Sometime after my transplant (courtesy of my wife who gave me a kidney), I mentioned to the same doctor my difficulty doing what had been normal exercise - climbing stairs, walks, etc. She said I just needed to push through it. I kept trying but still didn't feel right.

Before the transplant, I was sent for a heart test. It turned out to be seriously faulty, so before they could safely perform the transplant I had a heart bypass. It was taking longer than expected to get. I don't know what my kidney doctor said, but it was shortly after the visit where she found I'd still heard nothing I got a callup.

It was at a post-bypass checkup when the technician immediately found a problem so he ran some more diagnostics. The outcome was I had developed atrial fibrillation (AF) which finally explained the difficulties I'd been having. So much for the kidney doctor's advice to "push through".

After this, I learned another new thing. We tend to underestimate the power of the mind. When I'd heard of books and speakers promoting the power of the mind, it sounded like at best hokum and at worst a con. In many cases, this can be the situation, but one day God asked me about a statement I used a lot: I'm neither a pessimist nor an optimist but a realist. He simply asked whose reality I based that on. Many changes followed, but in our context, I used it on my blood pressure.

After living with high blood pressure to the point of having a stroke, my new kidney (six main functions including blood pressure) gave me low blood pressure. As my wife has issues with low blood pressure (even to the point of fainting at times) this should not have come as a surprise. My "normal" systolic was 110, which for a normal person would be regarded as fine. For me, it was a tad low, but this was greatly exacerbated by any exercise. It regularly fell below 100, and if the exercise continued below 90 and even to 80 - which was devastating.

So I saw / visualised / imagined my systolic rising. Again my expectations were very low, so you can imagine my surprise when, a few days later I realised my systolic had been 120 for 2 - 3 days. It's been regularly about that level each morning, although can still fall after exercise - just not as low as it used to.

Another lesson: even if you're as cynical as I was, try and think about things positively. It's surprising what will happen.