When someone you love has a liver transplant, you go through it too. You’re the caregiver, the support and a liver disease warrior right along with your loved one. Caregivers have special strength and courage. This week’s we’re hearing from Adrienne who is Liver Disease and Transplant Warrior John M.’s wife, sweetheart, caregiver and overall super gal hero. Click here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2 of John’s story.
Connie: Adrienne, thank you for being willing to share your caregiver’s side of the story about liver transplant. You and John are an amazing couple. We’re excited to share your story.
Connie: What has this process been like for you as the caregiver?
Adrienne: The process was all encompassing. My world revolved around the day to day ups and downs of the decline of my husband’s health. It is very hard to see the one that you love going through so much pain.
The last days I feared he would die if he did not get a new liver. I am so grateful that we have a faithful God that held our hands each step of the way.
Connie: What steps before transplant have you taken to help your spouse with preparing before the transplant and through transplant and recovery?
Adrienne: We learned all we could about the process both before, during and after so we’d know what to expect. The transplant team walked us through several hours of a class on what to expect.
Connie: Have you been able to do anything to help refresh yourself through this process?
Adrienne: I did take time with friends to go on a trip to refresh. Although I felt some guilt about leaving him, I knew if I was going to take care of him I would need to take care of myself a bit. The time spent away was filled with daily devotionals that brought my heart and soul to an inner peace. The Lord helped me to deal with the hard times to follow.
Connie: Did you make a list of questions to ask the doctor for care needs at home before, during and after transplant? Or did they give you instructions?
Adrienne: I kept a running list of questions and a list of all the blood work and procedures done. They did give great instructions and handouts. If I felt like they weren’t giving me all the story on something I was not afraid to ask questions.
Connie: Is there something you or the both of you would have done differently now that you’re looking back and in the recovery phase?
Adrienne: I can’t think of anything we would have done differently. I just recommend that people go where the experts are and do not go to a doctor because it is more convenient. The first group of doctors that treated my husband for his Hep C were really not experts in the field and it ended up he had to be treated twice due to their errors.
Connie: What advice would you give another spouse or caregiver for this whole process?
Adrienne: I would tell them to rely on God for comfort and to not try to do it on your own. Remember that your loved one is not the same person that they used to be and they have to know that you love them always throughout the process. In time you will have that person back and it will be wonderful.
Connie: Is there any other information you’d like to share?
Adrienne: We are both so overwhelmed with the generosity of the family that gave the gift of life. My husband would have died if he did not get that liver right at the exact moment. Please share with others how important being a donor is. It truly saves lives.
This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, and is reprinted with permission.