Stress Management and Support
Manage Stress: As if the stress from having PSC isn’t enough, the stress while waiting for a transplant can also be tough. Many transplant candidates feel depressed and upset. This is a normal reaction to an abnormal condition. You have a right to your feelings. Yet, hope can see you through, too. So, try to keep your mind focused on the goal and work toward that. Learn how others have managed stress.
Communicate: Talk over your feelings and fears with family and friends. Seek professional counseling, if you need it. Your medical team can help you with this.
Prepare: Prepare yourself physically and emotionally for major surgery. It is likely to take a while as you wait on the list and for the right liver. Some PSCers have become even sicker while waiting. Remember, however, that thousands of patients receive liver transplants each year. Some even receive multiple organ transplants, such as liver/kidney. The wait and your deteriorating condition can be worrisome, but do your best to keep your hope alive.
Get a Buddy: Mentor or “buddy” programs offered by transplant centers or online as well as transplant support groups (locally and online) are invaluable. There are many things you’ll want to know ahead of surgery that another patient can tell you. A buddy can help prepare you for post-surgery life, as well. The American Liver Foundation and/or your transplant center can tell you if such support programs are available locally. Click here to learn more about online support groups.
Be Leery of Internet Information: While the internet can be extremely useful for transplant and PSC research, it is wise to ask your specialist about information you pick up through the internet and through other reading or conversation. Your situation is unique. Well-intentioned advice from laymen may not be right for you.
Select a Caregiver: You will need to select a caregiver for this important surgery, and, in some instances, that person may need to take an advocacy role. Ideally, your caregiver will become educated along with you. Click here to find information for caregivers.
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