Skip to content

    Organ Transplant

    Returning to Work After an Organ Transplant

    Most people who get an organ transplant can go back to work. Settling back into your old job can help you feel like yourself again -- and it pays the bills, too.

    Jeffrey D. Punch, MD, chief of the Division of Transplantation at the University of Michigan Health System says that he encourages his patients to go back to work. "I advise people to do as much as they can," Punch tells WebMD. "It's healthy to be more active and involved."

    Recommended Related to Diabetes

    November Is Diabetes Awareness Month

    Each issue, WebMD the Magazine's "Health Highlights" focuses on a national health theme for the month with expert tips, reader comments, and eye-catching factoids. November is Diabetes Awareness month. Follow these tips to stay at your peak! 1. Say "Om" Learn to meditate to help reduce stress and improve your blood sugar levels. 2. Step Out Exercise helps keep your weight and blood sugar under control, and just about everyone can do a brisk daily walk. 3. Eat Right Follow...

    Read the November Is Diabetes Awareness Month article > >

    But readjusting can be a challenge. You may not slide back into your job as smoothly as you like. Though you may be sitting in the same chair behind the same desk, things may not feel quite the same.

    Starting Slow After an Organ Transplant

    If you've been sick and out of work for some time, returning can be hard. People working in very competitive fields may feel out of the loop after an organ transplant. Your co-workers may seem to have left you behind, Punch cautions.

    If you're recovering slowly or worried about returning to work, Punch recommends that you start with a volunteer job. It will ease you back into the working world, but won't demand too much of you. After all, people do have complications sometimes, and you might need to go back to the hospital for a few days.

    "If your only job is volunteer work clipping hedges at a church, no one will be too mad if you can't show up," Punch says. "But if you're an attorney trying a big case, it can be a problem."

    Dealing With Coworkers After an Organ Transplant

    Going back to work after a long absence can make you feel like the new kid in school all over again. You're craving to feel normal, but can't because everyone is treating you so strangely.

    Barry Friedman, RN, administrative director of the Solid Organ Transplant Program at the Children's Medical Center in Dallas, says that many people don't understand how common and how successful transplants are. They think that a transplant recipient must still be gravely ill. Or they treat you like a fragile medical marvel.

    So it may be up to you to tell them otherwise. Living with a transplant often means that you have to become an educator, too. Talking openly with your co-workers and boss about what it's like to have a transplant may make everyone feel more at ease.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Next Article:

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.