After you have a transplant, you won’t be able to carry on with your normal day-to-day activities until you recover. If you work, go to school, and have children or pets, you will need to plan ahead and find someone to help you care for your family and your home.
Make sure you talk to your employer or school before your transplant to learn about your options 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 know what your plan is while 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.
Planning your finances
It’s important to have a plan to manage your finances (money concerns) during your transplant and while you recover. Finances can cause a lot of stress for people when they need to be away from work for health reasons. Take time to understand the state of your finances and prepare so you can meet your family’s needs, pay bills, and cover the costs of other expenses you may have during this time.
You may want to talk to a social worker to learn if there is other help to cover your costs. On top of your normal expenses you may also need to pay for:
- accommodations (if you don’t live near the transplant centre)
- equipment and medical supplies such as a blood pressure monitor, scale, thermometer, and medicines
Parking costs are not covered for appointments related to your transplant. You may wish to talk to the parking office at the hospital about your options.
If you get a monthly allowance from the government, such as Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), disability, or social services, you should be aware that these organizations may review your situation in 1 to 2 years after your transplant to see if you still need these benefits. If you have concerns, talk to your social worker and transplant team.
After your transplant most patients need to stay in the hospital for about 1 to 2 weeks. You will need to stay near the transplant centre for 4 to 12 weeks after you leave the hospital.
Some hospitals have accommodation in an outpatient residence while you are having treatment or need to stay near the hospital for medical reasons. Some hotels will give lower (discounted) rates if you need to stay at a hotel for medical treatment or follow up. Ask the hotel for a discounted rate.
If you are thinking about staying at a bed and breakfast or a hostel, ask if you will always be able to get in to your room during your stay. Some of these 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.
Talk to your transplant care team to know if you would like a copy of the Alberta Health Services accommodation guide.