If you’ve had a solid organ transplant for any length of time, you will be able to relate to what I’m about to write. If you haven’t been transplanted yet, but will be at some point, you’ll be able to reflect back to this point after your transplant and smile.
“Avoiding Medical Professionals”
At first glance it’s a simple statement and to many it means that, we, the patients, should avoid medical professionals. In the case of a majority of (normal) people, this is indeed a fact, that they will avoid going to the doctor until they have one foot in the grave.
However, this is NOT what I am referring to.
Once you are transplanted and away from your transplant center you will see the other side of the coin …… medical professionals avoiding us ……… they may not avoid us entirely, but they will almost take a hands off, slow, very deliberate approach.
To me it’s rather funny. It’s sort of comical. When I go to any new medical provider and fill out all their forms about history. etc, those two tiny words, “HEART TRANSPLANT” always seem to jump right off the paper and smack them in the face. You can see the look in their eyes, their facial muscles tensing up …….. then comes their initial response, “So, you’ve had a heart transplant?” ………. not how are you, not why are you here today …… and so it goes.
I’m NOT saying they will not care for you, because all of my experiences say they WILL, but they will be maddening slow on any treatment, at times conferring with your transplant team (which I personally appreciate), or require your transplant team to sign at least 47 LEGAL documents prior to initiating any course of treatment.
This happened to me yesterday, when one of my local doctors proclaimed in a somewhat joking but matter-of-fact manner, with hands held in the air, “I’m never touching you again!”. It’s happened with surgeons, specialists, even my dentist. For most of my doctors away from my transplant center, I’m their FIRST and ONLY heart transplant patient. I’m fascinating to some and an oddity to others.
And, of course, our transplant centers do force this issue. If I don’t feel well and call my transplant team, the FIRST they will ask is have you seen your primary care physician?
So my advise to you is …… know that is will happen, have fun with it, laugh with your doctors about, and watch them run out the door like in the below picture!