Chapter IX: Nothing that ends in a gift ends in nothing.

Mum arrived in the UK (again!) in mid-November, but until she did, my poor friends had to put up with me! My drugged, anxious, sick, tired, generally unstable self was certainly not the best company ever! Turns out, transplant recovery is not for wimps. It. Was. Hard.

Fortunately they understood why, and were brilliant at distracting me. As soon as I reached the point where I had more good hours in a day than bad ones, they merrily dragged me here, there and everywhere in an effort to stop me thinking about how ill I sometimes still felt. We went not only all around Manchester, but also to York, Liverpool and Edinburgh! This probably isn’t what most people would opt for in the first weeks after a kidney transplant, but it worked for me. It’s something I love to do, so it felt normal.

nothing that ends in a gift ends in nothing; Exactly two months after my transplant, I was in Edinburgh visiting Laurie. While we were in the Botanic Gardens we stumbled upon the National Memorial for Organ and Tissue Donors in Scotland. In the middle of it was a stone circle with these words as a border.
My donor’s memorial candle in York Minster. I am the least religious person you will ever meet, but some things just feel right.

As painful, anxious and difficult as the first few weeks (months!) post transplant were, I look back at them now and smile.

“Thanks for not thinking I was nuts when I cried about ridiculous things, or did stuff that was weird or out of character. It really helped hearing “You can do this” and “You’re doing really well.” every time I worried that maybe I couldn’t or wasn’t. I never felt like you were judging me, only encouraging me to be excited and look forward to what life will be like when I’m healthy for what feels like the first time in a hundred years! I. Can’t. Wait. I could not have asked for better friends.”

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