrong with your kidneys,” the doctor began, before Terry interrupted him. “Wait,” he said, “I already know I have something wrong with my kidneys. Is this the same thing?”
A pause, and a lot of rustling while the doctor checked Terry’s file.
“Oh,” he said, sounding sheepish. “I didn’t realise this had already been diagnosed. Yes, it’s the thing you already know about.” He went on to say that while Terry’s condition seemed to have gotten a little worse, according to the bloodwork they’d done that day, it wasn’t a significant enough change to suggest this was the reason for the acid reflux. “I’ll make an appointment for you with a kidney specialist sometime in the New Year, anyway,” the doctor said, “Just to be sure.” In the meantime, Terry was to continue with the antacids. Awesome.
That night we drove to my parents’ house. We spent the night there, and exchanged gifts with them on Christmas morning before driving to Terry’s mum’s house to spend a bit of time with her and the rest of Terry’s family. On the way back to my parents’ place for dinner, Terry suggested we stop off at home to drop off some of the gifts we’d received, and while we were there, he checked the messages on the answerphone.
One new message.
It was Terry’s doctor.
He’d contacted the kidney department at the local hospital, and a consultant there had looked at Terry’s blood results. The consultant was so concerned by what he’d seen that he’d booked an emergency appointment for the very next day.
9am, Boxing Day. They don’t ask you to come into hospital then unless there’s something pretty seriously wrong, do they?
We drove to my parents’ house in silence, and when we got there Terry switched off the engine and we sat there for a few minutes.
“Look,” said Terry, as if continuing a silent conversation we’d been conducting all the way there, “It’s no big deal. Worst case scenario, they just give me a transplant, or hook me up to a dialysis machine or something. It’s not the end of the world.”
It felt like it though. And as I sat there in that car, on Christmas Day 2003, I remember feeling that I’d somehow slipped out of my body and into someone else’s life. “Transplant” and “dialysis” were words so foreign to me that Terry may as well have been speaking another language. Transplants were things that happened in movies, and to other people. They weren’t something that happened to us. Terry was a kind-hearted man in his twenties, who’d just got his first job out of university, bought his first house, gotten engaged. We had a small white wolf dog, and a wedding to plan. I, meanwhile, was… well, I was a bit of an idiot, really. Just a silly, slightly neurotic girl who’d lived a pretty privileged life up to that point, and who couldn’t really imagine anything different. I was as ill-equipped as it’s possible to be for what lay ahead of us: I mean, you’ve all seen how badly I handle the idea that a holiday could be cancelled, so the news that the plans I’d made for the rest of my life could be cancelled made my brain pretty much short-circuit. I had absolutely no idea how I would handle it, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to. I didn’t even know what dialysis WAS, for Christ’s sake.
It wasn’t the best Christmas we’ve ever had.
And the next day we got up, drove to hospital, and everything changed.
(To be continued…)
I’ve written this post in advance, so think of me today as a kind of ghostly voice from the past, if you will. (Aside: every time I schedule posts in advance for this site, I always worry about what will happen if I somehow manage to die between the time of writing and the time of publication, and my grieving friends are subjected to seeing me pop up on the Internets and start babbling about some random crap. I guess that would make it seem like even more of a ghostly voice from the past, hmm?)
Today is the 10th anniversary of my first “date” with Terry. I’ve put that word in quotations because… let’s just say it was an office Christmas party and I’ll let your minds fill in the blanks. We’ve been together ever since, however, and while we’re off celebrating in the sun, hopefully with champagne and extravagant gifts, I thought I’d leave you all with a quick retrospective of our previous anniversaries: the Ghost Of Anniversaries Past, you could say. So, I get the champagne, you get this blog post. Yeah, you kinda drew the short straw there, didn’t you?
Well. After all of the fun and games of the past few days, I’m relieved to report that the NHS have had a dramatic change of heart, and decided that they WILL be offering Terry the swine flu vaccination after all – but only because they had a cancellation. He’s getting the injection tomorrow, which is good news, although I have to say, some of the comments on yesterday’s post, in which people reported almost dying from the vaccination itself have freaked me out good, so it looks like we’re in for another couple of days of The Panic while we wait to see what happens.
I’m still angry, though. I’m angry that we had to fight so hard to get this, and I’m now wondering about all of the OTHER people with serious health conditions (cancer patients on chemo, other transplant/dialysis patients etc) in our area who probably WON’T be getting it – or at least not for a while. The only reason Terry is getting the vaccine is because we were prepared to make a fuss about it (And to answer some of the comments from yesterday, yes, my next step would have been to take it to the media, and invite them to clean up the mess they’ve apparently helped to create.). Many other people won’t do that, though, because they won’t know about the “pregnant women only” policy currently in effect, and that seems very unfair to me.
All of this aside, though, I’m glad Terry will get the vaccination, although terrified by some of the stories I’ve been hearing about possible horrendous side-effects. Needless to say, I’ll be glad when all this is over and I can go back to worrying about normal, non life-threatening issues.
Isn’t it about time for my holiday yet?
