You’re Ready for a Liver Transplant When...

You’re Ready for a Liver Transplant When...

Last updated: February 2022

There are a lot of symptoms and signs that you are ready for a liver transplant. Some of them are outwardly easy to detect. Others have to be figured out by a doctor. Maybe a specimen of your blood is needed. One thing for sure, you probably know the signals that you’re ready for a transplant.

You’re ready for a liver transplant when:

  • The gastro doctor schedules varices bandings more frequently than your dentist schedules teeth cleanings.
  • The alarm clock makes you happy. You don’t mind waking up tired. You’re just really glad that you woke up and are still alive.
  • They put in a shunt to keep your blood from backing up into your esophagus. They call it a TIPS because if you don’t get it, you can act a little tipsy from ammonia levels.
  • Your mattress is lopsided. That’s because nobody sleeps on your side of the bed.
  • The recliner is like a second home to you. You could feed a family of 5 from the food crumbs in the creases.
  • Your idea of a comfortable shoe is wacky. You cut the toe out of your tennis shoes and leave the laces out. It’s not about being cool. It’s about being able to get your swollen feet in them.
  • The yellow tint to your skin is beginning to look normal. Your entire wardrobe is kind of set up to go with that distinct shade that your liver disease gives you.
  • Everyone questions your judgment. Family and friends double check everything you say… like they’re the expert about your mind and body.
  • Deep inside you are happy that someone is checking on you and double checking on you. You don’t really trust yourself. Sometimes you can’t remember what day it is.
  • It’s really bad when you can’t remember your transplant doctor and staff’s name. They get it. When you give them the glassy eyed stare, they know you’re in there. You’re just having brain fog from hepatic encephalopathy.
  • You have a transplant call list on your cell phone. That way you can text everyone at once when the call finally comes.
  • The liver transplant bag is packed and in the back of your car. It’s filled with everything you’ll need for a couple of months post op.
  • The gas tank on your car is filled to the top at all times. That way you are ready to go at a moments notice.
  • The cell phone is never out of reach. You keep it in your pocket or bag at all times…. even in the bathroom.
  • You spend hours looking at the UNOS website trying to figure out where you are on the list. You try and do the math to see how quickly you are moving up the list.
  • The transplant coordinator knows the instant they answer their phone that it’s you. They have heard your fear and anxiety filled voice so many times they have it memorized.

Every day is filled with a sense of hope. Every day is filled with a sense of dread. You long for the call, but you’re scared of it. You’ve battle hepatitis C and it has beat your liver down. You know that there is no other way, so you strain every bit of your energy to live. You’re ready for a liver transplant.

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