For most patients, receiving a new organ means feeling better and resuming the activities you may have given up because of your illness. For patients who have had a kidney transplant, it means an end to dialysis treatments. You may feel like you have a new lease on life.1
As you enjoy improvements in your health, you may experience changes in your lifestyle that can have a long term effect. These can include:
- Transitioning back to work or school
- Health concerns
- Physical changes and challenges
- Changes in your relationships
- Work or school transition
Your transplant team probably includes a social worker who can help you or your child transition back to work or school. Vocational rehabilitation services that help people who have been out of the workforce due to a disability may also be an option that can help you. For more information, talk to your social worker or call your CVS Specialty CareTeam.
Most people return to their normal routines after a transplant, but some experience additional health concerns that can affect their well-being. These can include depression or anxiety, or conditions brought on by immunosuppressive medications like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or gastrointestinal problems. It’s important to talk to your doctor about any symptoms you experience, including those that affect your mental health. Your CVS Specialty CareTeam is also a good resource if you have questions or concerns.
The medications you take to suppress your immune system and prevent rejection can have significant side effects, including:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Hair growth
Talk to your doctor, transplant team, or CVS Specialty CareTeam about the side effects you’re experiencing and for help in managing them. Remember, you should not stop taking any medication without talking to your doctor first.
While you were ill, you may have relied heavily on family and friends to help you with your care and your daily activities. After you recover from surgery, you’ll be able to manage many of these things on your own. While their support will continue to be beneficial, your friends and family will need to adapt now that you can do more for yourself. Your social worker or a therapist can help you if you have relationship challenges.
Support groups can be a valuable resource for helping you transition back to your pre-surgery routine. These groups give you an opportunity to talk with others who’ve experienced the same challenges and to share information and tips. Your social worker or CVS Specialty CareTeam can help you find support groups in your area.
If you have questions or concerns about your recovery, or need help navigating changes, talk to your doctor or social worker, or contact your CVS Specialty CareTeam.