Just to answer your questions regarding dining, etc. from my perspective. After a 6 night stay in the hospital I was released to the hotel we rented a few minutes from the hospital for the next 4 weeks. One of the first outings I had was to go to a barber shop. My dad drove me over and when we went in I explained to the barber that I had just had a liver transplant and would they please take extra precaution to thoroughly clean their clippers, combs, etc. before they started on me. They were very understanding and did so. --On a side note, once I returned home and even now 3 years later my regular barber always cleans his work area, thoroughly cleans his clippers, etc. every time before he begins. I have had no problems with any contamination in that regards. Regarding eating out, buffets of course are definitely something to avoid especially the first 3 to 6 months and even afterwards you must use caution. At the hotel they had a nice buffet breakfast every morning. My wife always got down there very early right when the breakfast bar opened and fixed me a plate and brought it back up to the room. After a week or so I ventured down and ate in the eating area of the lobby, and the person manning the buffet was very understanding and worked with us so that I didn’t get any food that had been touched on someones plate or by children. No issues. We ordered Papa John’s pizza a number of times, and did eat out but always ordering from the menu. One thing to keep in mind, for church dinners when everyone brings their food we worked it out so I was always at the front or very near the front of the line so I could get a plate before the children served themselves, etc. Of course any meats we always would take to a microwave and heat till it was steaming to prevent any bacteria issues. So far so good. Most any fast food restaurant like Chic-fil-A, McDonald’s, etc. you should have no problem. You do want to take sanitizing wipes and clean down the table good in places like that. Of course any fresh fruit or vegetables need to be washed before slicing, definitely no grapefruit juice, Sunny D, anything that has grapefruit as it interferes with the immune suppression medication.
I never avoided going to church after I finally came home from being out of town for that month near Duke. One thing the Pastor did do for us, he mentioned to everyone that I would not be shaking hands any longer and for the first few months I would slip in and out of service to avoid having to greet people up close. After awhile though I just used common sense. Now I will bump fists or hit elbows with the men and of course will give a hug. You just have to use precaution. And even now I’m in and out of the business community every day and there are times I’ll meet someone and shake their hands. I just use hand sanitizer once I get back to my car or wash them depending on where I am. Main thing is to keep them out of my mouth and eyes. Now the first few months post transplant when family and friends came to visit, the first thing they had to do was wash their hands or use the sanitizer I had out before I’d shake their hands, etc. And I told family/friends to not come if sick or with children who had runny noses, etc. The biggest issues I’ve had are bronchial infections once or twice a year. When that happens I go to my ENT and he gives me a couple of shots and then some inhalers to try and break up the gunk in my lungs. When my wife’s father was dying last year in the nursing home I was in and out of there for a week every day. Well wouldn’t you know it a flu bug was going around and I ended up with a bronchial infection that lasted 6 weeks. No need to go around with a mask on either as it’s a liver transplant not a lung. The biggest precaution is good handwashing practices and avoiding germs as best you can. Of course, no cat litter boxes and things like that. He doesn’t need to handle dirt in the ground, rose bush thorns, fish water, cat boxes, etc. without protective gloves on.
Well I could go on and on but hopefully this helps some. What a wonderful beginning with a clean bill of health. Isn’t it wonderful to look into his eyes and see only white and not the brown orangey look that liver disease gives.