Monday, 4 May 2015


I was scrolling through my Instagram photos earlier (Is this what we're slowly becoming programmed to do with our spare time, scroll?) when I came across the photo of my friend and ex housemate Ren, holding a sparkler as we celebrated my organs' (LivII, PancII and Duoduo) second birthday, which was back at the end of January.
I scrolled up again, and I was struck by how many wonderful and exciting things have happened to me since January 23rd this year, up until now. The exact same amount of time that in 2013, I was in hospital. I was finally set free in mid May, and god was I pleased!

I'm not a very snap-happy person - I don't whip out my camera at every opportunity (I forget I have cool technology sometimes). But according to Instagram, this year since January, in short, I have:

Done 3 work experience placements at dreamjob Penguin
Had one proper job as Publicity assistant at Random House
Been on dates
Been to many incredible gigs
Painted guitars
Had a spiral staircase constructed in my house
Converted my loft
Been to exhibitions
Been to see films
Had my 26th birthday
Got a new mirror
Taken a silly amount of photos of the sky
Got a new flatmate
Got bare drunk
Laughed so many times
Had epic parties
Fallen in love (maybe)
Had bloody amazing times with my mates

Same time two years ago,

Cough (can't cough, too sore!)
Try walk
Get poked by needles
Throw up
Throw up
Get wheeled about in a wheelchair
Get Picc lines put in
Throw up
(You get the idea. Repeat x6)

I basically was still lying in a hospital bed, and would only leave the confines of the Brompton hospital next week, after 4 incredibly long, incredibly hard, often incredibly upsetting months. Not weeks bitches, months. Not only did I have to recover from a transplant, and we've all seen so much over twitter and facebook about people's hard journeys leading up to, and post transplant. But I had shit lungs to deal with the whole time. I can't describe how hard this was. Anaesthesia bascially does what to the lungs what CF does - it thickens mucus, tightens airways, and stops your lungs clearing the gunk. The lungs basically shut down. I didn't wake up with perfect new lungs - I woke up with my old lungs, previously at 50%, now collapsed and consolidated, who had to fight the hardest they had fought just to keep up. Chest clearance was impossible due to the pain, and 2 months in my lungs were at 15%. Leaving the Brompton another 2 months after that, they were at 40%. It's been a long, slow road back up to 80%.

I'm so proud of the life i've been living in the same amount of time, from January to May, and how if it wasn't for that operation which yes, annoyingly took out a huge part of my life, I couldn't have done any of this. Hell, I wouldn't be here. My doctor said that by now, no doubt i'd have had a major internal bleed caused by the pressure on the portal system, and poof, I'd be gone. It's scary to think about, how ill I actually was.

I remember not really asking about what would happen if i didn't receive a new liver and it wasn't until after my operation, sometime last year, that my dad showed me a medical paper explaining how the bleeds I used to get (called variceal bleeds) would most definitely have killed me. (variceal bleeds are where blood vessels poke out of your oesophagus and then leak, or in end-stage cases, rupture, causing major internal, and unstoppable, bleeding. Dad then said how it would be like drowning, as blood rises up inside you. I went pretty white... I had had quite a few leaks, and as the liver gets more scarred, then greater the amount of pressure that builds up, and the greater the chance of a rupture (etc etc ew)).

But hello *waves*, this hasn't happened! I'm well, and filling my days with so much fun and so many laughs that all that upset seems like it's been totally worth it. I just do not know for the life of me how I stayed in hospital for 4 months. I was allowed home half way through, over my birthday weekend, while I was being transferred from Addenbrookes to the Brompton. (I remember that weekend - it was a weird experience, a real dichotomy of feelings. Obviously, I loved being home. Seeing my family, my cats, laying on a sofa, my own bed. But I couldn't walk. I had zero muscles, zero energy, I felt like Bambi, if Bambi also had one collapsed lung and one full of cement like gunk. I was scared to leave the house, as I felt like I would crumble. I remember sitting on the dining chairs was agony, as my poor little bum was so boney haha. As soon as I was in the brompton I felt like I had been swaddled in a warm blanket, and could concentrate on trying to breathe again, and could finally start being tube fed again, as I still wasn't eating). 3 courses of different antibiotics later, I was out!

Institutionalised Laura was not terribly fun once I was eventually set free, that (probably sunny) day in May. Life was definitely weird without a tea trolley in ones life. And 3 set meals a day. But like a break up, I got over that shit.

*dreams of tea trolley*

I do have a little regret about my greatly extended hospital stay. That I didn't take more pictures. And that I don't have a picture of me with an obscene amount of drips, lines and machines attached to me. That always freaks people out. It freaked mum out, thats why she didn't. But it wasn't a nice time, maybe it's best not to remember too clearly...

I'm going to work super hard so that next anniversary, i've accomplished even more, and filled my time with even more fun. More serendipidous moments. And more achievements. It just feels so unbelievably fucking awesome!

As I watch the bright stars shining, I
think a thought of the clef
of the universes and of the future

Walt Whitman

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past

Thomas Jefferson

L x

Parliament Hill, the fam. Looking out at the future that awaits!