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.

@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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@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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@metallicpean, congratulations on all, life is good. I am so happy for you to be experiencing so many wondrous things. There is nothing like a new baby, and of course also nothing like the second chance to live that transplants provide.

JK

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@rosemarya

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 had a deceased donor kidney transplant in December. Initially I had not even the ambition to read, but now I am back to escaping in fiction books, movies,TV. I really need to escape. My husband died in July of cancer at age 59. We were devoted to each other and it is devastating. It is hard to sort out my post-transplant feelings vs. dealing with grief and missing him. Also my exhaustion–related to the transplant or to grief and the endless work of settling the estate of your beloved? I certainly note changes in thought patterns, work ambition, etc. but again it is hard to sort out. I’m so grateful for successful transplant, but this is a painful path.

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@rosemarya

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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@linmarie, I offer my deepest sympathy to you on the death of your husband. Three years ago my dear brother died suddenly and I still vividly recall the grief due his death. I also remember my sis-in-law (more like a sister) and the pain she endured, and still does to this day. But her faith and her family have provided her with the ability to keep on going.

Congratulations on receiving your successful kidney transplant. I hope that you continue to do well. I think that it is okay for you to take it easy. In fact, I encourage you to do so.
Thank you for sharing on this forum the changes that you have experienced related to the transplant. I am always happy to meet another transplant recipient. I invite you to make a return visit, whenever you feel up to it.
Sending a Hug.
Rosemary
Here is one discussion that you might find interesting. Our members are sharing everyday healthy ideas.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-life-after-your-transplant/

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@rosemarya

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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@linmarie, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I cannot imagine having to deal with both simultaneously.
I hope the path gets a bit easier for you as time goes on and that you are able to move forward. I know it can be so hard.
Again, I am truly sorry.

I have some fatigue recently too, more than I did when I first started feeling better. I had reached a point where I didn’t feel the need for a nap but recently I find I frequently do. I’m not sure if it’s because of lots of activity or if it’s a reaction to my transplant, but it’s there.
JK

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Recipients, Donors, Caregivers,
What do you have that you would like to share?
In my opinion, the experiences presented by organ transplant recipients (and donors and caregivers) after receiving an organ transplant is a powerful testimony of strength and hope for all. Some of us have an uneventful recovery, and others experience some complications along the way. However we are all on the same journey = New Life through the gift of an organ transplant.

This is an invitation to ALL recipients, donors, caregivers, to be a part of this timeless topic: “Changes after Transplant”.

Here is the original question that one of our members,@2011panc posted.
“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.”

Thank you @2011panc, for all that you do to support others.
In advance, thanks to all who are so willing to generously share to help others.
Rosemary

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There are two odd changes I’ve experienced. One, I abhor seafood of any kind and pre-transplant I was a fan. Second, I am no longer afraid of spiders. I didn’t have a conscious thought about it; nothing bubbled up and announced the revelation. I was at an outdoor gathering and there were two writing spiders in their web at the end of the porch and I just reached out and touched it without thinking about it. No fear whatsoever. It was surreal. I don’t *like* them, but the squeamishness I used to have is gone. I don’t react the same. The seafood thing was a physical reaction. My husband asked me to Red Lobster for a meal and I thought I would puke just thinking about it. Haven’t had seafood or fish since Oct. 2014. Which was when I received a new liver. There are some other odd changes like my taste in music, an obsession with color, creative expression wakened. Some I’m sure can be explained because of meds or age appropriateness or having a second chance at life. Whatever the reasons, I’m happy for the changes and my life has never been better!

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