Going Back To Work 2 Years Post Transp... - British Liver Trust

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Going Back To Work 2 Years Post Transplant

Hello again,

I have been thinking for so long about making the steps to go back to work. I guess I'm pretty scared but I don't want to spend my life on ESA indoors. It's definitely been a tough 2 years. I don't think I'll ever actually feel like I am ready to work again but I have to try soon. I am petrified of failing.

I'd just like to ask people in this group their experiences in going back to work after a transplant. How long after your transplant was it and how did you feel?

I'd be really interested and grateful to hear how people got on, and I hope I can use other people's experiences to help me through this rather challenging stage on my life.

Thank You

Andy

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what line of work are you in?

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I worked as a taxi driver for 15 years up until I became ill 2 years ago.

There is a possibility that I could work again as a courier driver. Just delivering bloods to hospitals which was a part of the job that I used to do. Nothing particularly strenuous or heavy.

I was given my driving licence back in December by the DVLA. Unfortunately I can't apply for a taxi licence for another 3 years because I had a couple of seizures while on life support.

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Hi Andy

My dad worked for the NBTS National Blood Transfusion Service at the QE Hospital many years ago and delivered bloods and donor organs on blue lights!,

I'm sure you'll be back on track soon on the work front and wish you all the best

Shropshire Lass x

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Hi, I can't comment regarding your line of work or on the transplant side either but I do know what its like to return to work with Cirrhosis and all the related symptoms. I have found it a struggle at times but in the main not as bad as I thought. The hardest bit I find is the fact that to look at I look fine, if anything very healthy. Because of this people naturally assume there is nothing wrong with me and I am moaning for no reason, I don't like having to explain all my details to everyone but find it a little annoying to be judged on appearance rather what’s actually going on inside. Basically I just treat each day as it comes and fingers crossed it gets a little better each day, good luck :)

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Hi there I’m six months post and going back Thursday but for a light duty role for a couple of months to begin with then they’ll want me I’m guessing to continue my usual role as a gas main layer.but if I’m honest it s not likely as I’ve realised there’s more to life.but obviously everyone has different needs. But I’ve been pushing if you like to return to work as soon as I was home. I’m now walking miles a day and go on a tread mill to get my fitness back.i was pretty lucky as I was quite fit anyway and worked up to three months just before my TP.but really at fifty I’m probably on the young side to retire but it’s definitely been A slog recovering but I’m getting there.all the best .paul

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Thanks Paul. Like yourself I was very fit and then suddenly felt tired and found out I had hepatitis. I went to A+E and woke up 6 weeks later with a new liver. I didn't really know too much about it really!

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Can I ask how old you are? And surly nothing that life can throw at you can petrify you as much as when you had cirrosis knowing you were going to die from liver disease prematurely. Perhaps it’s just me but nothing will and ever scare me again.and life as you know is such a joy second time round. And there must be something else you could do if your not able to work again.paul

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Hi Popel.

Im 49 years old. My transplant situation was a little bit different. I came back from Bulgaria in July of 2017 and felt a little tired a few days later and looked a little yellow. I went for a blood test. When my doctor got the results he told me to go immediately to A+E and I fell unconscious and woke up 6 weeks later with a new liver. It was hepatitis. So I guess I never had that fear to begin with. It all happened very quickly and turned my life around.

I feel like I will be able to work again. There's no doubt that immune suppressants make me nervous at the thought of most things (I never had this before). Not working again is not really an option for me as I believe I can do it, even though it may be a struggle for a while.

To really make the best life out of this transplant for me is to get back to work and then I can look back at the whole thing as an episode in my life. Obviously never completely healed but a fair way there!

Regards, Andy.

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Hiya Andy could you not do voluntary work first to see how you manage and build your confidence back up??

I am nearly 3 years post but I know I won't manage work again but I volunteer so I don't feel entirely useless and I can do as little or as much as I want

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Hi Jojo.