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Terry and I would both be eligible for the swine flu vaccination when it became available: Terry because he is in a high risk group for serious complications (read: death) if he caught this flu, and me because I live with him and could pass it on.
Well, last week our area finally got some supplies of the H1N1 vaccine. And they’re refusing to give it to either of us. Terry called his doctor’s surgery three times last week. Each time he was told that, why, of COURSE he couldn’t have the vaccine! Only pregnant women can get the vaccine, because obviously only pregnant women can die from flu, d’uh!
Now, before I go any further here, I should first of all say that I’m all for pregnant women being vaccinated. Of course I am. They do seem to be at higher risk than most of us, and so obviously they should be one of the priority groups. ONE of the priority groups. Because, actually, pregnant women aren’t the ONLY people at serious risk from swine flu – or any other flu, for that matter. Absolutely not. Terry is a transplant recipient. Every day he takes immunosuppressants which basically leave him with no immune system whatsoever. A bad dose of flu could be really serious for him, and that’s not just my paranoia speaking: it’s what we’ve been told by Terry’s doctors, and it’s why he gets the regular flu jab every year.
He’s not getting this one, though. Because he’s not pregnant. On Friday, his doctor called him and said that, contrary to the information the NHS have been churning out for months now about how they will be offering the vaccination to people with chronic health conditions, where we live they will ONLY vaccinate pregnant women . Our health centre, which serves a population of tens of thousands of people, you see, was only given 100 doses of the vaccine and they’ve decided to use it on pregnant women only. (For the moment, anyway. If and when they get any more supplies of the vaccine, they might think about giving it to people with serious underlying health conditions, but only if there are no pregnant people to give it to first.)
And the reason for this?
Yes, Terry’s doctor admitted to him that although Terry is in a high risk group and should be given the vaccine, media pressure has forced the NHS here to make the decision only to vaccinate pregnant women. This is despite the following information, from the NHS’s own website :
I’m on immunosuppressants. Am I more at risk of catching swine flu?
Yes. If you take immunosuppressants you have a greater risk of becoming infected with any virus, including swine flu, and will be less able to fight it off once you have it.
That’s what they say on their website. What they say in real life, however, is basically, “Good luck with that! Hope you survive the winter!” In other words: screw you.
I’m not bothered about getting the vaccine myself at this point. I would take it if it was offered, but I agree that there are people who need it more than I do. There aren’t many people who need it more than Terry does, though, and I just can’t understand why he should be refused it just because the media says so. Hell, lots of other people with chronic health problems have ALREADY been vaccinated in other parts of the county, but where we live we’ve had to wait until November to get any vaccine at all, and even then we only get enough for 100 people, all of whom must be pregnant to qualify. And that’s fair HOW?
So, I’m pretty disgusted – to put it mildly – that, by their own admission, the NHS is more interested in what the media says about them than in actually saving people’s lives. I’m outraged to find that the media now apparently gets to make important decisions on health care. But most of all, I’m just really, really frightened about what will happen if Terry gets this bug. This is the reality of life with a transplant for us. The fear never really goes away. You don’t just get the transplant and then go back to living a normal life. You have to spend the rest of your life worrying about it, and fighting endless battles to get the care you need. We don’t even have the option of going private and paying for the vaccine (which we would resent, but would do if we had to) because the private sector don’t have it, apparently. So we’re at the mercy of the NHS once again.
Terry has emailed his consultant at the hospital and asked what, if anything, can be done now. His consultant sounded almost as shocked as we were to be told that Terry “isn’t on the priority list” and confirmed that, yes, OF COURSE he should be offered this vaccine. He’s going to look into it and see what he can do to help. I’m just hoping the answer isn’t going to be “nothing”.
* Figuratively speaking
… and Terry’s kidney is absolutely fine, nothing to see here, move along please and all that jazz. All of the blood results were in the “best they could possibly be” range, and now that’s been confirmed I can go ahead and admit that I? Was totally freaked out by yesterday’s test. Not that I really thought there was anything wrong with Terry, I hasten to add: this is a man who takes eight gym classes a week and goes rock climbing on the weekends, so it was pretty clear he was in fighting form, but… it was the date. The date worried me. The universe, you see, has a funny way of messing with me, and making sure that what SHOULD be happy dates in my life become memorable for all the wrong reasons.
December 15, 2003 – Terry and I get engaged. Whoopee!
December 15, 2005 – Terry has a kidney transplant. Damn.
And, OK, the transplant was technically a “good” thing. But it’s all relative, isn’t it? I mean, it wasn’t such a good day compared to, say, all of those days in our lives when Terry HADN’T needed a transplant. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that getting a transplant you badly need = good, actually needing a transplant in the first place = a bit of a bummer, to be honest. Could’ve totally lived without that one, thanks all the same, Universe.
(December 15th is also Terry’s “Name Day” in Greece, but that has no real relevance to this story. Just thought I’d throw it in for good measure, though.)
But it doesn’t stop there. For instance:
Boxing Day 2003 = the day Terry was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure, and a little bit of my sanity shattered forever.
Christmas Day 2005 = the day he got out of hospital.
