Updated: Feb 16, 2020
This article was written by a 23 year veteran of kidney disease and someone whom has experience with Hemo-dialysis, PD, and 2 Kidney Transplants. She also has experience with near death, extreme financial hardship, denial and rejection for receiving proper support from systems post transplant, homelessness, and more.
Her mission is to broaden our horizons with improving life post transplant. Something that’s never been fully addressed in a system that is crying out for evolution and upgrades. This piece in not intended to deter anyone from Transplant. Please do it if you can. This piece IS intended to set out a clarion call for better support post transplant.
-Trigger warning ahead-
This may not apply to you, but just maybe you can “see” beyond yourself and understand this great need.
Organ donation changes lives. There is no doubt that this live saving process is miraculous and deserves more attention. But an aspect of this often long complex process that is grossly overlooked is what happens after one receives the “gift of life”.
If one has little knowledge about transplants, one may assume this altruist offering provides ones life to completely return to normal. The reality is, this is far from the truth.
My speciality is bringing awareness to post transplant life, including complications, accomplishments, and ways in which we need to improve current models and systems to make the aggregate assumptions more accurate.
As a 2x transplant patients myself, I can say whole heartedly, that life has polarized and navigating these 2 extremes can be very difficult. I have been blessed to have had my prior career and experience in authentic wellness. This includes a primary focus on biopsycho-spiritual ways of overcoming great challenge.
If (a 15-year yoga and wellness studio owner) struggle with having 20+ years
applied knowledge in transformation, I cannot help but think that others may too be struggling with the roller coaster of complexities post transplant.
I have spoken to patients whom simply keep quiet regarding the difficulties because they “are to be grateful”. Many just don’t know where to begin and often get consumed by the journey. This creates cognitive dissonance because we are grateful but this gift comes with a price often literally and figuratively. A battle between what we think as opposed to how we truly feel. The reality for patients is the transplant is simply the beginning of yet another journey. We fight with gratitude and humility, but the war is far from over. It is time we offered a voice for these patients.
I want to bring up a valid point here. How your life was pre-transplant often determines the foundation of how your life may be immediately after transplant. Or as for many of us, it completely breaks down into a pile of mush before we begin a process of rebuilding post transplant. Relative matters such as your age, your family support system, your financial means, your work or whether you have a trade or skill that’s still accessible all affects a big part of your success post transplant.
If you are in the ideal circumstances pre-transplant, for instance, are fiscally sound, have wonderful relationships and familial support, have a good job or trade or skill that offers a high quality insurance plan, and you have minimal post transplant complications or time off work, transplant many be a most glorious process for you.