Monday, March 30, 2009

down south

We've just returned from a few days 'down south' in Dunsborough. We stayed in a little youth hostel on Geographe Bay, which was one of the most stunning beaches I have ever seen. The water was so calm and clear, with lots of little fishes swimming about - and a huge sting ray too!

We spent the rest of the weekend exploring, rock climbing, reading, swimming, surfer spotting, kangaroo stalking and of course playing Block Tumbler aka Jenga...I totally need to go in to training for this game, I seem to manage to knock the tower down everytime.

Tonight we're off for a BBQ down at the river which'll be lovely. - Hannah is making home made burgers as well as her own onion relish and BBQ sauce - GBK eat your heart out! I'm going to don my dolphin spotting goggles in the hope that I see one.

Not long till I am back in London now, and luckily I have got lots to look forward to when I get back which will hopefully take the holiday blues away a bit. It's Donor Day on the 7th April which is really exciting - and Oli is coming down from Leeds for that too which is great. The film that I produced called Finding Sol is also premiering on the 9th, so that will be a nerve wracking yet exciting evening... and I've also got a few exciting projects coming up, which I am really keen to get on with...more on that soon!

Conor does a spot of break dancing on Eagle Bay


Sunday, March 29, 2009

road trip

road trip, originally uploaded by Holly Cocker.

Just got back from an awesome road trip to Dunsborough, which is south of Perth. Will post a proper blog with more photos tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

rottness island, snorkelling and quokkas

I'm having the most wonderful, relaxing time here. Yesterday Hannah and I got on a 30 minute ferry from Perth to the near by Rottness Island - a totally unspoiled island, which doesn't allow cars and homes beautiful white sandy beaches. The island is also the only place in the world where quokkas live. Quokkas are a mix between a kangaroo and a rat bizarrely! About the size of a cat, the hop along like a kangaroo and are really friendly. Too cute. We rented bikes and snorkelling equipment, was the perfect day.

Little Parakeet Bay on Rottness Island

Hannah, Conor and me on Cottesloe beach one evening

Little Parakeet Bay

A quokka!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

happy dances!

5 films, 3 in flight meals, 2 seats to myself and one questioning over dodgy passport photo... I have arrived!

Han and me with white chocolate ice cream, crushed up with peanut butter and Oreo cookie....mmmmm

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wellness update

I hardly dare say anything at all when it comes to my UTI and Australia due to trying not to tempt fate! But I'll say this - Mean ol' UTI has run off leaving me feel about a million times better...Doctor's have given all clear for me to go away - (exact words from consultant "3 weeks of sun and rest will do you the world of good") so it's looking very hopeful....

Donor Day

A friend of mine, Holly Shaw, has been working really hard on her Battlefront Campaign that I have mentioned in previous posts. She has come up with the absolutely awesome idea of holding a Donor Day on 7th April.

Here's some more info from the lovely lady herself...

What is Donor Day?

To mark World Health Day (7 April 2009), I am organising a Donor Day to raise more awareness of Organ Donation and to encourage more people across the UK to sign up to the Organ Donor Register.

Donor Desk

I am setting up a Donor Desk in a public space in London to talk to people about Organ Donation and encouraging them to be pro-active and sign up. Leaflets will be available to people who want more information about it. A laptop will be to hand so people can sign up on the spot via UK Transplant but you will still be able to sign up the ‘old fashioned’ way using the Organ Donor Registration Form.

Could you organise your own Donor Desk in a public place, health organisation or work place?

If you would like to get involved and set up your own Donor Desk all you would need is a desk, leaflets on Organ Donation, Registration leaflets/laptop and a person to man the desk!

Get involved... and get people to sign up!

If you are unable to hold your own Donor Desk but would still like to get involved you can do this without even having to leave your arm chair....Check this out....

Do get involved whether it be holding a Donor Desk or just spreading the word on Facebook.

I'm going to be helping Holly out on the day. I'll post more details about where our desks will be so do pop down and say hello if you happen to be in the area!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

a short stay at club hospital

Guess my last post must have tempted fate a bit, as only 24 hours after I wrote it I started to feel unwell and felt the signs of a UTI coming along.

