Your quality of life after a liver transplant can be determined by how you were before you had the transplant and other existing medical conditions. However, in the majority of cases, having a liver transplant transforms your life for the better.
Talking from a personal perspective, below shows how I will always be so grateful to my organ donor:
Before I had the liver transplant I had:
- Major fatigue that I found very hard to overcome. I tried very strong coffee, drinking lots of water, vitamin B supplements and other herbal remedies. It never seemed to help.
- Major Itching. This was very hard to cope with. It was like a flea jumping around my body. I would scratch my leg and it would jump to my head. I would then scratch my head and it would jump to my foot. It was 24/7 even when I was trying to sleep. No amount of medication helped.
- My skin and eyes were always a lovely shade of yellow. This was jaundice which of course got worse closer to the transplant.
- I often had problems focusing/concentrating which was something I would jokingly call slow brain. This was caused by the liver getting worse and constant cholangitis attacks
- Often I would be taking 15 + pills a day. Did any of them really help? I am sure they did something but, at the time it felt like I was taking a pill to help something and then another pill to stop what the last pill was causing.
- A lot of the time and, especially during cholangitis attacks, I would have diarrhoea
- I would suffer a lot at the end with night sweats.
- For the last 2-3 years, I was on rotating antibiotics due to constant fevers and chills.
- I used to suffer from biliary stones only relieved with ERCPs
- I could not eat certain foods as they would either make me sick or give me diarrhoea.
My quality of life after a liver transplant:
Just over one year after my transplant and I still look back and think how lucky I am to be here and how the kind generosity of my donor has given me my life back.
- I no longer have fatigue problems.
- My itching has stopped.
- My eyes are very white and I no longer look yellow. My skin colour has improved 100%.
- My concentration levels have improved.
- I am now only taking 9 pills every day and 3 of these are immunosuppressants which are drugs that lower the body’s ability to reject a transplanted organ – so very important.
- I no longer have diarrhoea.
- I no longer have night sweats.
- I have stopped all antibiotics.
- I have had no more biliary stones.
- I can eat everything.
Of course, after the transplant, it has not been all plain sailing even though my quality of life after a liver transplant has been very good. I had the virus CMV for the first 6 months post transplant, my hair fell out, I am still suffering from constant dry skin on my face and am waiting for an incisional hernia to be fixed. A small price to pay for feeling as well as I do after what PSC did to me for so long.
Thanks for reading.
Peace, love and light x