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Organ Transplant Uncategorized

Organ Transplantation: A Journey Through Uncertainty

Organ Transplantation: A Journey Through Uncertainty

The news that you need an organ transplant is a life-altering moment that catapults most people into a whirlwind of emotions and challenges. The swift transition from a life of relative health to embarking on a medical journey can be overwhelming, impacting not only the patient themselves, but also their caregivers and loved ones. This article delves into the profound stress associated with the organ transplantation process, exploring the rapid shift from the unknown to medical care, the struggles with anxiety and depression, the overwhelming nature of the journey, the spiritual conflicts that arise, and the often underestimated impact on caregivers. So, let’s take a look at; Organ Transplantation: A Journey Through Uncertainty.

The Shock of the Diagnosis and Swift Transition to Care

Learning that an organ transplant is necessary can be a traumatic experience in itself. For many, it marks the end of life as they knew it, ushering in a period of uncertainty and change. From not knowing there is a problem to being thrust into the world of medical procedures, tests, and treatments can be a dizzying experience. The rapid pace at which patients transition from a relatively normal life to being placed on waiting lists for organs or beginning treatments like dialysis is a profound psychological and emotional shift that can be difficult to process.

Anxiety and Depression: Silent Struggles in the Organ Transplant Journey

The emotional toll of facing organ transplantation is often accompanied by heightened levels of anxiety and depression. The uncertainty surrounding the future, the potential complications of the procedure, and the fear of mortality can lead to a constant state of anxiety. Patients might grapple with thoughts of not surviving the surgery or of being unable to find a suitable organ donor in time. Depression can also emerge as the reality of the situation sinks in, and patients mourn the loss of their previous health and independence.

Overwhelmed and Traumatized: Navigating the Organ Transplantation Process

The organ transplantation process can quickly become overwhelming and traumatic. Patients are bombarded with a barrage of medical information, appointments, tests, and decisions to make. The constant state of being poked, prodded, and under the microscope can take a toll on mental and emotional well-being. Furthermore, the weight of waiting for a suitable organ can be emotionally exhausting, as hope and disappointment ebb and flow with each passing day. The need to advocate for oneself and manage the logistical and emotional aspects of the journey can lead to feelings of helplessness and frustration.

Spiritual Reflection: Confronting Mortality and Impermanence

Facing our own mortality is an inherent part of the organ transplantation journey, and it often prompts profound spiritual reflection. Patients might grapple with questions about the meaning of life, the purpose of suffering, and the nature of existence. These existential inquiries can trigger a range of emotions, from anger and frustration to acceptance and a deeper connection with spirituality. The confrontation with impermanence can serve as a catalyst for personal growth and transformation, leading patients to reevaluate their values and priorities.

The Unsung Heroes: Impact on Caregivers

While the focus primarily centers on patients, the emotional impact on caregivers should not be overlooked. Caregivers often bear witness to the physical and emotional struggles of their loved ones, experiencing their own feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and stress. Balancing the role of advocate, emotional support, and practical assistance can take a toll on caregivers’ mental and physical well-being. The complexities of an organ transplant journey can strain relationships and push caregivers to their limits, necessitating adequate support systems and resources.

Coping and Healing: Strategies for Navigating the Organ Transplant Journey

As the organ transplantation journey unfolds, patients, caregivers, and loved ones can employ various strategies to navigate the emotional challenges:

  1. Seeking Professional Support: Engaging with mental health professionals, such as therapists or counselors who are seasoned and experienced at working with transplant patients, can provide a safe space to process emotions and develop coping strategies.
  2. Support Groups: Joining support groups with others who are experiencing similar challenges can create a sense of community and shared understanding.
  3. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practices that focus on the present moment, such as mindfulness and meditation, can help alleviate anxiety and foster emotional resilience.
  4. Communication: Open and honest communication between patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers is crucial for addressing concerns, sharing emotions, and making informed decisions.
  5. Art and Creativity: Engaging in creative activities like art, writing, or music can provide an outlet for emotional expression and healing.
  6. Spiritual Guidance: Exploring one’s spirituality and seeking guidance from spiritual leaders or mentors can help navigate the existential questions that arise.
Conclusion

The emotional journey of organ transplantation is complex, traversing a range of emotions from shock and anxiety to spiritual contemplation and acceptance. The rapid transition from health to medical care, the struggles with anxiety and depression, the overwhelming nature of the process, and the impact on caregivers collectively create a landscape of challenges that demand attention and support. Recognizing the multifaceted nature of the transplantation journey is crucial in providing holistic care and fostering emotional well-being for patients and their caregivers alike.

