This is what my Organ Donor gave me...more beautiful, fun, exciting days with my awesome husband who loves me more than I thought was possible. We've been laughing & crying together almost as many years since my transplant than before it...what an amazing gift.
I smile a lot through the tough times though. Transplant life isn't always easy. I'm not the same person I was before and in a lot of good ways...but I can't forget or ignore that it's a trade. I traded one set of problems for different ones. I honestly consider myself pretty laid back, easy going and a little independent and adventurous. I am optimistic by nature, so the side effects of several of my medications have been hard to deal with. I have had anxiety since my transplant. I never had a panic attack until after recovery, which was hard to accept. There's a level of fear of losing everything again at any time...my lungs rejecting, putting Bryan through watching me die AGAIN, going on oxygen again, getting dementia again, my medical costs stress me out & the thought of future unknown medical expenses stresses me out...so every cold, cough, sneeze, infection scares the crap out of me. I could be one bad cold, flu, or pneumonia away from rejection...I could go into rejection for no reason at all. The stress overwhelms me. Also, My meds make me sensitive to too much noise & loud social situations. I try to deal and appear as normal as possible. There's so many times I want to scream "shut up!!" But I don't, instead I take a klonopin (or two) and find a quiet place to reset myself. I have an amazing man who helps me through my anxiety, depression and fears.
I don't like writing posts focusing on the hard facts about life after transplant...but I think it's not openly talked about enough and that can make those of us who are experiencing things like this feel broken. We're not broken though, and we're not weak...we just have different problems. Is a learning curve. We aren't alone. So although I put on a strong front to help give others strength, the truth is sometimes I'm not strong. It's hard having bad days, but the good days are definitely more frequent and worth it.
So look at my picture and remember I am the face of an invisible terminal chronic illness. I'm stronger than I even know I can be. I am happier than I can put into words while battling a lot of internal & emotional fights. Life post transplant can be amazing, wonderful, beautiful and very scary...it's a love hate kinda life :)
If you're reading this and you're either pre or post transplant & you have questions or just want support, please feel free to comment or message me.