386) News for Transplant People

November 24, 2009

Reading the NephrOnline today and found an article about quality of life for transplant people over time. The authors report that usually transplant get more medical attention and support the first year after surgery and less as time goes on. I think we all know that. The interesting point, however, is that as people get less from the medical support system, they have more hospitalizations and the group representing one year post surgery had generally a better outlook about their future than did the group representing 3 years post surgery. "The side effects of immunosuppressive medication had statistically significant effects on selected psychosocial variables, such as how they judged their health, what they felt they could achieve, how well they coped and their health-related quality of life."

The authors suggest that continued medical support should continue more regularly for more time post surgery than currently. "They also need to provide patients with advice on post-transplant care, immunosuppressive medication and self-care skills, together with initiatives that enhance their positive appraisal of their health, their belief in what they can achieve and their ability to cope effectively."

This research makes sense, and I myself find that I am getting lax on my self care as I meet less with my post-transplant team. It seems like the desire to return to a "normal" life post transplant, at least in my case, has an impact on keeping to the strict timing of taking my meds and no matter how I try to keep the timing a priority, it easily slips into the background, especially when there is a busy social or work schedule, like going to a sporting event and realizing once I am there that I'll still be there when my medication time happens.

I think that as the post transplant team sees me less often, I also pay close attention to my situation less strictly.

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