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Cancer & Medical Cancer Resilience Life Transitions Organ Transplant Pre & Post Surgical Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Uncategorized

Effects of Medical Trauma

Medical trauma is a term used to describe the psychological impact of a traumatic medical event or experience. This can include a range of experiences, such as a serious illness, a medical procedure, or a hospitalization. While medical trauma can have physical effects on the body, it can also have significant mental health effects that can last long after the event has passed

.One of the most common mental health effects of medical trauma is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of reminders of the event, and hyperarousal. Medical trauma can be particularly likely to lead to PTSD because it often involves a sense of loss of control and a threat to one’s physical well-being.

In addition to PTSD, medical trauma can also lead to depression and anxiety. These conditions can develop as a result of the stress and uncertainty associated with a medical event, as well as the physical symptoms and limitations that may result from the event. Depression and anxiety can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life and can make it difficult to cope with the aftermath of a medical trauma.

Another mental health effect of medical trauma is the development of somatic symptoms. Somatic symptoms are physical symptoms that have no clear medical cause. They can include things like pain, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems. Somatic symptoms can develop as a result of the stress and anxiety associated with a medical trauma, and can be difficult to treat because they are not caused by a clear medical condition.

Finally, medical trauma can also lead to a loss of trust in the medical system. This can occur if a person feels that they were not adequately informed about their medical condition or treatment options, or if they feel that they were not treated with respect and dignity during their medical experience. A loss of trust in the medical system can make it difficult for a person to seek medical care in the future, which can have negative consequences for their physical and mental health.

In conclusion, medical trauma can have significant mental health effects that can last long after the event has passed. These effects can include PTSD, depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms, and a loss of trust in the medical system. It is important for healthcare providers to be aware of the potential for medical trauma and to provide appropriate support and resources to patients who have experienced a traumatic medical event.

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Anxiety & Stress Life Transitions Organ Transplant Pre & Post Surgical Uncategorized

The Mental Challenges of Liver Transplant

Life can be unpredictable, throwing us into uncharted waters when we least expect it. For individuals facing the daunting prospect of a liver transplant, the physical challenges are often only the tip of the iceberg. The mental and emotional hurdles that transplant recipients and their families must navigate can be equally demanding. In this blog post, we’ll explore the profound mental challenges that accompany liver transplantation and shed light on the experiences of both patients and their loved ones.

The Waiting Game: Anxiety and Uncertainty

One of the most mentally taxing aspects of liver transplantation is the waiting period. Patients often spend months, and sometimes even years, on the transplant waiting list. During this time, they grapple with a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from hope to despair. The uncertainty of when, or if, a suitable donor will become available can be mentally exhausting. Patients may feel trapped in a state of limbo, unable to plan for the future with any degree of certainty.

Fear of the Unknown: Facing Surgery and Recovery

The liver transplant surgery itself is a monumental event, both physically and mentally. Patients must confront their fears and anxieties about the procedure, potential complications, and the unknown road that lies ahead. It’s not uncommon for individuals to experience heightened stress, sleep disturbances, and panic in the days leading up to the surgery.

Moreover, the post-transplant recovery phase poses its own set of mental challenges. Patients may struggle with a mix of emotions, including relief, gratitude, and fear. Adapting to a new lifestyle, strict medication regimens, and the ongoing risk of rejection can be overwhelming.

Guilt and Helplessness: The Emotional Toll on Families

Liver transplant patients are not the only ones affected by the process. Families play a crucial role in providing support, but they too face profound mental challenges. Many family members experience feelings of guilt, helplessness, and anxiety as they watch their loved one endure the physical and emotional rigors of transplantation.

Parents, spouses, and children may grapple with a sense of powerlessness, wishing they could do more to alleviate the suffering of the patient. The uncertainty and roller coaster of emotions can take a toll on family relationships, leading to strained dynamics.

Coping Mechanisms: Seeking Mental Resilience

Amidst these mental challenges, patients and their families often develop remarkable resilience. Support groups, counseling, and therapy are essential resources for individuals navigating the complex emotions surrounding liver transplantation. Sharing experiences with others who understand the journey can provide a sense of community and comfort.

