Other Points of interest

There are a few other points I would like to point out. I mentioned in the Liver Transplant section my tremendous feeling of guilt. I found the whole transplant thingy a very emotional experience. I felt so unworthy of this transplant, and I remember thinking that this whole liver that once belonged to someone else, could have been split in two and gone to save the lives of two small children instead. I didn’t realise at the time, but it is quite common for a person to suffer from mental health issues post-transplant. Conditions like, “Survivors Guilt” and PTSD (post- traumatic stress disorder) are quite common. A Liver Transplant is a very emotional, lifesaving event. I suffered from severe depression for over 10-months post-transplant. So, I went in search of answers. The answer may well lie within our own body’s immune system. Here Professor Edward Bullmore explains how our body’s immune system may be causing this emotional response in some people. For me, this explanation ticked all the right boxes. That very first cut of the surgeon’s scalpel could very well cause the immune system to release loads of Cytokines and Marcrophage into the body, as shown in this video. I firmly believe that in understanding the reasoning behind this meant, I could accept what was happening, and come to terms with my own emotional feelings. We now have the opt-out donor organ scheme here in the UK. This is good news for those awaiting a liver transplant, but this also means that there will be even greater demand for more Doctor’s, Surgeons, and nursing staff to cope with the increase in the number of liver disease case year on year. Has having had a liver transplant changed me in any way? You better believe it. I now totally understand the true value of life. I now no longer carry any bitterness in my heart towards those who have hurt me during my life’s journey. It is very much like being reborn again. Although I wrote a letter of condolence and gratitude to my donor’s family, understandably, I didn’t receive a reply. This sometimes happens as feelings can still be raw for those that have lost a loved one. In some strange sort of way, I just want to reach out and help others who find themselves going down that similar path in their lives that I’ve been down. I have therefore started this crusade, and if anyone out there wishes to join me, they are more than welcome. Over these past few years, I have spoken of my liver disease in two local newspapers, and one national paper. I’ve also featured in a Readers Digest article. All in the name of raising awareness of the alcohol-related liver disease. The internet can be a wonderful place for information. If by chance you do have any problems with your liver, then “The British Liver Trust’s” website is the place to go. Here you’ll find lots of help and support. There’s even a section where people have submitted their own stories, which is always very interesting, (yes, mines there to). Just click on the BLT logo to go and visit their site. My story can be found here: https://britishlivertrust.org.uk/information-and-support/support-for-you/your-stories/richards-story/ The British Liver Trust also oversees a “HealthUnlocked” forum site, this is there to help those people from all over the world who are in search of help and advice from those people who have first-hand knowledge and personal experience of liver disease. Once again, Just click on the image and register your details. When I suffered my variceal bleed, I asked my then-consultant if it would help my liver if I was to take some iron supplements as I knew the liver to be rich in iron. He told me, that there can be more iron in a damaged liver than in a healthy one. Too much iron can cause even more damage. On the other side of the coin, too little iron as in anaemia can also be damaging. So always take the advice of a doctor, but never be scared to ask questions. There’s no such thing as a stupid question. I hope this site has been useful for some of you. If I can help in any way, or you’d like some more information, then please contact me by email at: liverlifeproject@gmail.com.
Oh, I almost forgot. My name is… Richard Allen.
Please remember…. Knowledge is POWER, and POWER can bring about change.
The Liver Life Project

Other Points of Interest