Earlier this year, through routine blood tests by my endocrinologist (I'm type 1 diabetic) I found out that my liver was not functioning properly.

Fast forward a few months later after multiple tests and doctor visits, I have cirrhosis of the liver as well as liver cancer. The docs still aren't sure what caused it, but it was obvious I needed a transplant and there were 2 options. Find a living donor or wait on the UNOS list until a liver becomes available for me (which can take years).

So I set out to find a living donor, and after a few months of searching I finally got a match, my best friend since grade school.

The surgery was now 3 weeks ago and I'm still in the hospital fighting my body against rejection of my new liver. The docs say this is common in younger people because their immune systems are stronger and my body is trying to get rid of this 'foreign object'.

Im taking massive doses of steroids and immunosuppressants to get my body to accept the new organ but it's a long process. Been at it for 3 weeks now and while my body is coming around, I'll probably be here another week or so.

Keep me company! Ask me anything!

Proof:

ICU after surgery: http://imgur.com/gallery/rkbIodF

Awake and alert: http://imgur.com/gallery/by84UcX

My Scar: http://imgur.com/gallery/plFlb7b

Edit 1;

Staples are out! http://imgur.com/gallery/Y75b7Af

Edit 2:

For those asking what I'm gonna to when i get out, I'm gonna take a nap in my own bed then play some video games! I'm not very good but if you want to play xbox feel free to add me, my gamertag is: Skinver.

Edit 3:

For more info about organ donation, visit this link: https://www.organdonor.gov/register.html If you're specifically interested in living donation, click here: https://www.organdonor.gov/about/process/living-donation.html

EDIT 4:

Thank you guys so much for keeping me occupied and entertained, its been amazing talking with all y'all. Great news! DOCS HAVE WRITTEN DISCHARGE ORDERS!!!

❤!MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!❤

Here's a pic of me and my donor: http://imgur.com/gallery/Brer7w1

Edit 5:

Last update: Arriving at grandmas! http://imgur.com/gallery/uM9G0hg

Comments: 857 • Responses: 26  • Date: 

CodyHawkCaster2779 karma

Have there been any jokes about your friend now being inside of you?

Skinver2875 karma

YES OMG

That started even before the surgery!😂

whennorametnancy1643 karma

Are you bored? I usually sell digital downloads of coloring sheets, but I'll send you some free ones if you want something to do. Let me know. :)

Edit: Thanks, kind stranger, for the silver! That's a first for me:)

Second Edit: You guys have me in a giving mood! Since we are so close to Christmas, if anyone else wants a coloring sheet to give to their kiddo as a stocking stuffer or whatever, send me a DM of your email. I'll shoot you a coloring sheet. Also, let me know if they are "puppy people", "kitty people", "tiger people", "lion people", or "komodo dragon people".

Edit 3: For those of you that didn't already know, Reddit likes it's cats. "Kitty people" are in a strong lead with "komodo dragon people" taking a distant second.

Edit 4: I'll keep on sending these out through the end of tomorrow, December 26th. If you didn't get one, but thought you would, make sure your email was DMed to me. I'm emailing these as a PDF to download and print.

Skinver1011 karma

I am but I'm not, its really weird. All of the meds kind of keep my mind in a different world lol. Today I actually started to feel myself a little bit, but they have coloring books here, my nurses are amazing. Thank you for the offer!

lilsneaks95660 karma

How is your friend doing? Everyone needs a liver so how does a living donation work? Does he only give part of his liver?

Skinver1161 karma

He is doing great! The surgery was on a Tuesday, he went home 4 days later. Typical hospital time is about a week.

He's actually been by to visit a few times, he's been cleared to drive and basically live his normal life!

He donated about 60% of his liver.

So they cut him open, take out part of his liver, cut me open, take all of mine out and put in part of his into me then staple us back together.

The liver regenerates over time. Its amazing what doctors can do today.

ssebb2020544 karma

Did you talk before the donation about how the donation and him hopefully saving your live could change or affect your friendship?

Skinver835 karma

Yes, not a very extensive talk though. We're the kind of friends that would do anything for each other. Been through thick and thin together. I'd do the same for him in a heartbeat if needed. This is not likely to change anything between us other than bring us closer.

NoxPrime411 karma

My wife got a liver transplant earlier this year, and she says "Look at Standy-McGee over there!"

Best of luck, my dude!

My only advice, as the caregiver of someone post-transplant, is to watch your levels and health on your immunosuppressants. Wife's on Mycophenelate, and sirolimus, currently. She had a bad reaction to Tacrolimus, and suffered a PRES seizure. Cyclosporine also gave her a seizure. If you feel a migraine coming on, please seek medical attention immediately. Which immunosuppressants are you on?

Merry Christmas!

BTW - Nice Lexus :P

Skinver214 karma

Awesome! How is she doing? Hopefully well!

I haven't had any bad reactions yet. I do get headaches and the occasional tremor but overall I'm doing well!

Here's all my meds: http://imgur.com/gallery/WO9B27G

I'm on cellcept, prednisone, and prograf for anti rejection.

