Friday, September 19, 2008

Balloons, happy dances and more gold stars

I can barely write this as a) I am far too excited and b) I don’t want to jinx anything... Oli and I have been told the glorious news that we have been given the ‘final’ go ahead for the transplant! Hooray! I say ‘final’ as in my mind it won’t be final until we are being wheeled in to the operating theater but as far as the doctors are concerned it’s a go-er! Happy dances all around.

Oli and his Dad came down last week for a final day of hospital tests. It was all very slick and organized with us being whizzed from one doctory type to another. We met the surgeon who seemed to present an aura of sheer calmness which he transferred to all of us as he told us exactly what the operation would entail. Oli and I also both got the pleasure of lying down on an antiquated bed behind an old curtain whilst the surgeon had a little poke and prod and then showed us exactly where the scar would be. For me I get a little ‘hockey stick’ shaped one on the right of my tummy- it will kind of make a face when coupled with my PD scars which is definitely going to be something to show off. And Oli’s will go just under his ribs on his left side. A badge of honour.

We also met the independent adjudicator who seemed to warm to us once we produced not only photos and letters to prove we know each other but also documents with our old addresses on – to prove that we lived near each other and I didn’t just scoop Oli off the street one day offering him a fast car and a speed boat for his kidney. She then chatted to us individually (giving Oli a chance to escape if he wanted to I think!) and then answered any questions.

Oli also had an echo cardiogram in the morning, to just double check that his heart was healthy. And in true Oli style he scooped up another gold star as everything was fine.

We were told that we would get the final go ahead 48 hours later, and Oli and I skipped off into town to have some post hospital fun…

Here's Oli looking serious in an art installation at an exhibition we went to in Soho.

And me looking not so serious, outside Hamleys.

I honestly can’t believe it, I know as time passes my excitement and nervousness will triple by the day – and Oli seems to feel the same. Everyone seems utterly thrilled but a little nervous and almost not daring to talk about it, but a wise soul once told me that thinking positive thoughts can make a big difference in how things pan out, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do…

fish heads and flip flops part 2 - long overdue!

I received a message from someone this morning asking what happened with the whole Philippines saga. I realised that I didn't really explain what the actual outcome here it is... better late than never!

When I returned home from the Philippines I knew I had to make a huge decision, and I went into massive thinking mode and spoke to everyone I knew, gathering together the pros and cons of having a transplant in the Philippines. I swung from a definite yes to a definite no really quickly and then back again with everything that I'd seen and heard on my trip swimming around in my head. I even saw my consultant who although couldn't advise me to go, didn't tell me not to so I began to think it would be a good idea.

I was absolutely terrified if I'm honest, but at the time I didn't really see I had a choice. Fed up of waiting on the transplant list I decided I should go ahead with the operation in the Philippines. I was aware that there was a monatorium going on, preventing foreigners from having kidney transplants in the Philippines - I'd been told this when I was out there - but that it was very temporary - and that normal practice would start again in two weeks.

I emailed the company in the Philippines telling them that I wanted to go ahead with the transplant and oddly I didn't get an instant reply from them, which I always had done in the past. I waited a few days and then did a bit of googling about the monatorium, and to my surprise I saw that a total permanent ban had been put on all foreign transplants and the company that I had been dealing with had been closed down. So it looked like the decision had been made for me...I was slightly disappointed at first, but soon realised that this obviously was meant to be and that I wasn't supposed to go. Six months on I can see that it was definitely for the best, especially since all that has happened with Oli....more on that later....