T + 632 Down and Dirty
I went to the Transplant clinic yesterday for the first time since I started reducing my ciclosporin dose and also the first time since my consultant moved to another hospital.
I was seen by one of the other consultants whom I had seen once before when my original consultant was on maternity leave. I asked her, the new consultant, if this was a permanent transfer or if she was just a caretaker manager for me and she confirmed that she will be my consultant form now on.
Sorry if that all seems rather badly worded, it is one of the consequences ensuring the blog remains anonymous with respect to the medical staff and indeed anyone who isn't friends or family. That is fairer to them and gives me more freedom to speak my mind about them as well should it ever come to that. I'm pleased to say that my care has been excellent and I am very grateful for that.
So to the business of the consultation itself. It was relatively short as things are still heading on track and my GVHD is so far behaving itself as I reduce my ciclosporin dose. To that end I am reducing my dose further to 30mg twice a day and going back in six weeks for my next review. ( If I extrapolate from that then in about 24 weeks from now I should be off the ciclosporin completely but lets not get carried away.)
As I was with a new consultant I thought I would just go over my current regime to check she was happy with everything that I was doing. That is basically the precautions I outlined in my blog post the other day. The excellent news is that she said I no longer need to follow the clean diet and I can eat what I like and where I like. Subject of course to the same sensible precautions that anyone would take, so I won't be eating at just any old greasy spoon café.
This is great news and in particular I will look forward to eating lettuce and tomato and other salad veg on my sandwiches. I got the impression from the way my consultant answered that I could have come off the clean diet a while ago but it hasn't done me any harm being on it for longer than was strictly necessary I'm sure. ( Apart from maybe feeling a bit guilty when I have snuck the occasional lettuce leaf or spoonful of yoghurt.)
As it is approaching holiday season the consultant reminded me I need to stay out of the sun to avoid aggravating my GVHD and also that I wasn't allowed to go swimming. I know that will be the final proof of my immune system's return to normality when I am allowed to go swimming in public baths.
Writing & Reunion
As you can see from the widget at the top of the blog I am doing well with my fund raising and that total doesn't include the money from the dozen or sales of my book yet as the printing company pays in single monthly installements. However if you haven't yet ordered your copy or made a donation then please consider doing so.
On the writing front I've written a short story for entry into a competition being run by a podcast that I listen to. It's what is known as a Flash Fiction competition which is the name given to stories with very low word limits. In this case it is 500 words. All the stories will be published on the podcasts' forum pages with the authors' names removed and then the members of the forum ( any listener of the podcast basically ) get to vote on their favourite stories in a series of play offs for the want of a better word.
The three winners get paid for their contribution and have it recorded professionally as one of the podcast episodes.
The nature of the voting process means it's against the rules to garner support for your entry; it must stand on its own merits, so for that reason I won't say anymore about the competition or my entry into it other than to say I'm quite pleased with my effort and I will be interested to see if it makes it past the initial voting rounds.
The judging will be over by the end of July and then I'll be able to tell you how I did and let you see the story if you are interested.
You are allowed to enter two stories and the closing date for entries is not until the end of June so if inspiration strikes then I may enter another story.