Michele's Insight: Transplant Through the Eyes of a Caregiver
Sitting through the transplant surgery was one of the hardest and scariest, yet most exciting and most hopeful times of my life. After seeing all of the suffering of my loved one, with hopes and dreams snatched away, the transplant felt like our last hope for a chance at a more normal life. Understanding that an intestinal transplant was reserved for only the most ill individuals and that so few are done, helped me to focus on what the success of this transplant would be. My healthy normal would not be my loved ones healthy normal.
Cautiously optimistic became my phrase for how I felt. Understanding that there would be good and not good outcomes for my loved one helped and continues to help us live our best lives. Having my loved one go through the transplant is freeing in the sense that we no longer had to find a diagnosis. We knew that everything had been done to help create the healthiest life possible.
No matter how trite it sounds, and what else your loved one has gone through, this will be the toughest recovery they will ever know. I needed to remind myself of that and to make sure I helped my loved one know that this difficult part was actually expected and that they could and would get through it. The next part of the journey was about living life forward and being forever grateful that a donor and their family allowed my loved one a chance at a better life.