Last week, we talked with liver disease Warrior Hernando upon the celebration of a special mile marker of 3 years post liver transplant and his journey of recovery from liver transplant. We continue with part 2 of his story today.
Connie: Hernando, thanks for being back with us today. Your story is so amazing. Is there other post liver transplant information you’d like to share?
Hernando: Yes, I received my liver transplant on January 21, 2015. I experienced some complications from my surgery so my recovery was harder and took longer. I was in the hospital for 11 days before I was allowed to leave. When I went back to our rental I was in a lot of pain and it took all I had to get up to our unit and get in bed. Thank God my wife was with me.
I had a nurse come every day to check my staples, clean and disinfect my incision. My wife and I prayed constantly. We knew God would get us through this difficult time. I had my moments of spiritual weakness when I felt I might not get through this. Then I would read some scripture and recite the 23rd Psalm and I would get the strength to continue.
After a week home I was taken off my pain meds. I was visited 3 times a week by a physical therapist. At first I was only able to shuffle around the apartment. I did the exercises with some help. Then my therapist got me out to the hallway and had me walking. At first I could only manage a short distance but each day I was able to do more.
My wife took me to see my doctors. Those rides in the car were hard but I always left the doctor’s feeling reassured that I was going to be okay. As I progressed I became motivated to get better. I was very weak and low on energy. I was feeling pretty good one day so I asked my wife if we could go outside. We walked down the marina admiring the boats. Suddenly I felt like I was going to pass out. I hung onto a light pole and knew I would not be able to make the few blocks back that we had walked.
My wife flagged down a taxi and somehow got me home. I learned a good lesson. There were limits on what I could do in my recovery. I don’t recommend pushing yourself to much in those first few months. The surgery and being under anesthesia for long periods takes a huge toll on your body.
I had to stay in Miami for another 2 months while in recovery. I took it easy and let my body recover. I know this was a journey where I was totally carried by the Lord. 3 years have passed and I’ve been presented with challenges but Jesus has been there every step of the way.
Now that I’m 3 years post liver transplant, a favorite activity I enjoy is playing golf.
Connie: Thanks Hernando. Sounds like you’ve definitely found your turbo tennis shoes and enjoying some energy. I know every patient’s liver transplant and recovery experience is a bit different but there are many common denominators.
Congratulations on living beyond Hepatitis C, Liver Cancer and Liver Transplant. You are in our Hep C Hero Hall of fame! You have a long wonderful life ahead of you my friend. God Bless you!
This entry was originally published in Life Beyond Hep C, and is reprinted with permission.