Again, getting out of hospital is clearly a good thing. But what would’ve been even BETTER would’ve been if he’d never actually had to be in there in the first place. See?
Anyway, this strange habit of us spending meaningful or important days in our lives in hospitals has made me a little bit superstitious. I should say here that I’m not normally superstitious in the slightest - show me a ladder, and I will happily walk under it (something will probably fall on me, mind you, but that’s just par for the course with me) – but in respect of what we’ve come to call “That whole weird thing with the dates”, I will admit to just a smidge of superstition.
Which is why, when Terry and I had the following conversation a couple of months ago, I was left feeling ever so slightly concerned:
TERRY: I got my next appointment in for the transplant clinic. It’s for March 10th.
ME: But! But! That’s my birthday! OMG, That Whole Weird Thing With the Dates will happen again!
Two days later…
TERRY: So, I called the hospital and asked them to change the date of my appointment.
ME: Oh, you didn’t need to do that. [Thinks: you totally did, though] When did they move it to?
TERRY: March 31st
ME: So… they moved the appointment from my birthday to our wedding anniversary? Almost as if they are hell bent on doing the tests on a Significant Date?
TERRY: Oh. Yeah, I guess!
ME: We. Are. So. Screwed.
And so, while yesterday was a lovely day for us, and we were happy to be celebrating our 2nd anniversary (thanks for all the good wishes, by the way – much appreciated) there was also a small part of my brain that was, well, freaking the hell out, until the moment we got back from the restaurant and Terry checked the results online.
And all was well.
We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, obviously, but today we’re celebrating anyway, because as well as being Thanksgiving, today is also the day we got the results back from Terry’s latest round of blood tests.
This something we go through four times per year – something everyone with a transplant has to go through at regular intervals, in order to make sure everything’s still working the way it should. I don’t generally write about these tests here, because they’ve become part of our lives, but they’re something we have to live with – that particular brand of hell that is waiting for the results of medical tests to confirm to you that your life isn’t about to be torn apart once more.
That fear, of course, isn’t just a four-times-per-year thing, either. It’s something we live with every single day in life, and will have to live with forever, barring medical miracles. Had those tests come back today saying there was something wrong, there would’ve been no sunshine holiday for us, no happy Christmas: our lives would have, quite literally, changed overnight. We know this because it’s happened before.
So it’s not an easy thing to go through, this waiting. No matter how certain you are that everything’s OK, it’s hard to silence the “what ifs?” that whisper to you late at night that your life might once again be about to change.
It isn’t, though. The results that came back today were the best they’ve ever been – probably due to the fact that Terry’s worked hard these past few months to lose some weight and get fit. He’s probably healthier now than he’s been in years, and that’s quite an achievement when you consider that he’s a transplant recipient. The doctor described him as “the poster boy for transplants”. God, you all really want a new kidney now, don’t you?
So today I am thankful. I’m thankful that our lives get to remain the same. And, of course, I’m thankful to John, Terry’s brother and kidney donor, for saving them.
The more observant among you may have noticed that I haven’t exactly been on the ball with the ole blog-posting lately, and this is because it’s turning out to be a very long December indeed. Why is it, I wonder, that so many people choose the week before Christmas to embark upon complex new projects, which mostly revolve around sending me emails and asking me to, you know, do stuff? Why can they not just let me wind down gently, and sit around the house eating the chocolate from my advent calender and drinking the wine Terry bought for that party we’re going to on Saturday? WHY? And is is STILL not Christmas yet? Seriously? Because, I don’t know about you, but I am DONE with this whole “not yet being Christmas” thing. This time next week I’ll be passed out on the sofa, having eaten more food than I normally eat in a week and IT CANNOT COME FAST ENOUGH, is all I can say.
Yeah. I had no idea I was going to write all of that. What I meant to do was post more pictures because, well, it’s easier than writing actual words. Shut up. Anyway, here they are, the pictures I meant to post on Saturday, December 15th, 2007 – or “T-Day” as it’s known in our house – Transplant Day.
December 15th, 2003: This is the exact spot at the Grand Canyon where Terry and I got engaged.
December 15th, 2005 – Just a few of the pills Terry had to take weekly after his transplant – and I really mean “a few” – there were lots more back at the start. This picture wasn’t actually taken on T-Day itself, because, funnily enough, I didn’t have my camera with me that day. Terry has often asked me why this was, and my answer has always been: “Are you on crack, Terry?” Actually, the reason for the lack of photographic evidence of T-Day is explained by my total phobia of hospitals, illness and operations, and, of course, the fact that it was major surgery. And was SCARY. Just not really the kind of thing you feel like photographing, y’know?
T-Day 2007 passed far less eventfully than its predecessors, anyway. I spent it lolling around in bed, for the most part, enjoying a rare few hours when I didn’t have to work, and Terry spent it playing short tennis, which I guess is a good sign of how far we’ve come. (Not the me-lying-in-bed-until-noon bit, obviously. Because that’s just exactly the same as ever it was).
Anyway: happy belated T-Day Terry, John and the kidney you share. If you could pretend that you read this on the actual anniversary of the transplant, that would be great…