My mom also had a transplant about 15 years ago so she knows the drill and will be watching out for me.😊

cleanwhitecoat232 karma

What's the first thing you want to do when you leave the hospital?

Skinver346 karma

Take a nap in my own bed.

I've gotten no sleep here, they come in to check my blood sugar every hour because the steroids make my bs skyrocket

lordofallkings163 karma

I'm really interested in the moment that you have to actually go ask another human being for part of their organs. That is wild! How did you find out that he had a matching liver? Did he offer to be tested? Did you ask him or did he ask you?

Skinver240 karma

He actually offered!

I told him we were going through the process of evaluating family members since they are most likely matches. Unfortunately that didnt work out and he stepped right up when he found out. Didn't even have to ask and wouldn't take no for an answer.

yizofu95 karma

Have you seen the nurse with the "Christmas-tree" hairdo?

Skinver78 karma

Nope, but we have the one that you can hear from a mile away.

Big jungle bell slippers along with the santa hat!

ricamnstr89 karma

This may seem like a weird question, but are you finding your diabetes more difficult to control due to the steroids? Also, were your doctors concerned about your post-op healing/recovery due to having diabetes?

Skinver149 karma

Yes, it has been a nightmare. One night i was up to 20 units of insulin an hour just to keep me in normal range.

Prior to surgery i controlled my diabetes very well, so doctors aren't really concerned with me, just gotta get off the steroids and ill be golden.

STK-AizenSousuke56 karma

Welcome to the club man. Sucks you had to get it so young. I got mine two years ago at 32, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis almost killed me. Fight hard, it will only go up from here. No itch, so much more energy, yellow is gone, bloating and infections gone, foggy mind gone.

My question to you is, what do you plan on doing with this new lease on life?

Also, If I may offer some advice when you get out:

Wear sunscreen. We already have a higher chance of getting cancer due to the meds (I'm on myfortic and cyclo modded) and skin cancer can kill fast.

Keep up to date on your meds. I see you ended up with a rejection episode, apologies that happened, but use that as a reminder that this shit is no joke. Always keep stocked and never skip a dose.

Keep in shape. Fatty liver is not something you want as a transplant recipient. Not being in shape is only going to hurt you worse in the long run. Don't fuck around with your overall health.

Don't think about the negatives. You are alive right now. You have no idea what's going to take you, so just take care of yourself and don't let stress mess you up.

Most important: live your life to the best you can. We are having this conversation because heros have donated to save our lives. Yours is still alive, mine isnt. This gift should never be brought down in importance. Be happy. Each day is a gift. Make your donor proud and make sure you live to deserve this gift, because there are many, many more who are waiting for it and who never see it. We are astronomically lucky, always remember that.

If you have any questions at all about life after transplant, feel free to hit me up. Whatever I can do to help.

Skinver60 karma

Well, prior to surgery I was in my last semester at university. I was also working as an intern with a fortune 100 company.

I was able to work things out with school to graduate early, and in tern, my employer extended a full time offer. I accepted and am now 22 years old and have a degree, full time job, and a new liver.

I'm going to spend the rest of my life staying healthy, working hard, and giving back. I want people to know my story and know that they arent alone.

Thank you for your kind words and all your knowledge. I will definitely keep that in mind! Merry Christmas😊

FlightOfTheShortGuy53 karma

What’s your favorite video game of all time?

Skinver80 karma

Black ops 2

WhalenKaiser50 karma

My FIL got a donated organ a few years ago. Will you be immune-suppressed for the rest of your life? Will that, or anything else about being an organ recipient, change the kind of job you will do?

Skinver96 karma

Only for about 6 months to a year while my body is adjusting.

And I'm an accountant, work a 9-5 at a desk all day and can work from home whenever, so ill be doing the same thing I've been doing.

I honestly can't wait to get back to work.

mymorningjacket37 karma

Are you guys gonna meet up for a drink once out of the hospital?

Skinver99 karma

Nope.

Never drank in my life and never will.

Sexycornwitch28 karma

My friend is going through the same thing. He has some genetic condition I don’t understand really. He’s not eligible for a living doner. I’m going back to help take care of him while he waits for a doner and the transplant. The whole thing is effecting his short term memory really extremely and I don’t know how to entertain him when his memory is too off for him to follow things for more than a few min.

I have no idea what to expect. How can I be there for him? What can I do to make things easier while we wait? I don’t even know what to ask. I’m scared.

I know I shouldn’t be because it’s not me who’s sick, but we’ve been close for 20+ years (met in high school) and he’s so fragile, and the wait is so long, and I’m moving across the country, and I have NO IDEA WHAT IM DOING and no idea what to expect in the long run.

Any tips or suggestions or anything you can tell me would help.

Skinver25 karma

Its normal for him to have encephalopathy (memory loss) and be very weak.

Honestly just being there for him is enough. The most comforting to me was going into surgery with family/friends by my side and then waking up and seeing them still here.

As i mentioned before, he is going to be very weak, just be prepared to do things for him. Open up water bottles, sweeten his tea, cut up his sandwich into bite sized pieces, etc. Also, have his favorite snack or card game around, something to comfort him. Make him a home cooked meal.

