Caring for a transplant patient isn’t easy. From the shock of diagnosis to the agonizing wait to receive a transplant, caring for your loved one can be a rollercoaster of emotions. Even when your loved one has received a transplant, you still may feel worried. These feelings are common. But by educating yourself on what to expect post transplant, you may feel less overwhelmed by the whole process.
Immediately following your loved one’s transplant is when they’ll need your support the most. This is when rejection is most likely to happen.
It's important to keep an eye out for any changes your loved one exhibits, including:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Pain at the transplant site
- Feeling unwell
- Change in weight
- Change in heart rate
- Urinating less often
- Shortness of breath
If you notice any of these changes, talk to a doctor immediately. It’s common for transplant recipients to experience an episode of acute rejection in their first year. Sometimes acute rejection can develop into chronic rejection, which is where an organ slowly fails over time. Signs of rejection may mean the recipient’s medication needs to be adjusted. That doesn’t mean you should ignore any symptoms, though.
Rejection can happen any time, even years after a transplant. So it’s important to check in with your loved one to see how they’re doing.