Transplant recipients have no doubt they are different the first year after surgery. Doctors appointments are frequent and blood lab visits are so often that most of us start to think we could draw our own blood at home if they would let us.
In the second year, things ease up for most of us. We see docs every 3 months or 6 months and get stuck with a needle once a month. We talk about our transplants less and don’t lead every conversation with it.
It gets a little better each year. At least it did for me … and now it’s a problem. I’m coming up on my five year liverversary and some days I think, other than my prescription meds alarm every 12 hours, I’m just an average Joe. Sometimes I actually forget I had my liver yanked out and a new one put in.
Why is that a problem?
Well, I get stupid and lazy, don’t wash my hands and I leave my hand sanitizer at home. So, because my pills knock down my immune system so my body doesn’t reject my new organ, I catch every bug going around.
I forget that it takes me longer to dump a cold and that I probably should not be so huggy. But, I like to be huggy!
I spent yesterday and last night bowing to the porcelain throne with something that’s “going around.” If I’d just have squirted that sanitizer stuff on my hands more regularly, I probably would be fine.
I used to squirt it after every doorknob encounter. I squirted it and rubbed it on my steering wheel and shifter. Handshakes brought it from my pocket almost instantly.
Now, I’m usually not even sure where my travel squirter is. Maybe I left it home in my other coat?
So, last night while bowing to the porcelain throne, I made another resolution. I am going to remember to start carrying that sanitizer with me, pass on the salad bar, wash my hands more frequently and be more careful.
Life is good! But, I’m NOT normal and won’t be normal ever again.
Now where’s my sanitizer?
I needed to read this today!
I AM 2 YEARS AND THREE MONTHS POST LIVING DONOR LIVER TRANSPLANT. I WILL ALWAYS BE INDEBTED TO MY SON, CHRIS, FOR HIS ACT OF LOVE AND SACRIFICE IN DONATION, AND TO THE MAYO CLINIC. GOD WORKED HIS MIRACLE OF LIFE THROUGH THEM.
YOUR EXPERIENCE MATCHES MINE COMPLETELY. I FEEL BETTER THAN I HAVE FELT IN YEARS. THEREFORE, I AM NOT SICK ANYMORE AND WHY TAKE ALL THOSE WORRISOME PRECAUTIONS RE BACTERIA AND GERMS? I CONSTANTLY HAVE TO REMIND MYSELF THAT I AM ON A LIFE JOURNEY WITH MY DOCTORS, MY PROGRAF, MY LAB WORK, MY ANNUAL VISITS TO MAYO AND MY NEED TO STAY AWAY FROM BUFFETS AND SICK GRANDCHILDREN, (NOT TO MENTION CLOSE CONTACT WITH ANYONE ELSE WHO IS INDISPOSED). I ALSO REMIND MYSELF THAT I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH A RENEWAL OF LIFE AND THAT I NEED TO THANK GOD FOR EVERY RESTRICTION AND FOR EVERY TIME THAT ALARM GOES OFF AT 7:00 A.M. AND 7:00 P.M., (AS IT DOES AND WILL…..). THANK YOU, LORD, FOR THESE BLESSINGS. RICHARD — 65 AND CLIMBING
We feel your pain! Hubby keeps up on his flu shots and such. Last spring he had 2 types of flu and was hospitalized for a couple of days (which was good because he was forced to rest.) He also just had the tummy thing. He only ever had that once before transplant and then it was less than 24 hrs. This one seems to hang on (even in folks with normal immune systems.) We need to keep our hand sanitizer in the cars again 🙂