Its really the little things that mean the most.

Drewabble23 karma

My best friend is doing one more round of treatment and if it doesn’t work he will have to get a transplant. What are some ways I can support and be there for him while he’s going through this process??

Best of luck to you!!!

Skinver22 karma

Just be there for him. Not overwhelming or anything, but just check in occasionally. Bring him a nice meal, or snacks or something.

One of my best nights was when my brother brought some cosmic brownies. They don't have those in the ICU.

nikmti20 karma

Did you notice any symptoms indicating impaired liver function before your endocrinologist found that something was wrong?

Skinver22 karma

Not really.

My body became a more resistant to insulin, i had to use more and more to eat the same foods but i figured it was just like the cycle of life. Looking back I probably could've noticed it sooner but I'm still unsure if the liver has any affect on insulin resistance.

360walkaway18 karma

I have kidney failure and am on the wait list for a kidney transplant. I know it's a different organ, but in general what should I expect when I do eventually go in for the procedure? My doctors/nurses haven't told me anything about it, just show up quickly.

And don't feel rushed to answer this if you're a little loopy from the meds, get well soon.

Skinver28 karma

Yes, show up as soon as possible, but dont rush. Just get ready, notify family members, get a little bag of toiletries, a few pairs of clothes but a weeks worth of underwear bc you'll be wearing a gown most of the time. Then you just wait. I probably waited like 3 hours. If you get anxious easily, they can probably give you a little something to relax.

The one thing i will say in preparation is SHAVE YOUR ARMS. I know it sounds weird but with all of the IV's and tape they use, you'll be happy you did.

theredditman449 karma

I've always wondered if you get a liver transplant can you then donate your new superliver to someone else later in life?

Oh and feel better soon! Merry Christmas!

Skinver6 karma

Hopefully so!

Im a registered organ donor and if I die I sure hope they'd give the liver to someone else in need!

DucAdVeritatem7 karma

Fellow type one diabetic here! How has blood sugar management gone the past few weeks during recovery? Have they managed things 100% or have you still been able to check your BG or wear a CGM?

Mostly curious about how hard it’s been to stay in target range and how they’ve handled your levels. Wondering what your target BG has been and how often you’ve gone low...

Wishing you the best and a rapid recovery!

Skinver8 karma

I do have a CGM and insulin pump although I'm off my personal pump and have been on IV drip because its easier and acts faster. The lowest I've been is in the 70s, but up to about 320. Most of the time I'm hanging out around 180, which honestly i think is pretty good given the cirsumstances.

Eating has been the worst. Still haven't been able to figure out my new carb ratio. Somewhere around 1:4 probably

inbredcat7 karma

I will be needing a liver soon due to alpha 1 antitripsin deficiency. Really scarred for this! (Get it?)

Skinver7 karma

If you ever wanna talk, dm me.

You're not alone in this. Wish you the best!

Merry Christmas

wrongway_7 karma

Hey, I'm so happy it all went well! Don't worry, your body will soon get used to the new liver and to the immunosuppressants and you'll feel much better. One of my best friends had a liver transplant when he was a child (his scar is much bigger than yours, looks like a big cross all over his chest/belly) but it's very likely that he will need a new one in a few years. If we match, I would like to donate part of my liver to him. I've heard it's not only a matter of blood group but there are also many other factors that affect compatibility, is that so? Also, what are the consequences for the donor? Do they eventually recover fully?

Skinver5 karma

The donor recovery time is about 6 months but you'll be back on your feet and doing normal stuff within a month.

They will check everything if you do volunteer to donate, so no need to sorry about that because there's nothing else you can find out about the possibility of being a match other than blood type.

A different team of doctors from his will evaluate you and your body to see if you are a viable candidate (healthy, good liver, not being blackmailed into donating, etc) but overall I'd say you should be good to go! There's no real consequences of being a donor, you'll just have a scar to remind you of the amazing deed that you did.

Hope all goes well for ya'll! Dm me if you ever wanna chat!

lex04296 karma

Safe to say you owe this buddy pretty big time now. 10 years from now he/she comes to you and tells you there is a dead body in the trunk and they need your help but you can’t ask any questions. What do you do?

Seriously though, merry Christmas to you, your family, and especially that friend of yours.

Skinver11 karma

Drive the car to mexico, find a desolate desert, douse it in gasoline, and light it up, take a pic and send it to him so he knows its done, never speak of it again.

kvitty21 karma

Are you cancer free or do you still have more treatment to do? Hope everything goes well :)

Skinver10 karma

Cancer free!

They didn't treat the cancer because of the transplant. Since the cancer was only on my liver, when they took the liver out, they took the cancer out.😊

Thanks for your kind words

yucatan361 karma

Did you drink or anything like that? Things happen without doing that but I’m just curious.

Skinver1 karma

Never drank in my life and my diabetes is very well controlled.

It something genetic, not sure what exactly though.

My mom and uncle both had cirrhosis. Mom had a transplant, uncle passed away at a young age.