What is it really like living with a new liver? As we cannot be sure how one person’s body will accept a new liver compared to another person, it is hard to cover everything in one blog post. However, there are many similarities that follow on from having a liver transplant with certain diversions along the way.
If you have had a liver transplant, this will be very familiar and, if you are waiting for a transplant, this could help prepare you for your new adventure ahead.
Living with a new liver means the start of new medication such as Immunosuppressants to stop your body from rejecting your new organ. When you first have a transplant the amount of medication you have to take includes steroids and drugs that will help your body recover and accept the new organ. The amount of medication may seem a lot in the beginning but, over the months the amount of medication is gradually reduced.
Living with a new liver means a big change in your life and the life of those closest to you. This can involve a whole new set of challenges such as a new diet, different medication, regular check-ups and monitoring of the new organ. The monitoring starts off weekly and gradually it gets to monthly and then every 3 months and so on as the body heals and you become better.
Living with a new liver means having to come to terms with certain emotional side effects such as the emotions attached to receiving an organ from someone else and the feeling of where you were before the transplant to where you are afterwards in terms of your health.
Living with a new liver is not as easy in the beginning as we think. It is common to have certain infections after a transplant with the two common ones being sepsis and CMV. Both treatable and something doctors are very familiar with.
Living with a new liver means that you actually get a second chance at life and if you are anything like me, grab this opportunity with both hands, enjoy every day, try to eat healthily and gradually start to exercise.
Living with a new liver can mean having some quirky side effects. For me, the most noticeable are firstly my hair. Before the transplant, it was very straight and then after transplant and for the first 6 months, it started to fall out. Once it stopped falling out, it then grew back half wavy and half curly. The other noticeable thing for me is food and how my tastes have changed. Before the transplant, I could not eat cheese and loved eating raw chillies. After the transplant, I cannot get enough cheese and very rarely eat chillies anymore.
Living with a new liver means that you get to enjoy your family as the new you which means more energy, no longer having to live with the side effects of a long-term illness and having a happier more positive outlook on life.
Living with a new liver means that there is always support and guidance if you need it. You will have a team of transplant coordinators you can call on if and when needed.
Living with a new liver means we will always be eternally grateful to our donors and the NHS staff that make everything possible.
Thank you for reading.
Peace, Love and light x