Monday, December 3, 2012

Things I Didn't Know about Transplant Life

There have been things in the last few days that I didn't know about transplant life and obviously none of it would have changed my mind or conviction about living with an organ transplant it was new to me so I'll share with you.

  • Olivia can never have another live vaccination.  No flu mist, only flu shots and she cannot be in close proximity for two weeks with anyone who has had the flu mist or another vaccine like chicken pox or rubella vaccines either
  • When Olivia's in school and there were a chicken pox epidemic if she's been in contact, we need to reach out to her cardiologist team to get prophalctic (preventative) medications to treat it regardless of whether or not she has any symptoms
  • This one makes sense but wasn't something I thought about but during a heart transplant all of the nerves to the heart are cut and they don't ever restore their previous functionality.  Because of this, when a heart recipient is working out they need to have a warm up and cool down period due to the fact that the nerve signals that the rest of the body would normally send do not make their way to the heart.  Instead the body has to create a chemical to get into the bloodstream that tells the heart to pick up the pace
  • Grapefruit juice and/or grapefruit itself really mess up a lot of medications and cannot be ingested at all by anyone on anti-rejection meds because of the chemical makeup
  • Cardiology wants her to have a life alert bracelet stating that she is a heart recipient and they cannot use Atropine because of the nerve issue cited above
  • There's no drinking at all, yes, I know she's 2.  But I mean even as a 21 year old, her cardiology doctors have stressed how UNOS (organ bank organization) has ZERO tolerance for alcohol for any of their organ recipients
  • Incision - Liv's new incision is about 2.5" longer than her old Norwood, Glenn, Fontan lines, makes sense to me but was a little startling to see the unveiling yesterday

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