Mindfulness practices, meditation, and stress-reduction techniques can also help individuals cope with the mental strain. Maintaining open communication within the family unit is vital, enabling loved ones to express their feelings and concerns without judgment.

Wrapping Up

Liver transplantation is a life-saving procedure that offers hope to countless individuals battling liver disease. However, the mental challenges faced by transplant patients and their families should not be underestimated. The emotional roller coaster of waiting, surgery, and recovery can leave lasting scars on the psyche.

Support, both from healthcare professionals who understand the unique challenges that come with liver transplantation and within one’s own support network, is paramount in overcoming these challenges. By sharing experiences, seeking counseling, and practicing self-care, individuals can navigate the stormy waters of liver transplantation with greater resilience and hope for a brighter future. Ultimately, the mental strength developed throughout this journey can serve as a testament to the indomitable human spirit.

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Organ Transplant Pre & Post Surgical Uncategorized

Psychological Impact of Organ Transplant

Organ transplant is a life-saving procedure that has become increasingly common in modern medicine. While the physical benefits are clear, the psychological challenges that come with the procedure are often overlooked. Patients often face a range of psychological challenges, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

One of the primary psychological challenges of organ transplant is anxiety. Patients who are awaiting a transplant may experience anxiety related to the uncertainty of when a suitable organ will become available. This anxiety can be exacerbated by the fear of rejection or complications after the transplant. Additionally, patients may experience anxiety related to the financial burden of the procedure, as well as the potential loss of employment or social support during the recovery period.

Depression is another common psychological challenge faced by these patients. The physical limitations and lifestyle changes that come with the procedure can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and isolation. Patients may also experience depression related to the loss of their previous identity and the uncertainty of their future health.

PTSD is a less commonly discussed psychological challenge of organ transplant, but it is still a significant concern for many patients. PTSD can develop in patients who have experienced a traumatic event, such as a near-death experience or a prolonged hospital stay. Patients who undergo organ transplant may experience PTSD related to the physical trauma of the procedure, as well as the emotional trauma of the uncertainty and fear that often accompany the transplant process.

In conclusion, while transplantation is a life-saving procedure that comes with a range of psychological challenges for patients. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD are just a few of the psychological challenges that patients may face before, during, and after the transplant process. It is important for healthcare providers to recognize and address these challenges in order to provide comprehensive care for organ transplant patients. By addressing the psychological challenges of organ transplant, healthcare providers can help patients achieve better outcomes and improve their overall quality of life.

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Addiction Recovery Anxiety & Stress Body & Neuro Brain Cancer & Medical Cancer Resilience Children & Grief Critical Incidents Death in Workplace Executive Social Intelligence First Responders Grief Life Transitions Loss Organ Transplant Pre & Post Surgical Terminal Illness Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Uncategorized Voir Dire Consultation

Ben Carrettin: Next Level Behavioral Health and Leadership Acumen

In the bustling city of Houston, Texas, one name stands out among the rest in the field of behavioral health and leadership consulting: Ben Carrettin. With over two decades of dedicated service, Ben holds two national board-certifications, is professionally licensed and has several other certifications as well. He is renowned for his expertise in helping individuals navigate the most complex and challenging aspects of life. His diverse range of clinical specialties, leadership experience and cross-cultural training has made him a trusted resource for people; personally, professionally and abroad.

A Journey of Compassion and Dedication

Ben Carrettin‘s journey into the world of behavioral health and leadership consulting began over 20 years ago, and since then, he has made a lasting impact on countless lives. His passion for helping people emerged as he embarked on a mission to provide guidance and support to those facing some of life’s most profound challenges.

Specializing in Healing and Resilience

One of Ben’s primary areas of specialization is working with individuals in recovery from addiction. His empathetic and evidence-based approach has helped many individuals find their path to sobriety, offering them hope and a chance at a brighter future. But Ben’s expertise doesn’t stop there.

He is also well-known for his work with those experiencing complicated grief and loss. Grief is a uniquely complex emotion, and Ben’s compassionate guidance helps people navigate the intricate web of emotions that accompany it. He provides strategies for healing and moving forward while honoring the memory of lost loved ones.