Yes, voluntary work is an option for me. Lately I've been getting out and about a fair bit and it just feels like what I do during the day is often more strenuous than what I would do back at my former work! I can certainly drive absolutely fine, so a job delivering a few parcels here and there would be a good starter for me :)

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You could volunteer as a driver for the ambulance service? Taking people to appointments and home always good to dip the toe in something and you can work so many hours voluntary on esa without losing a penny, just in case x

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Hi Andy. Would it be possible to do a phased return to work and build up your hours gradually. It may very tiring when you first go back. A phased return might help you build up confidence as well. I wish you all the best of luck

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Thank you, and yes I think any type of work would require a somewhat gentle phase in procedure. If I tried to work full time hours I'm sure my body would let me know fairly quickly!

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Hi Andy

Well done for deciding you don’t want to be on ESA all the time, however I’d see about volunteering or something first just to see if you are up to it. Not sure if that’s possible as I’m not up to speed on benefit laws.

The last thing you want to do is to get work then find you aren’t well enough. You might have more problems getting on the same benefits again. It might be good to check that.

Post transplant just over 2 yrs I work part time with my hubby so I can be pretty flexible. I work about 2 days a week, when it suits me. I also volunteer which I probably find more rewarding than my ‘proper’ job!

Hope it works well for you!

Isabelle xx

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Hi Isabelle and thank you.

I've looked into the options surrounding part time work and keeping ESA - less than 16 hours a week and earning less than £131.50 a week. I'll certainly be looking into that. I think I am nearly ready to try something. I'm not too sure if I can fit into the whole 16 hours thing but I believe that signing off before starting work will create immense pressure to make sure that I succeed. Too much pressure!

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Good

I don’t want you to find yourself worse off financially .

I cannot, however, lie. Sometimes you feel like **** and have to get up. But once you are at work or volunteering you feel great. So much better than watching yet another rerun of ‘bargain hunt’ or whatever. Meeting people is the best antidepressant ever - not that you need one- you feel a buzz at the end of the day. Ok you are cream crackered but you have done something!

Good luck

Izzy xx

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Hi Andy. I had almost similar situation like yours. I had developed hepatitis A and suddenly went unconscious and found myself in hospital after liver transplant. I am a resident doctor myself and it all came as a great shock to me and my family but I resumed my duties 3months post transplant. Though I used to exert less than before. But I felt better to be able to back at work. Just gather your strength and you are good to go! All the best to you! Take care!! :-)

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Thank you. Yes, it was a huge shock and I feel like my life has been in limbo for 2 years. I underwent 2 hernia repair operations in march this year and I feel like maybe I'm recovering more from those at the moment than the transplant itself.

Can I ask how you are on the immune suppressant medication? I've certainly had my ups and downs with the medication.

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Trust me Andy, it's going to be alright. Your hernia operations might have taken a toll on you. I hope you are using abdominal belt for activities now? I'm sure you will feel alot better once you start to go out to work. However take things easy. Don't worry much. And don't feel like your life is limited now. I believe you can achieve many things. That's why God saved you. I'm taking Tacrolimus 3mg, prednisolone 2.5mg daily and Mycophenolate 500 mg twice a day. Hope they will further reduce my doses after a few months :-)

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That seems like a fair bit of medication but hopefully the doses will be reduced over time. I take 100mg of Ciclosporin daily. It's really not a lot, so I'm a little bit lucky there. I tried Mycophenalate but it made me feel absolutely dreadful so I stopped it quickly.

I've not used an abdominal belt since I had the hernia repair but I used one before, for when I had a large hernia sticking out!

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Hi Andy,

Have you had a chat with the Citizens Advice bureau regarding benefit entitlements?

Here is a link to see where your nearest branch is;

citizensadvice.org.uk/

Wishing you well

Trust1

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Thank you.

I will definitely look into my options. The last thing I want to do is to start work and then fail.

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Hi

I start back volunteering after about 8 months post TP at first I was really tired but slowly have got used to 1 day a week.

Not sure I could do more than 2 days a week, unless it involves sitting a lot

Dont worry people make allowances and just do what you can do but expect it to less than before your TP.

I did not work properly for 7 years pre TP, so expected going back to be a hard change

I am sure you will be fine

David

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Thank you

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