The emotional effect of having a liver transplant is not something that one contemplates when waiting for a transplant or while fighting a long-term illness. Why should we think of the emotional effect of having a liver transplant when so many other things are going on around us?
The journey we go on when we are first diagnosed with a long-term illness is not one that even starts with the thought of having a transplant. Actually, with most people, it is the furthest thing from their mind because the start of the journey is full of so many questions. Why, what and how? This is understandable as I found out first hand.
I had never heard of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis when I was first diagnosed and only thought of the immediate impact on my life and how I was going to carry on.
As a long-term illness progresses and we become more educated and savvy, it is only then that we start to think in a completely different way. How can I help myself, what more can I do? This often leads us to the point of trying whatever it will take to get better. This can be things such as exercise and certain exercise techniques or even trying herbal medication, meditation, hypnotherapy and even Reiki healing.
Furthermore, how we help ourselves is often based on how the illness is progressing and the limitations it can put on us. Not everyone is well enough to exercise and while certain things are good for one, they may not be good for others because certain long-term illnesses progress in slightly different ways for most people.
From my own experiences before I had the transplant, I tried many things to see if I could help myself get better and this, in the main, came from the feeling that there was not enough help available and real educational support apart from what comes from fellow sufferers.
As the illness progresses as in my case, some of the symptoms start to worsen and the medication no longer works as well as it did. Whether this is because our bodies build up a resistance to the medication or whether it is just the life cycle of the illness, is still to be determined.
So, we carry on our journey heading towards transplant and for me, it still was not the time where I started to think about the emotional effect of having a liver transplant. Why? Well for me, I just kept thinking that once I had the liver transplant I would have my life back and that became a huge focus for me to push myself to carry on and never give up the fight against the illness.
Skipping forward to the transplant. What comes with a transplant left my head in such a spin. Can you really believe what has happened to you and what you have just been through? It is not easy. At the same time, you have so many people around you after the transplant checking on you night and day which leaves you with very little time for thinking and contemplating.
I believe I started to think about the emotional effect of having a liver transplant after I came home and this was due in part to having a lot of me time. I had become more sensitive to other people with an illness, my hearing became more in tune with anything that mentioned illnesses, transplants, organ donation on the TV and radio and often this made me, and still does make me very emotional in the sense that I feel so lucky to be here and fully understand the struggles that others are still going through.
To be able to see the blue sky in the morning and the dark sky at night is something I will never take for granted again.
I think the emotional effect of having a liver transplant for myself is heightened by not knowing who the donor family are. I say this as I have heard organ donors locally talk about their family member donating their organs and this makes me wonder if this is the family which, I find very emotional.
Lastly, I truly believe that the emotional effect of having a liver transplant is not something you can prepare for and read up on as it is something that affects us all in different ways. It can show itself in some people who may be feeling guilty, suffering from depression, suffering from anxiety and worrying about the illness coming back, to name but a few examples.
Thanks for reading,
Peace, love and light x