A Beacon of Support for Trauma Survivors

Traumatic events can leave lasting scars on an individual’s emotional life. Ben Carrettin has dedicated a significant portion of his career to working with survivors of traumatic events, offering a lifeline to those who have faced unimaginable challenges. In addition to assisting trauma survivors in his private practice, Ben has responded to many critical incidents in the field as a CISD, assisting survivors, volunteers and first responders. Whether personal or large scale, natural or a man made disaster, Ben’s knowledge, skills and unwavering support empowers survivors to rebuild their lives and find strength within themselves.

A Ray of Hope for Cancer and Organ Transplant Patients

Facing a cancer diagnosis or the prospect of an organ transplant can be an incredibly daunting experience. Ben’s work with cancer and organ transplant patients is a testament to his commitment to helping individuals and their families navigate these challenging journeys. He provides emotional support, coping strategies, and a sense of hope to those grappling with life-altering medical conditions.

Supporting Those Who Serve and Lead

In addition to his work with individuals facing personal challenges, Ben Carrettin also extends his expertise to support those who serve the community. He works closely with police officers, fire and rescue personnel, as well as various clergy and public figures. His leadership consulting services equip these professionals with the tools and strategies needed to navigate high-stress situations and lead with resilience.

International Diversity and Cross Cultural Adjustment

Professionals and their families who move to the US from other countries face a host of challenges and adjustments. The transitions they experience moving from one culture into another are complex and multifaceted. Ben has intensive, cross-cultural training and professional experience assisting individuals and families through these challenges and changes. He also works virtually with US professionals who are working abroad.

Executive Social Intelligence and Public Speaking for Leaders

Executive Social Intelligence coaching, or ESI, helps leaders strategically engage their colleagues and employees and better understand how to maneuver large scale events in the workplace such as downsizing, mergers, international expansion, leadership and structural changes and other organizational development challenges. Through this method, Ben also assists leaders in maximizing their intended message and goal when speaking whether internally or publicly.

Jury and Behavioral Consultant

In more recent years, Ben has been hired on several occasions for more specialized and out-of-the-box projects including assisting legal teams in preparing for and selecting jurors during voir dire and with business leaders seeking to assess the effectiveness and reliability of employee engagement patterns of key managers and directors during top leadership changes.

The Impact of Ben Carrettin

Ben Carrettin’s impact on the Houston community and beyond is immeasurable. His dedication to the well-being of individuals and the growth of leaders has transformed personal lives and professional organizations. His compassionate approach, combined with his extensive experience, has earned him a well-deserved reputation as a leading behavioral health professional and leadership consultant.

As Houston, Texas continues to evolve, Ben Carrettin remains a steadfast pillar of support for those in need. His work embodies the spirit of empathy, resilience, and transformation, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all those he touches. Whether you’re on the path to recovery, dealing with loss, facing trauma, or seeking to enhance your leadership skills, Ben Carrettin is a name you can trust to guide you towards a brighter future.

(Originally presented as an introduction for Ben at a privately contracted Critical Incident response service to employees at the local office of a Texas-based company in Spring of 2017).

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Anxiety & Stress Cancer Resilience ESA - Emotional Support Animals Grief Organ Transplant Terminal Illness Uncategorized

Understanding Texas’ Latest Service Animal Laws

Understanding Texas’ Latest Service Animal Laws: Penalties for Fake Credentials and Differences Between Service Dogs, Assistance Animals, and Therapy Animals

In recent years, the importance of service animals, assistance animals, and therapy animals has become increasingly recognized in our society. They provide invaluable support to individuals with disabilities and offer emotional comfort to those in need. However, with the growing recognition of their significance, there has also been a rise in the misuse of these classifications, often resulting in confusion and legal challenges. To address these issues, Texas has implemented new laws surrounding service animals and their distinctions from assistance animals and therapy animals, along with strict penalties for those who purchase fake vests and credentials online. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of Texas’ latest legislation (effective Sept 1, 2023), clarify the differences between these three categories, and discuss the consequences for fraudulent practices.

Texas’ New Service Animal Laws

Texas has recently taken significant steps to clarify the use of service animals in public spaces. Senate Bill 1381, signed into law in 2022, aims to prevent the misuse of service animal designations and ensure that only legitimate service animals have access to public places. Under this law, it is a Class C misdemeanor to misrepresent a pet as a service animal by using a fake service animal vest, ID, or documentation. Additionally, businesses and individuals who use fake service animal credentials can face fines of up to $300 for the first offense and up to $1,000 for subsequent offenses.

