HELEN Miller, from South Anston, is awaiting a lung transplant and keeping a weekly diary to support The Star's Gift of Life campaign to encourage people to become organ donors.
The 38-year-old mum of two wants readers to know what life is really like on the waiting list. Helen, who was a training manager before she fell ill, now has so little energy that brushing her hair and cleaning her teeth are exhausting. Here she explains how her condition affected her last week.
Stopped in today watching Christmas films in my bedroom as John Hates them. They are all children's films I love them, it's not Christmas if I don't watch The Wizard of Oz. Abi and I then settled down to watch Strictly and the X factor. Abi wanted JLS and I wanted Alex. It was nice spending time together. Daniel has been ill all day and stopped in bed being sick. I can't be a mum to him and look after him as I can't get upstairs and also can't risk getting any virus. That upsets me more than anything.
I went to sleep happy. At 2am I woke to the sound of my oxygen machines alarm going off which means no oxygen coming through. Abi ran down stairs and started to panic which made me panic and one thing led to another and I had a panic attack and I had an accident. The feeling of not being able to breathe is the worst feeling anyone could experience. We woke Dan to fill my liquid oxygen but he was really ill but bless him he managed. After I composed myself after 30 minutes I phoned dad to come and pick me up as I have another oxygen concentrator at theirs. So at 2.45am I was sat in dad's car and going back to their's. I calmed down and went to sleep.
After tossing and turning I eventually woke at 11.30am to three messages from John. One saying where am I? The next one asking if I was okay and then the last one saying stop at mums until the oxygen machine mended. He'd obviously woken the kids and asked what had happened as he hadn't heard a thing. He phoned back and said the machine was now working after he'd cleaned it and was going to leave it running a bit to make sure it was ok. I decided to stop at mums for the night.
Dan was off to London today at 5am so I heard him getting ready I couldn't get back to sleep after that. Early start for me today as I had an appointment at Breath Easy at 11.45am for an assessment for rehabilitation. I was left waiting 45 minutes without an explanation as to why But I soon discussed my requirements with the team and have discussed what I am able to do and what I'd like to do. I am going to join the gym and go on the exercise bike. I might be able to do a minute but all these minutes will add up. Mum and I then went to Meadowhall which was nice. We stopped a few hours and did a little last minute shopping but then went home. I started feeling a little unwell and extremely hot at night but put it down to two very disturbed night's sleep.
I've been up all night; I've got a chest infection. I can't breathe in or out properly my chest feels like someone is squeezing me so tight that my eyes are popping out. The only way I can relax is if I sit forward. Even if I sit upright it hurts. I asked dad to call the Doctor and he came and confirmed my infection. A week before Christmas and I feel so poorly. Dan is still poorly at home in bed and I can't be there for him. Daniel's teacher came out to see me and told me his attitude and behaviour was excellent. He has achieved student of the Term, Governors praise and student of the week. She also brought me notes written by other teachers saying how well he was doing. We are very proud of him.
Another awful night's sleep coughing all night; nothing helped and sat up most of the night waiting for daylight. A beauty therapist came to do some reflexology to see if that helped to relax me it did but the cost of this is really only for special occasions so I'm afraid that was a one off. Mum and I watched two Christmas films whilst I coughed all the way through and my friend sue came to visit which was lovely.
Worst night yet for coughing, it may be that the antibiotics are working and trying to bring the gunk up but it just won't come up yet. I just feel terrible.
I'm sat here on the Bipap machine so it can breathe for me as I feel terrible, however my last Diary of the year and I want to ask you one thing to do for me for Christmas. Please discuss organ donation whilst you are all together over this festive time. It doesn't need to be depressive and to make to sad. Have a laugh, have a drink and just state your wishes that is all I ask. Thank you for reading my diary all year and I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year. I hope and pray that I Santa grants my wish let's wait and see.
- The Star's Gift of Life campaign has added the names of 28,000 readers to the Organ Donor Register.
Currently 8,000 people in the UK are waiting for a new kidney, liver, lung or heart. But a shortage of organ donors means hundreds people are dying on the waiting list each year.
Click here to go to the Organ Donor Register
Share your thoughts on this story by adding a comment below.
Main news index
South Yorkshire's environmental news
More business news
More Rotherham news
More Doncaster news
More Barnsley news