Going Home after a Kidney Transplant
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You should inculcate good habits including getting plenty of rest, the right exercise, following the proper diet, and maintaining and developing positive mental attitudes. When you go home after a transplant, you are a whole person, not a “walking kidney” with all activities and interest focused upon your new kidney. You are a parent, spouse, worker, vacationer, friend, hobbyist – all the things you were before your kidneys failed. A positive mental attitude also aids in coping with problems that might occur. Most transplant recipient are glad to have received a transplant. They have found that there might be problems involved, but they can lead an active, productive life. It is especially important to realize that after a kidney works well, you will be able to resume full time work activities. Usually, the transplant team will give permission for work six weeks to two months post–transplant.
During the first few weeks after discharge, watching for signs of rejection or infection is a high priority. Your discharge instructions will be given to you by your doctor before going home. If you develop any unusual symptoms or problems, you should contact your doctor immediately.
After your discharge, your activity will be limited for a while. You will probably be able to return to work in about six weeks to two months, depending upon the type of work you do.
Exercise is good for developing muscle strength and for off–setting one of the possible side effects of prednisone. You should gradually increase your exercise. Walking is good exercise and can be easily increased by walking a little further each day.
Medical Emergency Identification
You should have medical information identification in the form of a necklace, bracelet or a card.
Regular visits to your doctor is necessary, for the first week or two, these visits are three times a week. After that, they will be at least once a week. Then the intervals between visits will gradually lengthen until you come to the clinic every two or three months. You will have blood samples drawn and depending on the result your doctor might change the medication. There are transplant social workers and the transplant dietician available in some of the hospitals if you need to see them.