Changes after Transplant

Posted by 2011panc @2011panc, Nov 22, 2016

I have learned that following a transplant there are many changes beyond your physical situation. What is your experience? Has your mood changed? Are you happier, calmer, more agitated, more anxious, more relaxed or something else? Do you feel you have changed emotionally, spiritually or mentally? Do you feel that your personality has changed? I am curious about more than physical. I appreciate your input on this issue.

@wkary

Absolutely! I was far from creative prior to my live tx. Since I want to learn to draw, sketch and design.

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@rosemarya, it’s interesting how differently we all respond. I was a do, do, do person and have really pared back to doing only what I “have” to. If I feel like it I will do more, but I promise much less than I used to. In that I feel that I have become more selfish and don’t get involved in other people’s issues very easily or deeply. I have always been thoughtful and open, so at least that has not changed for me.

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@wkary

Absolutely! I was far from creative prior to my live tx. Since I want to learn to draw, sketch and design.

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@wkary, I am sorry you have had such a struggle with acceptance. I had embraced having an accepting attitude about everything years before the word transplant even came into my life, so that has not been much of an issue for me. I have noticed that family and friends #1 were not as ready as I was for the transplant, and #2 are having a harder time accepting my current limitations. They keep expecting and hoping that I will get back to the level I was at 15-20 years ago. Thankfully it appears that your transplant is working well. For myself, I go through a series of questions: what do I want? why don’t I have it? how can I get it? is it worth the effort (cost) to get it? This helps me make decisions and become more accepting because it was my decision. I continue to be grateful for the improved quality of life I have been able to attain. God Bless you on your journey.

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@wkary

Absolutely! I was far from creative prior to my live tx. Since I want to learn to draw, sketch and design.

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@2011panc, Great points. It’s interesting as family and friends have been more than accepting on my side. If anything the try and shall I say “hold me back” a bit and encourage me to take it a little easier. Doc has begun pushing a little and at the 2 year Mayo check they encouraged me to get out and do some “non-impact” excercise. I sort of chuckled as I have been biking and walking almost since the week after transplant. Was on Pred and gained about 25 lbs so that is the next step is go get that extra off. How long ago was your tx?

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@wkary

Absolutely! I was far from creative prior to my live tx. Since I want to learn to draw, sketch and design.

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@wkary My transplant was in 2011. We have evolved and my husband and oldest child are now rather protective of me. I ask for a great deal more help than I ever used to and they spend the most time with me, so they have developed the best acceptance. I have always been encouraged to watch my weight and be as active as possible. I also initially gained some weight, I believe from the initial high doses of Prednisone, but have since gotten back to my pre-transplant weight. At my last appointments there seemed to be some concern that I lost 7 pounds in the last year. That was probably because I had been fasting for labs and we had been travelling, so I did not drink as much as usual. Since that visit I am struggling to drink as much as I should. Well, time to get a drink! hehe

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@wkary

Absolutely! I was far from creative prior to my live tx. Since I want to learn to draw, sketch and design.

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@2011panc, I ,also was a busy (too busy) person. I taught middle school and always had to be prepared with a plan A, B, and C in order to survive a normal school day. I ran, ran, ran during the school day: and I ran, ran, ran during my personal time to maintain my own activities and involvement. I thought that this is how life is supposed to be! Then I got really sick as my liver began to fail. As you can guess, everything came to a halt…time passed….transplant…new life with new ‘normal’. I have learned to be more selective about the activities that I let myself be involved with. I have learned that it is vital to think of myself first – emotionally and physically. I do not consider this selfish. And I don’t believe that you are being selfish.
Thank you for this discussion!
I’ve got to run now! Lunch with a girlfriend ­čÖé
Rosemary

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@wkary

Absolutely! I was far from creative prior to my live tx. Since I want to learn to draw, sketch and design.

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@wkary, You are right about things taking longer to accomplish! I was brought up in a home where ‘doing nothing’ was not an option. So I feel the need to be productive all the time; however, my body does not always share this notion!
I transplanted 7+ years ago. I went from healthy to deathly ill to transplant to my new life. It now takes me longer to finish a task or project. It takes me longer to process information. It takes me longer to make a decision. It takes me longer to recover after catching a cold or ailment. But I have come to accept this as my new normal. Yes, I agree that it can be frustrating at times. But considering where we have traveled, I think we can be thankful for each forward step of our new journey.
Sending you a hug,
Rosemary

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Before my transplant, I used to devour historical fiction. But now, I cannot tolerate anything fictional, including reading, TV, and movies. Has anybody else experienced this?
Rosemary

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I’m a 1994 liver transplant survivor! This sounds strange but is true. I couldn’t touch or eat chicken but could eat turkey. The feel/texture of it would literally make me gag. Rich always had to cook it if he wanted it. NOW, I can’t get enough! Doesn’t bother me in the least. This has been since the transplant. Another thing, beer. Right after I was released from the hospital (in & out in 5 days!) I started craving beer. I wasn’t a beer drinker prior. I still occasionally crave a cold beer in a glass of ice. Just one and the craving is gone. I am by no means a drinker. Hair! I have great hair since the transplant! Finally, and this is the funny one, I’m obsessed with motorcycles. Since the transplant it’s like I search them out! I’ve never been on one, had no interest whatsoever in them. My family & friends think this is hilarious. I’m an almost 60 year old overweight teacher whose biggest adventure has been traveling to visit my sister & brother. My retirement goal is to buy a Spyder & travel with my husband!! I’ve always wished to visit with my donor’s family about these things! So thankul for them every day!

