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I haven’t posted anything for a while but have been full of good intentions, as my grandmother used to say when I hadn’t been in touch with her for a while.
We have been going backwards and forwards to Fortaleza to see Neu’s doctor a lot lately, the visits have to be more frequent now as Neu is down to 16% function, below 15% he will need dialysis so he has to be monitored closely at the moment. The doctor is hoping to get Neu a transplant before the need for dialysis and we are extremely grateful to Neu’s sister, Lineuda for offering one of her kidneys to him. There are many tests that have to be completed to ensure they are compatible and that she is in perfect health but it gives us some hope that Neu will be given a new lease of life in the not too distant future.
We are on the way to the doctors now and I suspect that Neu has lost a little more function as he is so extremely tired all the time and even the smallest physical exertion is too much.
Recently he’s also had a drop in blood pressure, we’re not sure what’s going on there, a result of kidney failure is a rise in BP and it was Neu’s ridiculously high BP that alerted the doctors to his problem. Neu has been on a high dose of the drug captopril (150Mg a day) to keep his blood pressure under control but lately he has had to considerably reduce his dose as his pressure has fallen to 99/61. No doubt the doctor will have something to say about this, so we will know more later today.
Despite everything he’s going through Neu manages to remain remarkably cheerful and we laugh a lot, it really is the best medicine and he’s incredible in the way he deals with all this.

The one thing Neu finds hard above all else is not being allowed to go fishing anymore. The lobster season is in full swing and despite the fact that catch rates are low, Neu still would rather be out there fishing than sitting at home on sickness benefit.
The returns for the men legally fishing for lobster have been so low for so long, it is a disgrace that Neu is financially better off sick, receiving the minimum wage in benefits, than when he was working, fishing all hours.
Hopefully things are set to change, at last there is positive action on the fishing front, the government of Ceará are going for full certification of sustainability for lobster, to be in place by the world cup in 2014, this will be the subject of my next post.
Many things have to happen yet but by the time Neu is fit to go fishing again there will hopefully be lobster enough to make it worth his while.

©Claire Pattison Valente 2012

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