Having tests and meeting with your pre-transplant team is only part of planning for your transplant. There are things you can do to help get ready for your transplant that will help you later when you recover after your transplant.
Waiting for a transplant can be a stressful and emotional time. You don’t know when you’ll get a call to tell you that a kidney match is available. If you’re waiting for a transplant from a living donor, it can be hard to wait while your potential donor is being checked to make sure that donation is possible.
Having certain things ready before the transplant can help lower your stress and get you ready. It will also make it easier for you and your support people when the call comes. Remember, the call is often in the middle of the night.
To help you be ready, you may want to:
- have a bag packed and ready
- have someone that you can call to drive you to the hospital – you may be too stressed or worried to drive safely
- have someone you can call to look after your children
- have someone ready to look after your pets
- have someone that can take care for your home while you are away such as looking after shoveling the snow, cutting the grass, and getting the mail
For more information on planning ahead and the call from the transplant program, please watch
Receiving the call for a transplant (video).
Talk to your social worker
All kidney patients in Alberta have access to social work services. Social workers can:
- give short-term counselling
- help you plan your care before and after your transplant
- help you find support services such as financial help, care providers, equipment, or accommodation
- work with your healthcare team to make sure you have everything you need
You’ll have a transplant social worker on your transplant team after your transplant. You can also contact the transplant social worker if you have transplant-related questions while you wait for a transplant.
Arrange for help with day-to-day activities
After you have a transplant, you’ll likely need help with your normal day-to-day activities for a while. If you work, go to school, and have children or pets, you will need to plan ahead. Try to find someone who can help you care for your family, pets, and your home while you recover.
Talk to your employer or school before your transplant to see what your options are for medical leave. In general, it’s a good idea to plan to be off for up to 3 months. Arranging your time off and knowing what to expect about taking medical leave will help you and your family and will help lower your stress as you recover.
Your transplant team will talk to you about when you can expect to go back to work, school, and return to other activities.
Plan where you’ll stay during the transplant process
After your transplant you may need to stay in the hospital for about 1 to 2 weeks. Be prepared to stay near the transplant centre for up to 12 weeks after you leave the hospital.
Some hospitals have places to stay in an outpatient residence while you are having treatment or need to stay near the hospital for medical reasons. Some hotels will give lower rates (discounts) if you need to stay at a hotel for medical treatment or follow-up. Ask the hotel for a discount or compassionate rate.
If you’re thinking about staying at a bed and breakfast or a hostel, ask if you’ll be able to get into your room at any time during your stay. Some places may not allow guests to be in their rooms for several hours a day. If this is the case, you may want to look at other options.
After your transplant you have a much higher risk of getting an infection. Limit your time in public places and make sure that you stay in a clean, safe place to help prevent infection.
Ask your transplant care team for a copy of the Alberta Health Services accommodation guide.