The other day, I posted the first 5 main mistakes transplant patients make. Today I will present the remaining 5 mistakes that we observe and could shorten your survival post-transplant.
6. Not exercising
Every single patients (actually this is good for everybody, including me!) should enrolled in a structured program of physical conditioning, providing that their physician has cleared them to do so. A structured environment is much better since you will have someone pushing in your back to have you take the extra step and to show up… Self-exercising is OK for a minority of people because most of us lack motivation and would quit after 1 week.
7. Lacking knowledge about your medication
How often have I heard the doctor asking a patient the reason why he is taking something and the patient replies: “I don’t know. A doctor told me to”. Better informed patients make healthier patients. C’mon guys, there is no excuse today to be uninformed with all the information we can find on Internet. At least know the purpose of each meds you are taking.
8. Eating wrong diet
It is OK to eat some fast food once in a while if you really like it but I would suggest that you cook your own food at home along with some raw vegetables. Of course, the vegetables need to be washed really good. It will help with your weight management along with your blood sugar. As transplant patients, you are taking so many medications that you don’t need to eat all that processed food along with their chemicals. Check with your dietitian at your transplant hospital about tips and ideas.
9. Returning to bad habits
Before transplant, while being evaluated, most patients swear they will be taking care of themselves much better. Unfortunately, once they start feeling great after the surgery, some of them go back to their old habits that led them to require a transplant (obviously it is not all patients who need transplant that fall into that category, some have acquired diseases or were born with it). What I mean is this: a long time smoker now needing a lung transplant, a fast food eater ending up needing a heart transplant because of too many heart attacks or a high salt intake person who ends up with severe hypertension which cause kidney failure requiring transplant. Believe it or not, some patients restart smoking after lung transplant! A new organ does not treat the causes in most cases, it just relieves symptoms. You have received a new chance in life, it is your turn to take care of it.
10. Be positive!
This is the correct attitude towards the success of your transplantation. If you feel you have some depression please check with your hospital to see if they offer a support group. Some patients feel some guilt regarding being alive while their donor is dead. It is important to also take care of the mind.