Our mission is to improve the lives of lung transplant patients and their families.

After discharge

Once discharged, the transplant patient who has relocated may need to stay in the area to recover and rehabilitate and will have frequent follow-up doctor’s visits and tests. In any case, your role as a caretaker can become more challenging as you manage the post-transplant protocol. You will need to assist in administering medication and monitoring blood pressure, blood sugars, and pulmonary function. Post-transplant medications affect each patient differently. Be observant and note any changes in mood, energy level, breathing function, and cognitive abilities. If you have any concerns, call your transplant coordinator immediately. Don’t hesitate to do this. The coordinator would rather hear routine things than fail to hear about something important.

The number of post-transplant medications and medical supplies can be overwhelming and can soon take over your home. To free yourself from the chaos, you might try:
• Creating closet space to house everything.
• Labeling boxes to put supplies in.
• Putting pill cases away immediately after use.
• Keeping a list of medications with a schedule for administering them and reordering them.
• Having a fixed time for refilling daily pill boxes.

As your loved one begins to heal, he or she will begin to soar, free of oxygen and illness, and be able to breathe freely. This is a fun time to learn new physical activities and hobbies to build stamina, strength, and energy. A new world will be at your loved one’s disposal. Recovery can be a wonderful time filled with the promise of a healthy life, so embrace it fully. Just make sure to always keep safety in mind: Avoid crowded places, wash your hands regularly or use alcohol hand gels, wear masks when appropriate, and know when to rest.

Long-term post-transplant complications are common. Rejection and infection can occur at any time. Side effects of immunosuppressive medications can take many forms, and some can be dangerous. Be acutely aware of any changes in your loved one’s appearance or demeanor. A slight temperature and even minor flu-like symptoms need to be reported and treated immediately.

As a caretaker, this is the time to embrace, be present, and be loving, kind, and patient with yourself and your loved one. Know that you are in a situation in which you cannot control the outcome, but you do have control over how you handle yourself and each situation that arises. Staying centered, caring for your own needs, asking and graciously receiving assistance, adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle habits, and making the absolute best of each moment will help you manage the stress of caregiving physically, mentally, and emotionally.

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