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What helped you get back to your "old self" after transplant?

ShelbycreatesExpert
Transplant Patient
May 9, 2022 in General

Hi all. I was having a great conversation with Karin today and I started wondering what helped you to feel like you had gotten back to your "old self" after your transplant?

For me, it was finally being able to go back to work as a speech-language pathologist. I'd been a stay-at-home mom for 10 years because of military moves, caring for our 4 kids, and my declining health.

I went back to work about a year after my transplant and it felt so good to feel like I was contributing in a bigger way in my life. Of course, being a wife and mom will always be my top priority (along with caring for my health), but it felt nice to start putting my work out into the world again.

I took time off to homeschool my 4 kids for the 2020-2021 school year due to the pandemic and to get certified as a life coach. I feel like this has helped me to again put my work out into the world, and it's helped me to be healthier too.

It definitely doesn't have to be work-related- but what do you think has helped you feel like your "old self" again?

1 - 9 of 9 Other Answers

  • BobRTransplant Patient

    Biggest things were staying physically active, hiring / working with a very good personal trainer, great people to work with @ MUSC, top quality kidney from a living donor, supportive family.

    May 9, 2022
  • JimGleason_TRIOTransplant Patient

    Post heart transplant back in 1994, I recovered on short-term disability for four months at home and weekly visits by different co-workers over lunches that I prepared for them was just what the doctor ordered (Yes, I had them wash their hands with a sign on the front door on each visit!- smile!) For Christmas, my boss even arranged to visit in Santa costume leading a group of carolers from the office - how's that for supportive friends? Returning to work finally, I was welcomed back with cake and by co-workers who marveled at how good I looked with a new heart (in comparison to the very sick guy they remembered from working with them before I went into the hospital). Sadly, at that same event, word spread that a fellow worker who had suffered a heart attack the year before and returned to work, had died over the weekend. I felt truly blessed and very glad to be getting back to normal with my job.

    PS: I quickly discovered that I couldn't work a full day at that stage of my recovery and for a few weeks reverted to half-days to return home for an afternoon recovery hourlong nap. A very wise adjustment to that recovery process before getting fully back to normal living.

    May 9, 2022
  • Sdey0522Transplant Patient

    Thanks for sharing @Shelbycreates It's good to hear about your journey๐Ÿ‘

    Personally, I've accepted the fact that it'll always be a 'new normal' for me, a heart recipient.

    That said, I have hope that I'll be able to do more & more as the days go by.

    The key is to stay positive and be ๐Ÿ’ฏ compliant, as far as, doing everything that I'm supposed to be doing to prolong this second chance at life!

    May 9, 2022
  • BrucePTransplant Patient

    I had a heart transplant 12 1/2 years ago. Afterwards I began running. (I had never run in my life.) Then. I started 5 and 10 k's

    May 9, 2022
  • Sdey0522Transplant Patient

    Wow! @BruceP That's awesome! Congratulations! ๐Ÿ‘

    May 9, 2022
  • BrucePTransplant Patient

    Far more important than exercise was prayer. I was within 3 weeks of dying and had many people praying for me. I was at Mass when word came that a donor heart had become available and I needed to get to the hospital. It was announced during Mass. I've been a Catholic all my life and never seen anything like this before. Now I'm in the process of writing a book.

    May 10, 2022
  • AliEm14Expert
    Transplant Patient

    In a general answer - nothing. The old self that existed was gone, the person who emerged after transplant was an entirely different person. My entire personality for 23 years had been being sick, and I didn't have that anymore.

    But in more specifics: being able to wash my own hair, listening to music, returning to social media. As my recovery progressed it was getting outside, being able to decorate for the holidays, being surrounded by the people i cared about, creating art again.

    I think I keep spiraling more into who I am. For me it was never about getting back anywhere, it was always about going forward into the next version of me

    May 10, 2022
  • AnnMarieCare Partner

    I think this is so important. Trying to get back into how you were is essential for your brain power but understanding that is the new version of you. And that is incredible part of YOU!

    May 11, 2022
  • ShelbycreatesExpert
    Transplant Patient

    That is seriously amazing! I love that. Can't wait to read it.

    May 11, 2022
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