I phoned my unit straight away on Monday morning explaining that I didn't feel well, and as advised I rushed down to the hospital with a urine sample. Although they usually test the urine there and then, bizarrely they told me I couldn't have the results for 24 hours so I headed home feeling a little disappointed that nothing could be done till the next day.

A few hours later I really started to feel the full effects of the infection and started to go hot and cold and experience what I now know is called a rigor. I felt really ill and when I saw I also had a rash my parents quickly drove me down to the Renal Rapid Assessment Unit at my hospital...kind of like an A & E for kidney patients...without the queues and obligatory kid with a saucepan stuck on his head. They immediately tested my urine and informed me that I did have an infection and because of the said 'rigor' and raised heart rate they asked me to stay overnight whilst they pumped me full of IV antibiotics and fluids. I was happy to oblige, desperately worried that my kidney was going to get affected too.

Unfortunately there wasn't a bed available and and so we had to endure a 5 hour wait with me lying on two chairs shaking under a coat. Not ideal, and by this point I was feeling even worse. I finally got a bed and my antibiotics at 1am and having had lots of allergic reactions to dodgy ones in the past Dan stayed with me until I had passed the point of a reaction - no swollen right hand and itchiness this time...phew.

Everyone who has ever stayed in hospital over night will know that ironically the hospital is the place where one will get the least rest. Over night I was prodded and poked and even woken up by a SHO to ask what my name was....did she not spot the bright orange folder at the end of my bed with my name on in big letters? Asking for more paracetamol proved to a problem too, the nurses lock all meds in a drawer beside the bed and it took me no less than 3 hours in the middle of the night to get someone to unlock this. (One male nurse constantly used the excuse that there was a 'cardiac crisis' and he was too busy to help...and then proceeded to loiter about in the corridors outside the ward...he's certainly off my Christmas list)

By morning, the antibiotics had kicked in a little so I did feel a bit better and was sent off for an ultrasound of my kidney to check everything was ok. Luckily Kasper appeared to have not noticed my glaringly great UTI and was happily doing his job. My creatinine was normal too, so the doctors were happy that everything was ok in that area.

Extreme borderm kicked in mid afternoon and so I volunteered (or rather the consultant persuaded me) to be a patient in a test for some final year medical students. Basically this involved me lying on the bed, without saying a word about what was wrong with me (past or present) and various students filing in and having to examine me and guess what my diagnosis was. The first guy who came in was shaking like a leave and clammily checked my pulse and then had a look at my tummy. After a little poke and prode and a lot of umming and ahhing he looked up to his superior and announced 'my conclusion is that the patient has recently undergone a appendectomy.' Now the small fact that I was on a renal unit and that this meant that I might have possibly, perhaps maybe have had a kidney transplant seemed not to enter his head. Even when the senior consultant helpfully suggested that he measure the 'mound' under my skin and describe it..."Er...about 4 fingers by 4 fingers...bean shape maybe..."
"Right yes, so what could be - er - transplanted under the skin in that area?"
Student thinks for a minute.
*ping* Light bulb in student's head flickers on.
Student strikes victorious hand in air and announces 'a kidney!'
Cue solemn slow nodding from consultant.
I must add though, that the girl that went after him was excellent and not only noticed my transplant but picked up on a lot of other things perhaps there is hope for the future doctor generation!

Anyway, later on to my dismay I was told I had to stay another night....I wasn't too happy about this, knowing that this involved another night with no sleep (a champion snorer had moved in opposite me - perhaps from the same training squad as the lady I shared a room with after my transplant?) and the next day I woke up feeling even more tired and fed up. The doctors came round and told me I had to stay another night, which by this point I literally begged to be let home for some proper sleep. Shortly after they left a junior doctor scooted in with the good news that I could leave...I was in slight disbelieve at this could they have changed their minds so quickly? Apparently they had had a change of heart and thought I'd actually improve quicker at home. Thank god, I couldn't put up with another day of half a cup of green mushroom soup for lunch.

I'm at home now, and feeling better than yesterday. I am praying I will still be able to go to Australia in week, but I know that my health is way more important than a holiday and there's no way I will do anything that could potentially jepardise Kasper. So I just need to rest and relax as much as I can now and hope for the best. Have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow so will see how that goes....