I was talking with some friends today, and I was surprised by a comment made by some co-workers, that if they came to visit me I could catch a germ and die, so they shouldn’t. I don’t want to alienate or belittle anyone, and I can see how this could be misconstrued, but that is really not the case.
While it is true that I am now and forever to be an immuno-challenged type, it does not automatically mean that any ol’ germ or virus will make me kick the bucket. It’s quite the opposite in fact. I mean I am currently infected with a virus that if left unchecked could kill me – but that doesn’t mean it will. There are certain things and situations that I have to avoid in order to stay out of the hospital, recently inoculated children being a big one. Since in most cases, they use live virus in the inoculations – if I were to come in close contact with that child if could be bad news for me. There are other things too, our cat is an inside kitty now, and (unfortunately) I am no longer authorized for Kitty Litter duty. Damn! I loved that part!
Here are a few basic tips of things to avoid:
- Avoid overexposure to the sun.
- Avoid all alcoholic beverages.
- Don’t smoke.
- Check with the transplant team before having dental work done to see if antibiotics are necessary.
- Avoid travel to countries that require immunization for smallpox, measles, German measles, or any other vaccine containing a live virus, because liver transplant patients cannot receive these vaccines.
- Avoid contact with anyone who has had a live vaccination.
- Avoid people with colds and communicable diseases, such as chicken pox, measles or herpes.
The reality is that most people live long, healthy lives after having a transplant, and that is exactly what I am working towards. The hardest part for me is going to be avoiding sick folks during those months when it is bad. People routinely go to work sick, which is flat out not worth it. This has always been a bone of contention with me any way, but now it’s not going to get any better. If you’re sick, stay home. You are more use to your employer at home than spreading sickness through a poorly ventilated office.
Oops. Digressing all over the page.
There is plenty of good info on dealing with life post transplant, this is just 1 link – http://hora.cpmc.columbia.edu/dept/liverMD/faqs_posttx.html
I guess the long and the short of it is, if you want to stop by – do. I don’t don’t bite unless asked to.