General — TransplantLyfe


What does your social worker do for you?

Transplant Patient
March 2, 2023 in General

Transplant Social Workers are on the critical path to successful outcomes from a transplant.

As a heart recipient (8 years on April 20, 2023) I'm extremely grateful for all transplant social workers (Pre & post).

What does your social worker do for you?

1 - 3 of 3 Replies

  • PabloTransplant Patient

    I was a bit cynical about "having a social worker" at age 75, having worked with them forever in my real job. And I knew that everything I said would be written down and shared with the Team. I was also a bit weirded out by having a dietician. Anyway - both turned out to be quite helpful. as to the social worker, we established a comfortable relationship, and during the very hard first 6 months, she was a great person to share my worries and fears. It was only productive for me for 6-8 months. NOw I just see her to say hi when I visit with the team. The dietician proved to be the most valuable ( or second to the head of the team) post-transplant. I eat much more healthy, she is always available to answer questions and food and diet and such things, she tailors her advice to what I CAN do - and I have lost 20 lbs since my transplant a year ago. Who knew?

    March 5, 2023
  • AliEm14Expert
    Transplant Patient

    I worked a lot with my dietician post transplant, and still do. I had a really complicated food history, and post transplant they really wanted me to eat anything at all. I remember my dietician bringing me a giant thing of fish and chips with a strawberry milkshake because it was the only thing that sounded good at the time. They did work with me to get me on a healthier diet after, but immediately post surgery it was whatever I felt like I wanted I got, even if it was McDonalds

    March 6, 2023
  • ShelbycreatesTransplant Patient

    I didn’t really work with a social worker post transplant. My husband was getting a PhD at the time, I had 3 kids in school and my youngest was 1 at the time. I told the transplant team over and over that I needed help with my son, because they put me on a 5lb weight restriction for 3 solid months and there was no support that they could give. I was his primary caregiver.

    That meant that I couldn’t put my son in a high chair or in a crib for a nap. I couldn’t pick him up if he fell. And most importantly, it meant that I couldn’t drive because I couldn’t put him in his car seat.

    My mom came and stayed for a month post transplant and she was able to help. When she left, I was at the mercy of the kindness of friends who would come over to help me put him in his crib for a nap or get him down from his high chair after eating.

    I could only drive places when people would watch him. Or I’d wait until they were going to the grocery store and go with them so they could put him in the car seat.

    The system wasn’t built to help support someone who is young with a transplant and the primary caregiver of a young child (who was barely walking at the time).

    This was my only need post transplant and no one could point me to any resources to help during this time.

    March 7, 2023
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