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2006 - July 6th - Thursday

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE HIPPO LADY!  JH set out from home at 0820 – for train departing at 0900 - and only just remembered, when on the bus, that her Senior Citizens’ Pass could not be used: fortunately she had the change to pay.  At Plymouth Station, surprise, surprise, the staff at the ticket barrier (only fairly recently installed) immediately spotted that the ‘OUT’ half of the return ticket was dated 24 June 2006 twice; a quick trip to the Ticket Office was undertaken; the ticket price was refunded onto JH’s Debit Card and then JH paid again for a ticket - the ‘OUT’ part of which did not expire for a month!  JH did express her concern about this mistake, on the ticket, and asked the ticket clerk to mention the anxiety caused to JH – especially as the latter had gone back to the station with this very query to Alison (name on receipt) who issued the tickets in the first place and also spoke to JH when she went to the station on the following day.


On the outward journey a modern young lady got on and sat across the aisle to JH; MYL could not work out which booked seat was hers so the lady and gent, sat at the table opposite her, studied her ticket and found the seat number; however, MYL decided to stay put and constantly chatted; she was writing in some sort of journal and asked the L&G how to spell many words in English.  JH had offered the information that a mistake had been made with her ticket, whereupon the L&G told JH that they were really in a party of 6 all on their way to accept a Youth Award of some sort which had been given to their daughter [who, unfortunately, had broken her ankle since - and was struggling up and down the train on crutches].  JH buried her nose in her book, so the L&G took the brunt of the MYL’s chatting; when the latter got up to go to the loo, JH remarked that she thought they were doing a grand job, to which the reply was that the L&G had teenagers of their own, and that they realised the MYL was on her first trip away from home and really very nervous; she was travelling to Gatwick Airport to fly to Europe to visit relatives.  Subsequently, one teenager – a son of 15 – came and sat with this nervous YL and became such a reassuring travelling companion for her, as they had mutual interests to talk about; also, JH noted that 15yr-old son had ulnar deviation of his fingers of both hands and had obviously had surgery thereon as the scars looked recent.  JH arrived promptly at Paddington just before 12.30pm; JH travelled to Whitechapel – changing at Edgware Road; her ticket was not accepted by the automatic barrier when coming out of the Underground but JH was waved through.  She arrived at the Hanbury Unit +/- 1.30pm but discovered that her appointment had, yet again, been changed back to the Renal Unit; as JH progressed through the long corridors, she was hailed by Kathy who was ‘on the look out’; apparently, the folks in the Renal Unit were still expecting JH at 1.00pm (although JH had been told that she could arrive during the afternoon prior to the Clinic finishing about 4.00pm).

However, within about 15min JH was seen by Dr Thuraisingham who was from somewhere in India or Pakistan, or even Bangladesh (must update this Diary when I can still remember)1.  After medical history taking, and examination, and some explanation on JH’s part about wanting to donate her kidney ‘for herself’, and never having had a moment’s doubt about doing so since offering – Dr T explained that, as JH’s blood pressure was up (and there was a bit of a family history of incipient hypertension) that, if JH’s blood pressure corrected with just one therapeutic agent (in an older person) that donation would still be acceptable; also Dr T observed that JH’s BMI was now 33 (as reported by JH having lost a stone at least) so this was under the ‘obesity’ level.

After JH had had a brief abdominal examination, and a bit of a chat – as above – Kathy was invited in.  Dr Thuraisingham explained that JH’s kidney was still acceptable – providing her blood pressure was controlled with one medicine; Dr Thuraisingham also told Kathy that, should she be offered a donor kidney from a younger (dead) patient, that she should ask if the patient had suffered from high blood pressure – because hypertension in a younger person causes more ‘damage’ to the kidneys more rapidly so that, in actual fact, the kidney would be less acceptable than a kidney from an older person with hypertension.  Kathy asked if she might receive a nice Christmas present, but Dr Thuraisingham said that the hospital was fully booked up until then: Dr Thuraisingham advised us that we could expect to be admitted for our operations in March 2007.

JH then met Ray Trevitt, the Live Transplant Co-ordinator, who went through a few things – such as risks to JH, etc, etc; JH checked that all her personal identification details were correctly recorded; Ray explained that he had a separate Patient Record to that held by the Hospital’s Medical Records Department; Ray gave JH his email address to give to Sara Stacey at Derriford.  Whist JH and Ray were having a conversation, the fire alarm went off – so we all decamped outside; Kathy was talking to a lady who had been the recipient of a kidney from her daughter – mother and daughter were fine after the operations but JH observes that said daughter was probably much younger than this potential donor – JH. 
JH and Kathy then went to the Good Companions [or was it the Good Samaritan?] round the corner; Kathy had a salad, but gave JH her garlic bread and tomatoes [because they contain potassium, JH subsequently learnt from Mary A] because she was on a ‘Protein Day’.  JH had a pot of tea and some crisps {and ate the garlic bread on train home}.  After Kathy had returned to her car [which walk Kathy allowed time for in view of her back operation in the 1980s which JH had forgotten about] JH looked at all the market stalls lining the north side of Whitechapel Road; JH returned to Paddington in time for the 1803 train back home; at Whitechapel Underground Station JH’s ticket was not accepted by the barrier – a Ticket Inspector informed JH that her ticket included travel on the underground only in Zone 1, whereas Whitechapel was in Zone 2!  JH said that this was another mistake made by Plymouth Ticket Office: in any event JH was just waved through.


On the train home JH sat next to a young man who informed her that he was on his way to do a 2/12 stint as a Dentist for the Navy in Plymouth; the YM had a nose bleed, which apparently was the first he had ever had; JH provided him with some paper tissues, and the YM subsequently got a clean shirt out of his luggage, as blood had dripped on to the white shirt which he was wearing.  JH had already ascertained that the book the YM was reading was about vampires.


After returning promptly to Plymouth, JH went to Su Watson’s house, on the 2121 bus from the City: JH explained to Su [who is one of JH’s Attorneys together with Sharon Lambert] about the impending donation of a kidney!  Veronika and Jinny were there.  Jinny explained that she would not have seen JH’s kidney function test results unless they were abnormal, which they patently were not as she had not seen them!  Action: JH to give booklet about transplants to Su to read, and also give Su a copy of this Document, as she expressed interest in reading JH’s Diary; Su said she would give these items to Sharon to read in due course.

1When JH saw Dr Shrikant at her post operative appointment on 120707 in Plymouth, he said most emphatically that ‘Thuraisingham’ was a Sri Lankan name.  Dr Shrikant is a Tamil from Sri Lanka.