How can I reduce the stress of having a liver transplant?

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Navigating your way successfully through the transplant system can be difficult, especially when you are also trying to negotiate the symptoms of your chronic illness. The unknowns of transplant can be overwhelming for many patients and family members. These overwhelming feelings make many people feel anxious and irritable, making an already difficult process impossible for patients, family members, and staff. These tips will help reduce stress and make the liver transplant journey as pleasant as possible:

Communication
Communication with your healthcare provider really is the key to a successful transplant journey. You will have a lot of interaction with your providers, particularly your nurse practitioner (NP), pre- and post-transplant. Knowing the best way to contact your provider is critical. Do they want to be contacted by email, through their assistant, or directly? Don't assume that what works for one provider will work for another.
Appointments
Each healthcare provider has hundreds of patients. Since providers try to provide personalized care to each patient, it does require a certain amount of time to prepare for each appointment. For example, before your appointment, your nurse practitioner or hepatologist has attempted to review your chart to check labs, tests that had been ordered, etc. They are trying to focus on you in anticipation of your appointment. This process is interrupted when:
  • You are late.
  • You miss your appointment.
  • You or a family member interrupts your provider in clinic when you do not have an appointment with a series of questions, to get a medication refill, etc.
All of these disruptions, while seemingly harmless, interfere with a provider's ability to provide patients with scheduled appointments or with an emergency with the best care possible.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.