Thursday, 22 July 2010

A wee bit of history.

Well firstly, Hello :)

If you don't know me already I thought I better give you all a bit of background on myself so that everything else will make more sense.

Recently I've been reading a few online journals of people who have had lung-transplants and its inspired me to set up this funky wee blog to keep my friends and family (or whoever else fancies reading it!) updated on the process of my own lung-transplant - from being listed, the waiting time up till getting the big scary call and the long recovery process - and to help raise awareness of my condition and organ donation. Also I've been told that writing things down can be pretty therapeutic, which should come in handy cause this part of my life will probably be the toughest bit so far! I've never been very good at saying how I feel or even talking about things so you'll need to bare with me if I suck at it to start with :P

So anyway I best start explaining myself then...

I was born with Cystic Fibrosis. I'm not going to bother explaining what it is or what its effects are because anyone who knows me will already know these details. And I'm guessing if you don't know me personally and are reading this then you'll also be aware of CF, either by suffering from it yourself or knowing of someone else who has it.
A few days after the new year of 2010 I was admitted into Gartnavel General Hospital with pneumonia and was stuck in there for 7 straight weeks. From that infection my health deteriorated rapidly and since then I've never really picked back up again. Being left dependant on oxygen 24/7, a very restricted lifestyle and with very little independence (which is pretty tough going considering I'm only 18 and everyone my age is out making their career possible, partying, dancing, running, laughing and generally just living). So the doctors decided that the only option to give me the possibility of living past the next 2 years was if I was to receive a double-lung transplant. Scary stuff huh? I'm just so thankful that I have that possibility and that, if all goes well, I could have a whole other chance at life!
I was sent for my transplant assessment down at the Freeman hospital in Newcastle which is where they perform the lung-transplants. After 4 days of tests and monitoring, I was told that I was going to be placed on the transplant list, providing the lab can sort out some lab-y type stuff involving a few nasty bugs I have in my lungs that may make the transplant a bit more difficult. So since its only been about 4 weeks since I was down there, we're still waiting on these microbiology results coming back but as soon as that's sorted my name will be added to the list!

Now I'll go back a bit further. Unlike most folk who are diagnosed with CF at birth or very early on in their lives I wasn't diagnosed until I was 4, which meant my lungs were already pretty damaged by this point. Ever since then I've been in and out of hospital for 2-week courses of IV's pretty regularly, usually every 8-12 weeks. Sometimes only making it home for 2-4 weeks but very rarely did I stay out longer than 8 weeks.
Despite this I never let it hold me back! I worked hard at school and done very well in my first set of exams. Annoyingly I never made it to the end of my highers or finished my Photography course at college because of too much time in hospital and falling too far behind (theres only so much you can teach yourself out of books and highers are difficult when your there 100% of the time).
I always had some kind of hobby growing up and was always pretty damn busy. Dancing, swimming, cycling, horse riding, ice skating, craft making, photography, volunteer work with the elderly, going to gigs, parties and everything else that all my friends were doing at the time. I even learned to played the flute to a pretty good grade for 7 years, the saxophone to a similar grade for 4 years and the piccolo for 5 years. Being able to play three woodwind instruments when you have a life-threatening lung condition is something I'm pretty proud of to be quite honest!

After spending my whole life fighting against CF to live pretty much normally, its quite hard to swallow the fact that now I only leave the house for a few hours on average about once or twice a week, only walk for about 5 minutes before having to stop and sit down to catch my breath, and struggle with even the most basic things like taking a shower (no jokes about me being smelly cause I do wash!), walking up the stairs and making my bed. I rely a lot on other people like my Mum, boyfriend Dean and best friend Kirstie to help me which isn't exactly what I had in mind that my life would be like at 18.

But now I have the hope of getting a second chance at life to be young, independent and better than I've ever been. Roll on those new lungs!!

10 comments (+add yours?)

Brian Leslie said...

Crackin idea wee yin. I am not one for being overly sentimental most of the time but your wee blog has inspired me to be a wee bit sentimental and possibly a wee bit soppy for me. I think you are an inspiration to all people whether they have CF or not. Your spirit and attitude are something quite special and it is a pleasure to know you. I'm sure you have your moments that test your spirit and attitude and make it difficult for you to be smiley and determined but you always seem to bounce back and every time I meet you you are the epitome of how life should be viewed and led. Many people, me included, get down and defeated easily by insignificant issues but when I read this I feel kinda dumb cos my problems are quite superficial. You have a lot to teach other people and you defo make others lives better just by being you. That and you are a very good driver!! I look forward to keeping reading your blog and will be fascinated to read the ones after you get the transplant where you are able to dance, run and wash (kiddin) again. B

Tori said...

Hey hun!!! Yay you set it up. Good first post!!

Woodwind instruments, nice!!!

Look forward to reading more.

Love V xx

Stuart said...

Your getting everything over in a concise, intelligent and personal way, as well as a little heartbreaking!

Your tenacity has always been staggering and a kick in the pants to me when I feel life being harsh! I started a blog for much the same therapeutic reasons it does help I think.

I have video of you on the piccalo... I think its a piccalo. I'll get it to you. I'm sure you can add it here :-)

Keep at it... love you!!

Rebecca Pollock said...

Up to a good grade? Lou you were amazing! Better than all of us! ( well maybe apart from graeme ;)

to say you had spirit was an understatement, you were truley tallented! Band camp times with you were hilarious and I'll NEVER forget that time we
all had to blow a paper note against the wall and you managed to do it for longerr! Such a troooper.

Great piece of writing love :)
Rebecca Pollock xxx

Emma said...

This is amazing! You are amazing :)

Stee said...

That was very inspirational indeed, I dont even know what else to say :O Stride on Lou ;) Xxx

Anonymous said...

louise ur the bravest,kindest,most loveing person i no thats why i named my baby after u and why ur my little ones godmother evry thing u hav gon thro and will go thro makes u stronger if i had one wish it wouldnt b to win the lotto it would to make you beter if i could giv u my lungs i would id save u in a hart beet. we hav allways been so cloce growing up and now ur an adult its even beter ur more like my little ss than my cuz u no i lve u sooooo much ithink this blog is a grate idear it helps others to c what its like in ur life and for u may b it helps just to write it down im so prowd of u miss davidson i wish i had ur spirit xxxxxx soz bout the speling not my strong point but u no what im tying to say i love u fore ever ur my girl xxxxxxxxxx love ur big cuz rhona xxxx

Jenny said...

Proper good idea Lou!

One those new lungs are up and running, there'll be no stopping you =]


Katie said...

Hi Louise,
Just read what you have written so far and it is amazing just like the author.You have a very wise head on your shoulders and you are one of the most admirable people I know. I shall follow your writings, although probably with a hankie in hand as I cry at everything now, even adverts!! (hormones). I have spent the day complaining as I am on crutches now but you have just given me a reality check, no more moaning from me. As for Neil, well he hasn't brought himself to read it yet, he is a big softy but likes to avoid emotions! Between this blog and Nana I'll probably know your every move from now on, ha.
Katie, x

Anonymous said...

Well done Lousie this is amazing and lets people know what a strong person you are and you never appear to be feeling down you alsways seem to look on the bright side of things. We are all so proud of you and hopefully you will be better soon keep your chin up hunni and that lovely smile on your face love you loads Uncle Billy, Shirley and kids xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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