Today – 1/30/16

posted in: Transplant ? | 0

Some twenty years ago I was told I had Hepatitis C. Fast forward 19+ years and sometime after the 4th or 5th medication regime that I followed in vain to try and rid my body of the disease my doctor told me that I now had only one way to fix the problems this disease had caused. A liver transplant. He wanted to schedule me to begin the necessary tests, conversations, etc necessary for me to eligible to be put on the waiting list for a donor liver. I was shocked. I may have the exact sequence off but I believe right after that is when the next treatment came into view – Harvoni. I attended a “liver transplant clinic” at the hospital where a number of doctors and others involved in the process spoke about the process, the procedure itself and what would happen after. I began my regime of the new medication and some weeks after after that my Doctor called and said they had all the approvals and documentation necessary to get me put on the list. My first reaction to that was wait… a minute, really? I don’t feel that sick. Is this really going to be necessary? (I was ignoring the hell my wife and kids had gone through with my sudden trips to the hospital and a few very bad episodes of hepatic encephalopathy.) Wasn’t I on a new very promising medication that might very well cure my Hep C and then my liver would heal, right? These are the things I believed. My wife hopefully wanted to believe them as well but very definitely wanted me to do whatever the doctors told me was in my best interest. If that meant getting put on the list then get put on the list. So I withdrew my objections and was put on the list. There were many more tests and people to see to be able to stay on the list but one day while sitting at my desk at work my phone rang.
They had found a compatible donor. Cutting to the chase – what was I thinking? as I look back now I was sick as a dog barely able to make it through a normal work day without collapsing. We had discovered that any full non routine day such as visiting a college my son was interested in or going out of town to visit relatives required a complete day a rest for me afterwards or I could not function well. I could go on about the obvious indicators of just how sick I was but I will not here. Suffice to say the point of this is that I feel the discomforts and issues that have been part of the transplant and recovery process are so minor in the shadow of what I have gained. My life as a healthy functional human being with dreams, abilities, reasoning and a love of life – all of these were returned to me by the generosity of my donor. – Thank you – again.

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