Surviving a Liver Transplant
Last updated: October 2020
Now that I’ve had my first anniversary with my new liver, it’s probably safe to say that I am surviving a liver transplant. That first year is a little iffy, what with medications and rejection issues. The odds are now officially in my favor. If you’re a betting person, you better bet that the chances of me being here next year are strong. It’s taken a lot to get here. My survival tools include a wide array of people, places, and things.
These have been some of my survival tools that my family and I used during the first year post liver transplant:
Rejection meds – Even if they make me feel sick, achy, heart racy, I take them faithfully. They save my life every day for the rest of my life.
Warm stuff – A heating pad soothes back muscles and helps uncrunch a stiff neck. A warm bath relaxes me all over.
Hovering medical team – I love those people who tell me exactly how many pills to take and watch over all of my details.
Forgiveness – When I lose my thoughts and wear people out, it's time to put me to bed and close the door. I wear myself out sometimes. We all understand and we all forgive and move on.
No drama – I don't do drama. I’m sorry if your goldfish died or your favorite shoes on sale weren't in your size. Go tell someone else, I'll listen later. I’m busy healing.
Prayer - It does hurt me to hear that others are having problems. I’ll make a deal. Since I spend a lot of time in prayer, I will ask for help for you too.
Comfort food – Good soup, some chicken, protein shake, or eggs and toast are always welcome. If you’re coming by, stock me up. I need protein to heal.
Common sense – If my eyes are closed, that means I want to withdraw from the current scene. If I’m groaning, I may need a pain pill. If I'm dripping, find the leak and help me clean up.
Detectives – When common sense fails, look for clues. I’m probably clueless about what I need. Help me out here.
Calm people – I let the falling apart people drift to the outskirts of my life. I don’t have the time or energy to take care of anybody but myself.
Stubbornness – I’ve made my mind up to see this through. When push comes to shove, I keep pushing. That’s what it takes.
Hilarity – Come on with your goofy self. Bring on the silliness. I’m talking about some serious stuff going on with my body. I may need you to turn on the cartoons.
No expectations – If you need me to do something right now, you’re asking the wrong person. I ain’t doing nothing at all but getting past this first year unless I feel like it.
Pedicure – Please get the clippers out and give me some help. I can’t reach the darn things without busting a stitch (true story) so stick the tired dogs in a pan of warm water and clip the toenails. We don’t want any Howard Hughes clacking going on when I walk.
No doubt – It may look a little hopeless some days. I may even doubt my healing times. I stick it out and erase the doubt.
The first year was a lot of things. Most of all, it was miraculous. I mean, totally, a miracle a day. I hope you find all the things you need to survive a liver transplant. I also hope that you can be rid of the things you don’t need. With balance, you’ll get through it just fine.