Distinguishing Service Dogs from Assistance Animals and Therapy Animals

Understanding the differences between service dogs, assistance animals, and therapy animals is crucial for both the public and law enforcement to ensure that these animals are appropriately accommodated and supported.

  1. Service Dogs:
    • Service dogs are specially trained to perform specific tasks to assist individuals with disabilities. These tasks can include guiding individuals who are blind, alerting those with epilepsy to impending seizures, or helping individuals with mobility impairments.
    • Service dogs have legal access to all public places, including restaurants, stores, and public transportation.
    • They are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and have certain rights, such as not being required to wear special vests or carry identification.
  2. Assistance Animals (Emotional Support Animals or ESAs):
    • Assistance animals, often referred to as emotional support animals (ESAs), provide emotional comfort and support to individuals with mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression.
    • While ESAs do not require specific training like service dogs, they do require a letter from a licensed mental health professional prescribing their use as part of a treatment plan.
    • Assistance animals have specific housing rights under the Fair Housing Act, allowing their owners to live with them in housing that typically has a no-pets policy.
    • ESAs are not service animals and do not have the rights or protections as such. Representing your ESA as a service animal is a crime.
  3. Therapy Animals:
    • Therapy animals are not individually trained to assist a specific person but are professionally trained to provide comfort and companionship to groups of people in therapeutic settings such as hospitals, schools, and nursing homes.
    • These animals are not service animals and are not granted public access rights under the ADA, as their role is to provide comfort in controlled environments.

Penalties for Purchasing Fake Service Animal Credentials

To combat the rise in fraudulent service animal claims, Texas has enacted penalties for those who purchase fake vests and credentials online. These penalties include both financial penalties and community service hours. The penalties are intended to serve as a deterrent against misrepresenting pets as legitimate service animals, which can disrupt the lives of individuals who rely on genuine service animals for essential support. By holding individuals accountable for their actions, Texas aims to maintain the integrity of the service animal designation and ensure that those who truly need assistance receive it.

Keep In Mind

Texas’ latest service animal laws represent a significant step forward in protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities who rely on service animals for support. By clarifying the distinctions between service dogs, assistance animals, and therapy animals, as well as implementing penalties for those who purchase fake credentials, the state is taking a proactive approach to address the misuse of these classifications. It is essential for all Texans to be aware of these laws and their implications to create a more inclusive and supportive society for everyone.

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Organ Transplant Uncategorized

Kidney Transplant Patients and Depression

Kidney transplant patients are a unique population that faces a variety of challenges, including depression. Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, life events, and medical conditions. Kidney transplant patients are at an increased risk of depression due to the stress and uncertainty associated with the transplant process. (And COVID made things harder.)

The kidney transplant process is a complex and stressful experience for patients. Patients must undergo a rigorous evaluation process to determine if they are eligible for a transplant. This process can be lengthy and emotionally draining, as patients must undergo a battery of tests and evaluations to determine their suitability for a transplant. Once a patient is deemed eligible, they must wait for a suitable donor kidney to become available. This waiting period can be stressful and anxiety-provoking, as patients are unsure of when a kidney will become available.

After a kidney transplant, patients must take immunosuppressive medications to prevent rejection of the new kidney. These medications can have significant side effects, including depression. In addition, patients must undergo regular medical check-ups and monitoring to ensure that the new kidney is functioning properly. This ongoing medical care can be stressful and anxiety-provoking, as patients are constantly reminded of their medical condition.

Depression can have a significant impact on the quality of life of kidney transplant patients. It can lead to decreased motivation, social isolation, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. Depression can also have physical symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite. These symptoms can make it difficult for patients to adhere to their medical regimen, which can lead to complications and a decreased quality of life.

There are several strategies that can be used to manage depression in kidney transplant patients. These include psychotherapy (with seasoned specialist who works with organ transplant patients), medication, and lifestyle changes. Psychotherapy can help patients to identify and manage negative thoughts and emotions, while medication can help to alleviate symptoms of depression. Lifestyle changes, such as exercise and a healthy diet, can also help to improve mood and overall well-being.

