If you are the recipient of a new transplant, first of all, congratulations. You have not only overcome the odds to get your new organ, but you also have a new lease on life. You have suffered through the pain and debilitating symptoms only to emerge with a renewed chance at feeling better, living longer, and getting on with living. You will need to work closely with your transplant team, who will guide you through the steps of your recovery. This article will outline those steps as you go from hospital to home.
Your Medications: Protecting Your Transplant
Thus far you have been under the watchful eyes of your transplant management team, who kept you as comfortable as possible and helped begin the recovery process. Immediately after your surgery your pain will be managed by the anesthesia, but you will soon be weaned from that. Remember that a transplant is major surgery. As sluggish as your recovery might be, under the supervision of your transplant recovery team you will probably progress quickly after your surgery.
Having Proper Equipment
Oftentimes, when transplant patients are discharged from the hospital, they are still required to remain in bed and “take it easy” for a while. In this case, you need to make sure your home is equipped with everything you need—you can create a mini hospital in order to be comfortable and feel ready for anything when you get home. You can rent a wheelchair, and even a hospital bed in order for you to get around properly and to be comfortable. Depending on what type of transplant you received, you may still need to have injections, or other minor daily procedures that require medical equipment. Plenty of medical supply companies offer things you might need like syringes, a male or Female Luer, latex gloves, or other supplies necessary to take care of yourself after you are discharged.
One of the most important goals you should have for yourself is to return to your old routine of hobbies, activities, and work. Beyond those, however, you should incorporate all of the features of a healthy lifestyle too. Under the direction of your transplant recovery team, try to start exercising, eating healthier, quitting smoking, and other positive lifestyle changes.
Having a transplant and going back to living an unhealthy lifestyle is like an alcoholic celebrating his recovery with a drink. It doesn’t fit. And it doesn’t make sense. Soon after you return home from your transplant you will probably get clearance to do some light gardening, sports, and walking. Just remember that you should start out slow and always under your doctor’s supervision.
Keep Up with Follow Ups
Just as is the case with many patients, there will eventually come a time when you will need the supervision of your transplant team less and less. They should not be out of your life totally though. Be sure to keep up with your periodic check ups. You will need those so that your doctor can monitor your continued progress, which will no doubt be rapid.
After a transplant a major part of your healthy life will return to you. You must still monitor your life, however, because not only is a healthier life waiting for you, but all of your support members will be cheering you on.