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Hi my name is Marco I had heart transplant July 2013,coming up on four years, it has change me in many wise as calmer, I like at life different than others, I live life to fullest each day, I view things different than others, am much more quieter easy going and I have a lot patience now with every thing I do, I had hard time at first because I came from being in icu for three weeks and two of those weeks on a vent, plus I went to the heaven gates, I had learn how walk again and learn how to hold things again, and had to learn how use the restroom and shower again, but it was tough for me, but now am new man and a lot more caring in life.

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Over the years I had already gotten more outgoing and friendly but since transplant in September, 2016, I really open up to people and am not shy with them at all.
I also find myself really working to get in shape, which I had been trying to before but not with my current effort. I feel my problems stemmed from my weight and being out of shape (NASH) so now I am really working at eating better and exercising, I have lost at least 40 pounds. Speaking of which, if anyone needs to lose weight I highly recommend myfitnesspal. I don’t think I could have done it without that tool to keep my accountable. I also use a fitness tracker to make sure I am getting a decent amount of exercise.
I feel grateful every day for this gift I have been given and I believe it has made me a more gracious person. I don’t see any real personality changes in liking things or disliking things different from before but I am a more committed person, and odd as this might sound I think I am a nicer person.

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@maryallard

I’m a 1994 liver transplant survivor! This sounds strange but is true. I couldn’t touch or eat chicken but could eat turkey. The feel/texture of it would literally make me gag. Rich always had to cook it if he wanted it. NOW, I can’t get enough! Doesn’t bother me in the least. This has been since the transplant. Another thing, beer. Right after I was released from the hospital (in & out in 5 days!) I started craving beer. I wasn’t a beer drinker prior. I still occasionally crave a cold beer in a glass of ice. Just one and the craving is gone. I am by no means a drinker. Hair! I have great hair since the transplant! Finally, and this is the funny one, I’m obsessed with motorcycles. Since the transplant it’s like I search them out! I’ve never been on one, had no interest whatsoever in them. My family & friends think this is hilarious. I’m an almost 60 year old overweight teacher whose biggest adventure has been traveling to visit my sister & brother. My retirement goal is to buy a Spyder & travel with my husband!! I’ve always wished to visit with my donor’s family about these things! So thankul for them every day!

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@maryallard, I would like to send you a big Welcome to Connect. Its is always a thrill for me to meet another fellow transplant recipient! Thank you for sharing your experiences after your transplant. I really had a good chuckle at envisioning you going down the road on your Spyder. You, see, I’m a retired teacher, too; but that is not in my retirement plans. How soon will you be able to make this dream a reality?
1994. Wow, that is amazing to a ‘youngster’ like me at 7+ years. Congratulations (for lack of a better word). I ‘ll bet that medical advancements have come a long way since you had your transplant. It is amazing that we are alive.

I invite you to look at some of the other transplant discussions and to share some of your insights.
I suggest these two for example. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/celebrate-your-transplant-blessings/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-life-after-your-transplant/
And there is an especially heartfelt discussion by a donor family member that might interest you.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-without-you/
Rosemary

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@maryallard

I’m a 1994 liver transplant survivor! This sounds strange but is true. I couldn’t touch or eat chicken but could eat turkey. The feel/texture of it would literally make me gag. Rich always had to cook it if he wanted it. NOW, I can’t get enough! Doesn’t bother me in the least. This has been since the transplant. Another thing, beer. Right after I was released from the hospital (in & out in 5 days!) I started craving beer. I wasn’t a beer drinker prior. I still occasionally crave a cold beer in a glass of ice. Just one and the craving is gone. I am by no means a drinker. Hair! I have great hair since the transplant! Finally, and this is the funny one, I’m obsessed with motorcycles. Since the transplant it’s like I search them out! I’ve never been on one, had no interest whatsoever in them. My family & friends think this is hilarious. I’m an almost 60 year old overweight teacher whose biggest adventure has been traveling to visit my sister & brother. My retirement goal is to buy a Spyder & travel with my husband!! I’ve always wished to visit with my donor’s family about these things! So thankul for them every day!

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Hi ROSEMARY,IT’S “EMMETT”
LIVER TRANS.AUG.2016, DO U REMEMBER ME?I’M DOING OKAY AS FAR AS BLOOD,ORGAN FUNCTIONS.BUT I HAVE 3HERNIAS TO FIX WHEN THE “HARVONI”REGIMENT ENDS IN APRIL,IT WORKED!NO SIGNS OF “”HEP-C””THANKS FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT IN THE SCARY BEGINNING

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