The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

A Quiet Day In And An Anxious Evening

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October 5, 2011

The balance of Tuesday evening was spent with a bit of small talk after Terry and his family left. After Jenny went upstairs, Nat and I sat back and watched a special program on BBC1 about Transplants. I had seen the program listed in the guide and knew Nat would be extremely interested. This special was going to show how 5 patients benefited from the donation of organs from one woman in her 60’s who had died of a brain tumor and how each recipient patient got on afterward. It would also follow how the donor’s family coped with their lives during this whole procedure. As most donor families wish to remain anonymous, it took BBC1 some convincing to find a family to tell their story, but they managed to find one that were quite willing to tell their story only because of their experience after loosing a Wife and Mother. It was after their loss and seeing the results of their generous donations that they truly believed their story would help convince other families to donate organs when the time came.

Not being a lover of watching violence or anything of that sort, I still had to admit to being curious myself, so I stayed up with Nat and we watched together. We both sat there transfixed on the show. Suddenly everything the two of us had been through together with my transplant, came rushing back to us. I could see the tears begin to swell a bit in Nat’s eyes. His worries and memories came back from his and our families points of view, and my worries and memories came back from the point of view of each patient. The program was that engrossing I was able to watch portions of the organ retrieval procedures and the organ transplants themselves, only having to look away during certain portions. We had also found it very informative as we watched how each step of the whole procedure progressed, from each Transplant Organizer receiving the call an organ was found, the procedure of retrieval, the checking of each organ to see if it was fit, the cross-matching and then the transport of each organ via special courier, helicopter and cross-town transport.

The most tearful portion was the end, as the donor’s Husband read a letter received from the Organ Transplant organization advising them where each of their loved one’s organs had gone, a little bit of history about each patient and how they were doing today. There wasn’t enough Kleenex that could have wiped our tears watching this very generous and loving man and his daughter.

Once the program was over, we sat and talked for a few minutes reliving what each of us had been through and we were grateful for how our lives had turned out.

This morning (Wednesday) we all awoke at our usual times, which showed how we had each settled back into our usual habits. The weather this morning was looking a little iffy, cloudy and windy, so the three of us decided to stay put, keep warm and relax.

With another nice meal, we sat down to watch Emmerdale and then a special program, “The Pride of Britain” where celebrities handed out awards to citizens that were voted by a selection committee as being heroic. Half way through the show Jenny received a call from Nat. His wife, Natalie, had fallen “up” concrete stairs at her son, Matthew’s, school. It was Matthew that found her and after being taken to a room by staff, she was taken to hospital to be checked. She had wounded her chin, her chest was all scratched with abrasions, part of her leg or knee was badly scraped and she was pretty shaken up, as was Matthew.

After a long and arduous battle with cancer, naturally everyone was concerned for Natalie, especially her hubby, Nat. Being away on business in Edinburgh, Nat advised he couldn’t catch the 9:00 pm train to Newcastle as it had been cancelled and could only catch the next one at 9:45 pm. Frustrated and anxious, Nat called again after he had boarded his train and was well on his way to Newcastle to give us an update. Natalie would be released later that evening once the cut on her chin was “glued”, and after x-rays for her knee that may also need medical attention. Hubby Nat was a bit relieved that he would at least be able to take Natalie home where she could recover in her own bed. We were all relieved at the news and would wait to see how she was feeling in the morning.

Thursday, Nat and I will be going into Newcastle to the Metro Centre (a huge 2-storey mall) where we’ll wander around for most of the day and we’ll pick up our rental car and attempt to drive home on our own. So if you don’t here from me for awhile, you’ll know Nat and I are driving around and around and around a round-about, looking for how to get back home.

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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