A viewer and former KidneyBuzz.com, Find A Kidney Donor Program client wrote, "Your team helped me find a matching selfless donor this past December. Thank you so much! My life is so much better with a transplant. Still, can you give me some more information about how to best take care of my kidney after the transplant?"
This is a great question for Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, and Kidney Transplant patients. While the dream is often to receive a Kidney Transplant, when patients finally do get their wishes, many are overwhelmed and anxious about preserving their kidneys as long as possible. The following are a few tips that may help:
1.) Do your best to never miss an appointment with your medical team: While it is tempting to skip appointments as you feel better after your Kidney Transplant surgery, it is best to go to every appointment scheduled. Many patients feel that they only have one life and would prefer to spend their time with a new kidney, out enjoying the gift they have been given with family and friends instead of at the doctor. Still, this is not the best choice since a lot will be covered in your medical visits and if there is an issue it can be discovered sooner with a better chance of correction.
2.) Plan for longer medical appointments: Many patients want to get in and out of the hospital as soon as possible. One Dialysis patient said,"The longer you are in the hospital, the more likely you are to receive bad news." Most Chronic Kidney Disease patients share this sentiment. While it is a good rule-of-thumb to avoid staying in the hospital any longer than necessary, Kidney Transplant recipients should plan on their medical visits taking several hours - especially during the first year of recovery. Patients may consider bringing a snack or lunch in case they grow hungry between visits.
3.) Bring your medications: During your first visit after discharge from the hospital, Chronic Kidney Disease patients who have received a Kidney Transplant will be seen by the pharmacist, social worker, and a dietitian. It is recommended by large Transplant Centers such as UC Davis to, "bring all of your medicines to your first visit." You may consider walking with a list of prescribed medications during every visit to help avoid any errors.
4.) Ask for help: Chronic Kidney Disease patients often develop very independent personalities and it can be hard to ask for help. However, with a Kidney Transplant patients should not lift anything over 10 pounds for the first 6 weeks, and avoid driving for the same time period. These activities will increase your risk for a hernia which would require surgery to correct and could jeopardize your kidney. Simply try to get rest and ask for help from family members and friends.
5.) Be aware of your blood draw days: The UC Davis Transplant Center noted that, "On lab draw days, do not take Prograf, Cyclosporine or Rapamune before having blood drawn (you will not be on all three)" The doses of these drugs are adjusted based on how much drug is in your blood. Hence, the blood tests need to be drawn just before the morning dose. Only follow this notice made by UC Davis after clearly discussing the issue with your personal Healthcare Team.
6.) Regular business hours: Most Kidney Transplant Centers are open from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. If you have an emergency or urgent situation then go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care unless otherwise notified by your Healthcare Team.
If you need help sharing your story and connecting with possible selfless donors, then sign up for the Find A Kidney Donor Program and our team would love to help (click here)!
What is your biggest concern after receiving a Kidney Transplant? If you have not already received a kidney, then what do you anticipate you would be most anxious about once you do have a Kidney Transplant? Weigh-in with your own pros and cons at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page which has over 60,000 friends (click here). While you are there, like the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page and visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly (160,000 monthly viewers) for the latest tailored breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. You may become a regular visitor like, Charles Griffin who said, "Praise God for KidneyBuzz."