In conclusion, kidney transplant patients are a unique population that faces a variety of challenges, including depression. The kidney transplant process can be stressful and anxiety-provoking, which can increase the risk of depression. Depression can have a significant impact on the quality of life of kidney transplant patients, but there are several strategies that can be used to manage this condition. By addressing depression in kidney transplant patients, healthcare providers can help to improve the overall well-being and quality of life of these patients.

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Addiction Recovery Life Transitions Loss Organ Transplant Pre & Post Surgical

Quick Look at Kidney Transplants

The Quick Look at Kidney Transplants

The kidneys are a fundamental element of our excretory system. The two bean-shaped kidneys play a very critical role in the human body. They are responsible for filtering out the blood and other body fluids. In this way, they ensure the release of waste that we don’t need and that can actually be harmful to hold on to. But when serious problems arise, a kidney transplant may be needed. And that can be a bit scary and overwhelming. You don’t have to go it alone. Below you will find a quick look at kidney transplants and a few ways we end up getting there.

There are several sorts of kidney problems that can occur. You might experience a kidney stone, swelling or deterioration. All of these kidney problems can halt those “exit” functions. For example, if the kidney becomes unable to filter blood, then the wastes accumulate within different body parts, causing numerous issues like high blood pressure. When approximately 90% of a kidney stops filtering and excreting, it results in kidney failure. 

Kidney transplantation is a life-saving procedure – and more frequent than you might think. It can be a solution for  kidney failure and other conditions requiring the removal of one or both kidneys.

In the initial stages, kidney “wash through” machines and dialysis might work. However, in severe kidney failure, the likely option is a kidney transplant. 

Although a human body can survive on one kidney, more health compromised people need another. And people with other medical ailments or second kidney failure will have to rely on an outsourced kidney; a kidney transplant. 

Causes of Kidney Failure 

Despite occurring naturally as we age, a few other factors can also cause kidney failure. Individuals having diabetes are more prone to kidney problems. Chronic or uncontrolled blood pressure levels also add to kidney damage. (the consistent inflammation can affect the filtering process). Unchecked, these all eventually lead you towards severe kidney failure. Increasing the chance that you will end up needing a kidney transplant.

Dialysis Vs. Kidney Transplant

With failed kidney, there can be two available options. First, you can go for dialysis, which is a machine-assisted excretion treatment and requires regular treatments for a lifetime. Second, you can seek ti have a kidney transplant. 

No doubt, a kidney transplant can seem scarier than dialysis. When is surgery not scarier? But it can be effective in the long term and raise the improvement and quality of life. With dialysis, a person has to continue undergoing the same procedure again and again. There is no point at which you recover -it’s an ongoing treatment process. It is because dialysis is a more of a maintenance procedure rather than a fixed point treatment. 

A kidney transplant, on the other hand, is a distinct and hopefully one-time procedure. Once you have a matched donor, undergone surgery and completed your recovery your health status, ideally, you should be improved. That is why a kidney transplant is often a preferable choice. 

Some people are afraid of surgery or getting rejected during kidney transplants. And let’s be very clear, you need to be willing to care for the new kidney and the recovery has a lot requirements and continued success depends on your ability to make a lot of lifestyle changes and keep them. Many people are ready to promise anything in the face of a serious medical condition – the reality is, with a transplant you are already very lucky to get a new organ to begin with – you need to be serious in your commitment. It’s rare enough to get a great match, you aren’t likely to get another one. 

In the end, it’s up to the patient and their physician to determine what is the best path for them.

Why Choose a Kidney Transplant?

When compared to dialysis, a kidney transplant can be preferable because of the following reasons;

• Low Treatment Cost – It is one-time, whereas dialysis will continue to cost for a lifetime. 

• Better Quality of Life –It gives you the opportunity to live the rest of your life in a better state of health – for many, this means in peace and comfort.

• Fewer Dietary Restrictions –Unlike dialysis patients, there are fewer limitations on what or what not to eat. 

• Lesser Health Risk –Unlike dialysis, it enables you to stay healthy in the long run.

Kidney transplant is not always an option. A few things might restrict you from going for a transplant. It is potentially unsuitable for people with old age, severe heart diseases, cancer, mental illness, alcohol or drug addiction, etc. So, everyone needs to consult with the doctor first, and if it comes under any no-go category, the person will have to continue with dialysis. 

