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Does it ever just hit you?

So, some days I can completely forget that I've had a transplant and other days it hits me like a ton of bricks that I have another person's liver inside my body. I just can't even wrap my mind around it sometimes. It seems to big to even contemplate. I think I'm grieving my donor, even though I never met him but I'm not sure. Do you ever move on from that terrifying realization that you have another person's organ inside of you? I know that's quite morbid but it just seems so real to me, yet so unreal. If that makes any sense... lol.

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  • the exact same things happen to me sometimes ill be so happy and living my life and then anything can just set it off.  I also know my donor and that helps and is also tough at some times.  

  • Some days I am Queen of the mountain, all is beautiful in my world, other days...a frightened kitten aware of the frailness of this body trying to co-exist with an organ that I received at the cost of someone's life. A son, a daughter or parent. I grieved so hard for well over a year for my benefactor and their family. My husband said always, "Why haven't you sent a letter of gratitude to the hospital so your donor may find more peace that their loved one has given you life?" My answer, some may not understand but I can't care if we are to be honest on this forum, is because I would not want to hear from the one who is alive when I lost my son or daughter. I may never be able to want to know such a thing so if the donor writes, so be it, but I will not stab at such a horrible wound.
    Like you, my emotions would hit me out of no where but all of you have taught me to ride them out, it gets better, your new normal becomes a blessing but we are different, we think, feel, understand differently. We are forever changed and that was the beginning of my healing. No box for my heart, created by ignorant people. All of you understand and it helps.
  • But don't you guys sometimes ask yourself HOW the hell did this happen?? We are in a VERY unfortunate group. 99.85% of the population is NOT on dialysis & 99.96% of the population does NOT need to be on the transplant list!

    It's EXTREMELY frustrating when you see heroin addicts, alcoholics, narcotic addicts, coke addicts, chain smokers, other drug abusers, morbidly obese people yet 99% of them do NOT need dialysis to live NOR do they need a transplant!

    I've run 2000 miles in my life, benched 350 & deadlifted 450 (at my best), never even had a flu or fever since I was a kid, and don't even get a COLD so HOW on earth did I get organ failure when so many people ABUSE their bodies horribly yet don't need an organ transplant??!?

    • It is what it is. Nothing in this world is fair.

      My mom and dad in law are wonderful people.  But the smoked, never ever never get any exercise, eat garbage junk food all the time, and MIL is at least 200 lbs overweight.  Yet at 85 they have beaten all the odds.  Amazing.  Again, nothing in this world if fair.

      • That's true Steve. It's like how some people chain smoke their entire life but NEVER get cancer! The oldest woman EVER on record, Jeanne Calment, lived to 122 but stopped smoking at 119 ONLY because she was no longer able to light cigarettes!

        But you know kids die from cancer, accidents, homicide, etc. & that's even MORE unfair so that's kind of a self-defeating argument because you can ALWAYS find someone whose life was more unfair than another person.

        Regardless of all this it doesn't stop you from wondering HOW could this happen when I did everything PERFECTLY!!

        • I feel what you feel.. I am a firefighter, we do routine exercises on a daily basis, ran marathon almost every year, never smoke cigarettes, never took alcohol. yet, my kidneys fail. on the other hand, I have a cousin who drinks as if there is no more tomorrow. he is strong as a bull. is it fair? we firefighters always say, take care of your body and your body will take care of you. right now, I can't even eat my favorite blue berry cheesecake as I had developed diabetes after transplant. I guess, there is truth in saying all is not fair.
  • Hi Katie, I am grateful to my second donor and I will never know who he/she was. This gave me a second chance. My first donor liver belonged to an older person and I am grateful to him/her as that gave the necessary extension and enabled me to receive the second liver. My first liver tx gave me just a few days. All I can say is, when I look now back, many things happen for a reason. I cherish this gift which was given to me and taken special care about it. For me, it is still a miracle and a great wonder. I can understand your feelings.   

  • Hi Katie, I am Wayne and new to this. Old man of 50 from oz and am pre TX. To be honest, the thought of going through what you have been through scares  me. My impression from your bio is that 'she's a strong young person'. Not sure if I deserve such a gift. Does this make any sense? Anyway, thanks for the thoughts. 

    • HI Wayne,

      Having a Tx can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience, which brings with it a myriad of emotions and thoughts.  I truly understand your feelings and thoughts about deserving a second chance, the Tx team has deemed you  physically and mentally able to have the Tx and take care of it.  The questions remaining will be there for the rest of your days to ponder.  They are what keeps a Tx, a miracle and fills us all with gratitude, amazement, and wonder.  You are deserving and will honor your donor and their family by caring for it as best as you can.  Very few in this world get a second chance at life.  I will state that these questions get even more intense when, as I did at age 55, you receive a second, second chance at life from another donor.  I have learned to accept it in stride and continue to search for answers.

  • Not miniminzing the awesomeness of the gift I received.  I am reminded twice daily and pill time I have anothers organ in me.  My wife and discuss it on occasion, remembering all we went thru, how fortunate we are, etc.  I'm on this forum, Transplant Buddies, and others.  Folks at work frequently ask how I'm doing.  

    Otherwise I never give it a second thought.  I am most certainly not weighed down by it.

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