COVID-19 and Transplant Patients

Posted by jolinda @jolinda, Mar 14 5:17pm

As a kidney transplant recipient I have been extra vigilant/worried about protecting myself as COVID-19 spreads. Like most transplant patients I am used to washing my hands, carrying hand-sanitizer, avoiding sick people, getting flu shots, etc. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused me to take additional steps to try to remain safe but I am worried for my health. I would like to hear what you are doing to stay safe and how you are feeling.

Logistically:
My husband and I are now telecommuting to work 4 of 5 days per week to limit unnecessary contact with people.
We have switched to church online rather than in person (although it's not the same).
We added food to our cupboards in case we are quarantined.

Emotionally:
I am worried that being immune compromised might make me more susceptible to contracting the virus.
I am worried I might lose my transplant if I get COVID-19.
I am happy people are learning how important it is to wash their hands.

REPLY

Hi @jolinda I too am doing all the things i have always done i see you mentioned Church so as a fellow believer i have felling more confident these days in the Promise of our Lord and savior that he is in control and will protect us according to his overall plan. So prayer is another avenue i definitely use to protect myself. We also have live stream and our pastor has asked that anyone feeling even a bit under the weather stay home and watch the Livestream. Plus we have asked to understand stand those that attend please refrain from handshaking. I'm one of the livestream operator's so i will probably still attend but i stay in my cubicle and wave. May God bless you.

REPLY

Hello to all the transplant patients! Certainly our anxiety increases with the possibility of any type of virus present in our surroundings. Immunosuppression is troublesome for respiratory viruses. We always are cautious and careful. COVID-19 offers new concern because it is an unknown – no vaccine – and we don't know if the trajectory of the illness is going up or down. Thinking all this through, I have self-isolated even though there are only 2 cases in my county (Arizona). So, we are also watching church service online. My heart transplant was 3 years ago and I am still on prednisone and, of course, mycophenalate and sirolimus. I wonder if I am actually more protected than others from the virus because of the steroid. No other respiratory virus has been shown to affect potential rejection so I wouldn't think the COVID-19 would. These are good questions for our doctors! Take care everyone and stay healthy. Our God is good!

REPLY

@estrada53
Congrats on your heart transplant!
I'm comforted to hear you have chosen to self-isolate as well, it makes me feel like I'm not overreacting.
I'm trying to avoid too much worrying because I know stress isn't good but it's been a challenge.

REPLY
@danab

Hi @jolinda I too am doing all the things i have always done i see you mentioned Church so as a fellow believer i have felling more confident these days in the Promise of our Lord and savior that he is in control and will protect us according to his overall plan. So prayer is another avenue i definitely use to protect myself. We also have live stream and our pastor has asked that anyone feeling even a bit under the weather stay home and watch the Livestream. Plus we have asked to understand stand those that attend please refrain from handshaking. I'm one of the livestream operator's so i will probably still attend but i stay in my cubicle and wave. May God bless you.

Jump to this post

@danab
He's gotten us this far!
🙂

REPLY

Our church sent an email stating that they are still planning to have in person services, but won't be shaking hands after it. They also asked that anyone who is compromised or in poor health to stay home. So that is what we will be doing.

My husband is a liver recipient, so I've stressed to him to please stay home as much as possible since he is no longer working. We did go out to eat last night at a local restaurant, but went early before it was busy. We were there only ones there the majority of the time. I did let him go with me to buy groceries today. (Unsure if that was wise) but we are home for the rest of the weekend.

We are being diligent with the hand washing and are just going to stay home a lot more for the time being. I have to go to work and he keeps telling me that I can't get sick because I need to care for him. ( He was diagnosed with dementia, unrelated to his transplant) So I do what I can.

Blessings,
JoDee

REPLY

I also am concerned about this coronavirus. I guess you could say I'm being super vigilant, and selective of whether I go anywhere. My husband is running the errands so I can avoid close contacts.
We did go out to dinner tonight at our son's restaurant because I know how he has trained his staff, and we went at a nonbusy time.
I will not go to church tomorrow, but will go during a lightly attend weekday mass.

I received a "Dear Mayo Clinic Patient" email today. Perhaps some of you did too. Here are the 2 takeaways that fit into this discussion:

-"Remember to take steps to keep yourself healthy: Wash your hands; avoid touching your face; and practice appropriate self-care, including staying home when you are sick."

-"Please rely on us for information about COVID-19. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for current, accurate information. Partner with us to stay safe, healthy and informed."
——

Science Saturday: More COVID-19 cases, take common sense precautions
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/science-saturday-more-covid-19-cases-take-precautions/
**Be sure to Watch – Dr. Joseph Sirven discusses importance of remaining calm amidst COVID-19 concerns.

REPLY

I also received the letter from Mayo which I considered was for all of their patients, not necessarily for transplant patients. I am generally behaving as I did after returning home from the hospital after my transplant with a few exceptions. I am 3 years out from my transplant and have experienced 3 vicious respiratory viruses. I don't want to go through it again and this is more dangerous. I'm being careful and prayerful.

REPLY

And cool as a cucumber!

REPLY

What just happened to the post in Spanish? He was asking how to donate his kidney.

REPLY
@estrada53

Hello to all the transplant patients! Certainly our anxiety increases with the possibility of any type of virus present in our surroundings. Immunosuppression is troublesome for respiratory viruses. We always are cautious and careful. COVID-19 offers new concern because it is an unknown – no vaccine – and we don't know if the trajectory of the illness is going up or down. Thinking all this through, I have self-isolated even though there are only 2 cases in my county (Arizona). So, we are also watching church service online. My heart transplant was 3 years ago and I am still on prednisone and, of course, mycophenalate and sirolimus. I wonder if I am actually more protected than others from the virus because of the steroid. No other respiratory virus has been shown to affect potential rejection so I wouldn't think the COVID-19 would. These are good questions for our doctors! Take care everyone and stay healthy. Our God is good!

Jump to this post

@estrada53 I too, being post-liver transplant, am being very careful. I have gone to the supermarket, it's not difficult to not be close to other people there, and as soon as I get out to my car I use some hand sanitizer and then wash my hands thoroughly when I get home.
Since in church you are in much closer proximity to other congregants I am not attending services.
That's an interesting thought about prednisone. I am on that and sirolimus also.
We do not eat out more than once a week at the most generally but we will not now and I am already missing that. I read something about food prep outside for takeout and that too sounds off-limits. You just cannot rely on how careful the preparers of the food were.
JK

REPLY
@estrada53

What just happened to the post in Spanish? He was asking how to donate his kidney.

Jump to this post

@estrada53 The post asking about kidney donation was removed because upon further investigation, it was discovered that the person was looking to sell a kidney. Such posts are not permitted on Mayo Clinic Connect.

REPLY

Thank you for taking care of that. People are desperate. I did try to reply in Spanisb to him. Be well.

REPLY

Thank you for taking care of that.

REPLY

My husband is a kidney recipient. Right now we are 800 miles apart, as he wraps up escrow on the sale of his condo, and finishes out his job of 40 years before retiring. I find it pretty interesting that I haven't had to nag him about cleanliness, which has happened in the past. He is much more aware of everyday precautions [handles on the gas pumps, doors, shopping carts, etc]. He has access to 99.5% pure alcohol, and I will be creating homemade hand sanitizer when he comes up in 10 days, for him to take back. I am doing what I can to alleviate stress he is under with all the changes he is going through. More than likely, the severe respiratory infection he had in Feb served as a wake-up call to him to not be so cavalier about things!
Ginger

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.