Types of Donors for Kidney Transplant

For a kidney transplant, there can be two types of kidney donors. They are the following; 

1) Living Donor

A human body can rely completely on one healthy kidney for all metabolic activities. That is why a person with two healthy kidneys can donate a kidney to someone else who needs one. However, there are criteria to be met, such as blood group and tissues, to matchto either donate or accept a kidney. 

A kidney donor can be a family member or someone else. It is always preferable to receive a kidney from a blood relation as it lets you avoid the risk of rejection and is usually beneficial. 

2) Deceased Donor

Another way of getting a kidney is from a deceased person. It happens in a way that hospitals usually gather data on people needing a kidney. The hospital is informed immediately whenever a deceased person’s kidney matches the patient. The doctor prepares an instant surgery for a transplant. It is a very time sensitive process because the kidney transplant should take place shortly for a kidney to be valuable. 

Kidney Transplant Procedure 

Kidney transplantation is more or less like other surgical treatments. During a kidney transplant surgery, the doctor injects the anesthetic dose within your blood through an intravenous line in your arm. It is basically to make you fall asleep or for a while to undergo the incision. Once unconscious, the doctor makes an incision to open up your abdominal region. He then puts in the donor’s kidney and connects the arteries and veins to your circulatory system. As the blood starts flowing, the new kidneys function within your body.

Alongside that, your kidneys need a connection to the ureter. It can only then carry on the excretion process smoothly. The doctor connects the newly induced kidney to the ureter and the bladder. 

As far as your original kidneys are concerned, they usually remain inside the body and aren’t disposed of. However, in some cases, when the failed kidney causes trouble, it is removed too. 

Risks of Having a Kidney Transplant

Although a prevailing treatment for severe kidney issues or kidney failure, a kidney transplant is not a full-proof solution. It causes multiple risks either during the transplantation surgery or afterward.

• Rejection of the Donor Organ – While operating, the donated kidney might not be compatible with your body. It is possible to even after undergoing the matching tests and everything else. So, there is definitely risk, even beyond the ones typical of surgery. 

• Kidney Diseases –The transplantation, although it eradicates the ailment, for the time being, there are chances of the patient regaining a mild or severe ailment. 

• Side-effects –Undergoing the surgery can cause you side effects. It will leave an incision mark and temporarily cause redness, swelling, and pain. 

None of the above three risks is unpreventable. Almost every doctor provides medication to minimize donor rejection, kidney diseases and surgical side effects. And there is a lot that you can do to help or hinder your own success.

Postoperative Possible Complications of  Kidney Transplant

• Infection – Minor infections like urinary tract infections, colds, and flu are common after kidney transplants. However, in most severe conditions, pneumonia or CMV (cytomegalovirus) infection may occur.

• Blood clots –  The most common complication after a kidney transplant is the development of blood clots in the arteries connected to the donated kidney. In some cases, medications can be used to dissolve the blood clots.

• Urine leakage –  Sometimes, after a kidney transplant, urine may leak through the connection between the ureter and bladder. This usually happens during the first-month post-kidney transplant.

Conclusion 

Opting for a kidney transplant requires you to think twice before jumping in. It ultimately, is up to you because you must live with both the benefits, risks and lifestyle changes required of the transplant. You must be brave enough to analyze the situation and make a decision. 

Facing this decision and the life changes and commitment it requires can be extremely stressful. And not just on you, but also on your loved ones whose life will also change in the process. You both may feel worried about you undergoing surgery, fear of rejection or other complications. It marks a transition period in your life and theirs – and that is stressful all around. Be gracious and kind to yourself and each other. Stress directly impacts health, so consider working with a professional counselor who is experienced at working with transplant patients and their loved ones.

Do exercise, eat healthy, engage in positive activities, and take good care of yourself before and after the kidney transplant. And obviously, alcohol and other drugs will only damage your chances and your new kidney – you need to leave those behind. Change your lifestyle so you can spend your life in style.

References

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK567755/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553074/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230851/

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549004/

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6716102/

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8711553/

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Organ Transplant

Counseling for Organ Transplant Patients

Counseling for Organ Transplant Patients

Having trouble sleeping? Finding it hard to focus on anything else? Tensions building with friends and family? Organ transplant surgery is an amazing life-extending medical marvel – it’s also an extremely taxing process; on you and your closest circle of supporters. Counseling for organ transplant patients can help.

