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Mental wellbeing

My husband is day 8 post transplant and feeling really poorly with sore throat and cronic diorhea. His mum has been given 24hrs to live but the doctors have advised that he ant visit the hospice. He has sent a phone
Message to tell her he loves her although he was not present at the hospice with the rest of the family. My concern is the effects this may have on his recovery. Is there any evidence that suggests that any personal trauma impedes recovery. Pam x


  • Hi Pam,

    I am so sorry about this - it is a very sad situation for all the family. I hope your husband will realise that his Mum would have said that his recovery was far more important than seeing her at the end. I hope he can be supported in the days to come so he doesn't feel guilty about not being able to help with alll the admin etc.

    I have no hard evidence about recovery and personal trauma I'm afraid. From my own experience, before my transplant I was really worried my elderly Dad would die whilst I was in hospital. However, when I was really ill afterwards, it went out of my mind. I think my emotions shut down about everything except my own survival. Even when he did die, about 7 months later, I'm sure I was still emotionally inert and didn't really cry for about a year. So personally, I feel the trauma may possibly not impede his recovery as much as you may be expecting.

    I will be thinking of you both.
    Best wishes,

  • Hi sue thanks for your comment. He is in a very dark place at the moment (his words). I find him quite snappy but that has a lot to do with how is feeling physically. We must remain positive.

  • Hi Pam,

    I'm so sorry to hear this and I can't imagine how your husband is feeling to think about his Mum on top of everything that he is going through at the moment. I remember being snappy at that time myself but the added concern for his mum and frustration at not being able to see her must be tearing him apart.

    I'm sure he appreciates the reasons for not being able to leave hospital to say goodbye, but as Sue has said I've no doubt that his mums wish would be for him to keep fighting and get better and that would be how I'd suggest he looks at it.

    I'm not sure whether such events have an impact on recovery but hopefully it will spur him on with an invigorated determination to get better. It may be worth speaking to his medical team and see whether they can offer some emotional or psychological support to help him through this.

    Sending you and your husband my best wishes.

  • Hi Pam

    Thank you for posting. I am so sorry that you are both in this very difficult situation, it must be unimaginably hard and I would strongly suggest that your husband receives some psychological support. Like Pam has said patients shut down at times and can become quite disconnected from the outside world because of the isolation they experiences both physically and emotionally. Its not unusual to need some psychological support at some point in the recovery after a transplant and really in this situation this should definitely be given. Have you spoken to the transplant team and asked what is available at the hospital? It might be good for both of you, I am sure you are affected by his mothers illness and you will be your husbands main support in the coming months so its important that you take care of yourself too. Although there is no evidence to say that this trauma will have a negative impact on his recovery, we know that supporting patients not just physically but psychologically too is essential in making a recovering from a transplant.

    We are here to support you too and you both can always call me to discus how you feel and what support is available locally for you. My number is 0207 284 8229.

    Best wishes

  • Thank you Steve and Haley for your comments and advice. I think I will ask he transplant specialists for support. My husband is feeling very poorly at the moment day + 10 but his nutrafils have risen from 0.02 to 0.04 today. He has a spiked temperature extremely sore mouth and throut and a really bed stomach. He is so weak he shakes. I am so worried about him. I have asked for time off this week from work as my own mum has had a bad fall and has been admitted to hospital. At the moment I am visiting two hospitals a day which is very tiring.

    many thanks
  • Hi Pam,

    I know it is probably hard to see your husband as he is at the moment with the effects of the transplant in his early days, but it sounds like the sore mouth and throat and bad stomach, probably combined with sickness and diarrhoea is quite normal and should improve soon. He’s probably struggling to eat too which will also make him weak.

    I’ve no doubt he will be distracted by his mums illness but he needs to look after himself too and try not to get too preoccupied with thinking about his mum, though I do understand how hard that will be. I’m sure she will be thinking of him just the same and will want him to get better.

    Hayley’s suggestion of seeking psychological support is a good one and isn’t something your husband should worry about asking for, and she’s also right that it is something you should ask for help with too. Watching somebody go through a transplant is stressful to say the least and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help and support, particularly as you now have your mums fall on top of everything else.

    I’m glad that your husbands neutrophils are showing some signs of growth and I remember those early signs myself. It’s very early days but it is a sign that the transplant may be starting to graft and will hopefully help him if he can see those tiny steps he’s making to recovery.

    Take care,

  • Thanks Steve for your support and comments. I spoke today to his transplant team and they have suggested that some support may help him to come to terms with things. At the moment he is having really bad hallucinations and is afraid to sleep. This is obviously medication related but because of what is going on with family this has compounded the situation he is experiencing.

    Many Thanks
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