Tuesday, March 11, 2008

fish heads and flip flops

Ok so I totally should have listened a bit more when people warned me of what a ‘crazy’ city Manila is. That’s a total understatement. It appears that the Filipinos do not understand what an indicator is on a car, and so weave through lanes like there’s no tomorrow, honking madly as they do this. There’s also no seat belts so my Mum and I have been clinging on for dear life in the back. On the brightside a half an hour taxi ride is about 60p..which I can’t really complain about!

Manila is a huge city made up mainly of high rise towers and shanty towns, it’s also in a massive hazy, smoggy cloud which takes a while to get used to. Many people walk around with surgical masks here to stop them breathing in the dust. It’s summer here too which means it’s about mid thirties during the day, which is only bearable if there is a light breeze and a near by swimming pool to quickly jump in to.

Anyway, the flight over was absolutely fine - I cannot complain about Cathay Pacific at all ...selection of TV, music and films was awesome, watched 3 new movies and liked them all, and then lots of telly including a very educational documentry entitled 'Victoria Beckham comes to America'. Remind me to punch her in the back of the head if I ever see her.

Kidney wise, I think I underestimated how much work and meetings I would have to do here to actually find out a decent amount on transplants to give me enough information to make the hugest decision I will probably ever make which is whether to have the op abroad. Today I had a meeting with a doctor who I have been emailing off and on for about a year now, so it was really great to finally meet him. Was pretty amusing though as in all the time we had been emailing I don’t think I’d ever mentioned how old I was so he was pretty shocked when a 23 year old turned up and not ‘a frail old English woman’ like he had expected! He explained to me a lot about the processes people go through to have a transplant here, which shed a lot of light on things I was uncertain about. On the whole it gave me a lot to think about.

I had dialysis last night at the ‘local’ hospital (which is actually a 20 minute taxi ride away) and that was ok. I needn’t have worried about the cleanliness of it, and the nurses and hospital was super hygienic. I was obviously a bit of a novelty in the hospital as they insisted I had my own room, and even wheeled in a TV with loads of English DVDs for me. Nurses and Doctors also kept popping in all asking the obvious question..’so m’am why are you here?’, and not wanting to cause a national scandal I opted for mumbling something about seeing the nice sites in Manila…now seeing that there aren’t really any nice sites in Manila, I don’t think this was the most believable answer! So I got a lot of knowing looks, and even a wink from one nurse. So I’m thinking they may know the real reason why I am here! The actual dialysis was fine though, apart from they took some blood from me earlier in the day for tests and I swear the needles here are reminisant of straws. Ouch.

Anyway tomorrow I am going to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute and then on Thursday we are flying out to an island called Cebu, to meet another kidney transplant organiser company. Until then here are a few snaps I took today…

flip flop?

the youngest shop keeper in manila does a bit of DIY on her stall.

the manila bay sunset


my mum and the biggest ice cream sundae ever

jeepneys - hold on for your life. (note ironic sign 'fasten your seatbelt' - I would if the cars ever had them!)


Emmie said...

Hi Holly, I've just seen this and thought of you: http://www.hc2d.co.uk/content.php?contentId=6577 Thought I'd pass it on in case you haven't seen it. I'm sure the trip to such a lovely place was worthwile anyway though :o) xxx

Anonymous said...

I have just started leaving your blog - what happened, did you decide against proceeding with the tx, or did it happen and was not successful?

Anonymous said...

Sorry - am a bit illiterate today, I meant I have just started READING your blog ...

Holly said...

Hi Mandy

Thanks for your message - I've just written a post filling everyone in on the outcome - here's the link http://questforakidney.blogspot.com/2008/09/fish-heads-and-flip-flops-part-2-long.html

Kind regards


mavis said...

Hi mandy,

some questions i would like to ask you regarding kidney transplants. would you be able to send me an email at mavistoh@hotmail.com?

tks so much. this is urgent.