I have realized the fact that life cannot be any way better after a heart transplant. Although I’m yet to have my heart transplant, how could it be different? Let me share some of the things I learned.
The human body has a natural tendency to reject any foreign body including any transplanted organ. So to prevent such an occurrence after a heart transplant, the patients must take immunosuppressant drugs throughout his/her lifetime.
How do this drugs work?
It works by suppressing the immune system and prevent it from rejecting the foreign body. But patients are carefully monitored in case a rejection occurs. At first, the patient is monitored weekly, then in two weeks interval, and finally, monthly. As time progresses, the checks will become less frequent. But in case a rejection occurs, a rejection in this instance should be a thing to be scared of because it can be treated with medication.
The drugs work by suppressing the immune system, hence; the patient must take some precautions. Patients are advised to use a mask in crowded areas and wash their hands frequently. The likelihood that the patient might fall ill in the first year of transplant is very high. Although this varies. Some patients live a healthy life after a transplant, while some need extra care and attention to scale through.
As a transplanted patient, you should be careful about the kind of foods you eat, especially outside your home. They must avoid shared food and buffets. They should ensure the meat is adequately cooked and the vegetables are fresh and properly washed. These are general personal hygiene that everyone should observe, but a heart transplant patient needs it the most.
The drugs meant to weaken the immune system has a lot of side effects. But each patient reacts differently to them. They have been known to cause cancer and kidney damage which also leads to kidney failure.
Although these patients get a cure for heart failure, they are after that faced with a lifestyle filled with limitations. But they can live a healthy life if they take their drugs regularly.