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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@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 🙂
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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@vacamrc

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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@vacamrc, Welcome to Connect. Thank you for sharing your powerful story of your journey to a New Life thru organ donation and transplant. Your strength and your attitude must certainly be an inspiration to all of those out there who are facing the long wait, and the accompanying struggles and health issues relating to transplants. Many of our responders have said that they, too, experience life differently. I understand what you mean. I also “went to the gates of heaven”, as you phrased it. And ‘that’ is something that I will not ever forget! Most people do not understand phrases like that unless they have been there too.
Marco, It is a great pleasure to meet you. I am a liver/kidney recipient. And I do not know much about heart transplants, honestly – I do not know anything about heart transplant. But I do have some friends thru transplant who are heart recipients and are resilient enjoying life fully, too. So I am looking forward to hearing more from you.
I invite you, Marco, to join in any of our discussions (transplant and others) that interest you. Here are some that I would especially like to share with you. Your attitude, and your experience can be a blessing and a means for hope to others who might be struggling.

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/

From one recipient to another, I send you strength and continued health.
Rosemary

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@contentandwell

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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Welcome to Connect, @contentandwell. Thank you for sharing with us on this transplant discussion. I believe that ‘content and well’ says it all – and I am pleased to meet another transplant recipient.
You just received your transplant in Sept. 2016. Congratulations !!! That is awesome. I still remember the emotions early after my transplant; I still get teary eyed and chills just thinking about it. You are responsible for putting this big grin on my face right now. I, too, am content and well 🙂
I think you have said it well. We have changed for the better.
Thank you for sharing and for offering ideas that work for you to lose the weight you needed to lose. This is so very important to many of before and after our transplant. And we all strive to find what works for us. We have many members who are struggling with NASH.

Right now, I imagine that you are enjoying getting back to a normal life and regaining your strength. But if you find time or feel the urge, I invite you to look at our discussions that might interest you. Feel free to just relax and read, or to join a conversation. Here in one discussion I offer to you for consideration: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/celebrate-your-transplant-blessings/

And here is one that might be helpful to you as you become more involved with everyday life and it’s challenges. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-life-after-your-transplant/
Please keep in touch. Ask any questions that you may have. And let us know how you are doing as you continue to move forward with your new life 🙂
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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@swordfish, O My goodness , Emmett. I do remember you.
I have had you on my mind and was really worried about you because I have not heard from you. Hurray for the blood and the organ functions 🙂 All of us transplant recipients are cheering because of this great news. I am so happy for you that you are making positive progress. Now you are ready for some ‘touch ups’.
Emmitt, now that you have made it past your early problems, I urge you to keep taking good care of you.
I’ll bet that if you read thru some of these transplant discussions that probably might have a few things to share sometime. If I have not already sent you this one, I suggest that you look at this. It has ideas that other recipients have shared about how they stay healthy after their transplant. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-life-after-your-transplant/
Emmett Keep in touch! We transplant recipients can all support and learn from each other.
Rosemary

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@contentandwell

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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Thank you Rosemary for the welcome and the suggestions. I will definitely look at them. I am doing great, and pretty much involved in everything already, doing exercises — water and Pilates — at a health and sports club, being social, and basically have resumed my normal life of cooking, cleaning (sometimes ;-), and cooking. I recuperated more quickly than anyone anticipated, surprising since I am older. The schedule of follow ups was decreased for me because I was ahead of schedule from the very beginning. As my PCP said though I am the type of person who won’t be sidelined, and that type does generally recover more quickly than many.
The biggest change in me is the constant gratitude that I feel. I am sure will last for the rest of my life.

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Coming up on my 4 year liver transplant anniversary and my life has completely charge. At the time of my transplant my wife was six months pregnant and since the birth of my daughter three years ago, we’ve welcomed a second daughter just 4 months ago. Being alive and experiencing fatherhood is indescribable. Emotionally I do feel much calmer and more at peace since the transplant. For me the toughest part of my recovery was that my mind rehabilitated more quickly than my body. I think I wanted to be able to do more than my body would let me.

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@metallicpea

Coming up on my 4 year liver transplant anniversary and my life has completely charge. At the time of my transplant my wife was six months pregnant and since the birth of my daughter three years ago, we’ve welcomed a second daughter just 4 months ago. Being alive and experiencing fatherhood is indescribable. Emotionally I do feel much calmer and more at peace since the transplant. For me the toughest part of my recovery was that my mind rehabilitated more quickly than my body. I think I wanted to be able to do more than my body would let me.

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@metallicpea, Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It is always a pleasure to meet another transplant recipient. (I am a liver/kidney recipient) I welcome you to our Connect on line community.
You are most certainly blessed – new life thru transplant and a beautiful family with a new baby! Your life is forever changed for the best. I wish for you to enjoy many years of good health.
I would like to invite you to scroll thru our transplant discussions, and to feel free to add your input, or to click the ‘like’ heart Your own experience might be just the boost that someone needs. And by sharing our ‘good news’ we can provide hope and encouragement for the many who are enduring the wait for their own lifesaving transplant.

Patrick, I wish you an early congratulations on your upcoming transplant anniversary. Do you and your wife (and daughters) have any celebration plans? Early on, someone told my husband that we should celebrate every year’s transplant anniversary, just like we would celebrate a birthday or wedding anniversary. For us its a special dinner at a favorite restaurant. We will do it again this year for my 8th year.
Rosemary

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