Whether you are waiting for an organ donor match to come up or adjusting to the changes that follow – organ transplant surgery is both exciting and stressful. Each person will travel along this journey a little differently. Your experience is very personal and parts of it will be unique to you. Counseling for organ transplant patients helps clients live their best life every day, before and after organ transplant surgery.

Keep in mind that all surgery, especially organ transplant surgery, no matter how successful, is still a traumatic experience for your body. What affects the body also affects the mind – you could say there’s a personal “integrity of experience”. It’s an important undertaking and an ordeal, too. You know the physical hardships and prepare for them. It’s important to realize the emotional hardships will be there too. Counseling with a seasoned, counselor who specializes in working with organ transplant and medical patients can make a big difference.

It’s perfectly normal to experience a full spectrum of emotions and feelings – anxiety affects us all. If sleep problems, irritability, adjusting to new health requirements, poor memory or focus and intrusive worries are plaguing you – before or after transplant surgery – I’d like to help.

Your Reactions Are Normal, The Situation Is Not

Most people go through their lives not really giving a second thought to the stress associated with surgery; why would they? But all surgery – even your successful organ transplant – is a hardship and an intrusion to your body. Just because it helps doesn’t mean the experience isn’t difficult. Surgery is a traumatic experience for the body and it’s pretty common for your emotions and thoughts to respond to this as well. Anxiety before or after surgery is to be expected. For some patients this may be periodic and mild stress reactions. Others may experience, insomnia, panic attacks, relationship strains and more. It’s important to keep in mind that you are likely having normal reactions to an abnormal experience.

When facing a challenging period in your life, your positive and peaceful frame of mind can be one of the best preventative medicines. Here’s an example; stress often invokes the production of cortisol in the brain. While cortisol production is a natural function – too much, too frequently (indicating a lot of stress) can actually diminish your physical health.

Being your healthiest you possible as you are preparing for your new liver or kidney or maintaining optimum physical health after your successful surgery are very important goals that you are facing. Not addressing the stress and anxiety you are experiencing actually puts a hardship on your health. To ensure your best outcomes – it’s extremely important to manage your anxiety as best you can.

How I Can Help You Now

In my practice I keep the counseling experience personal, pragmatic and applicable. I meet each person with compassion and always preserve their dignity. It’s a challenging journey and making the decision to do everything possible to come out ahead takes real courage. In our sessions you will learn how your brain and body respond to stress, gain concrete tools for reducing and managing your anxiety and practice skills that increase your focus and encourage a healthier and happier frame of mind as you transition through each stage of your organ transplant process.

I have been working with patients struggling to balance severe medical conditions, anxiety and depression for over twenty years. I work with patients and their family/loved ones who provide caregiver support. I am Nationally board certified and a fully and independently licensed professional and perhaps more important to know is that I am very dedicated to my patients and the constant growth of my specialties; including counseling organ transplant patients.

Why Your Journey Matters To Me

More personally, I have been through several years of a progressive and debilitating illness before a successful surgery intervened. I understand personally the strain, fears and confusion that plague us as we face and deal with an illness, manage the relationships with our loved ones and adjust to life after surgery. That call, from deep inside that drives us towards a life where we can be healthy, be whole and live more fully in every precious day we have is one that I have heard and continue to answer.

The many years of seasoned professional experience, paired with the understanding that only comes from a shared experience, puts me in a unique position to be able to help my clients who are facing serious medical challenges. I pull from neurology, physiology, cognitive-behavioral therapy, solution-focused and brief therapy and even Eastern practices such as mindfulness when counseling transplant patients to help guide my clients through this life transition successfully.

If you have questions or would like to talk about whether this is a good fit for you (or one of your patients), please feel free to call me directly. I always offer a free, 20 minute phone consult and am happy to talk with you. You can also find loads of articles on an array of subjects on our blog at Live Better Live Now.

It’s a courageous and overwhelming path you are on. I’d like to help.

Call Now (346)-493-6181

 

Ben Carrettin is a Nationally Board Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S) and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). He is the owner of Practice Improvement Resources, LLC; a private business which offers an array of specialized counseling, evidenced-based clinical consultation, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and targeted ESI-based services to individuals and businesses.