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Thursday, 19 June 2008

Trek to Kotligad

Normally we used to travel through the night to Karjat, take the first bus to base point (around 545 a.m.) and reach there by 7. We used to complete the climb by around 10. After exploring the place for around a couple of hours we used to climb down and reach the base point just in time for the last bus which used to be around 430.

This time we made a different plan. We thought it was prudent to catch up with some sleep. So we reached Karjat (from where the bus to the base point was starting) in the night itself. We stayed at a household known to me (since I have been trekking for the last 18 years). This household offers accommodation to genuine trekkers only at a nominal price. This time the place was not as cozy as usual and most uncomfortable. As a result the idea of catching up on sleep didnt work out as expected and we were sleepless throughout the night.

The first bus to the base point was cancelled. Commercial considerations have forced the state transport undertaking to cancel buses which do not have enough passengers.

I was tired to start off with. Also I had dialysis the previous night and hadnt slept well. To add to the discomfort was the fact that I had a bad bout of cramps during that round of dialysis and cramps continued into the next night as well. AS a result when we started trekking th pain due to the cramps was fresh and hence I was sceptical whether I would end up being a spoilsport by dropping out mid way through the trek.

There is a nice inclined walk to a table land. On the way we saw a snake (looked like a python) and several species of moths and other insects which we rarely get to see in a city like Mumbai.

The view from the table land itself is so divine, it is difficult to express in words. The sight of the thumb shaped fort/ watch tower at a distance is so awe inspiring as well as humbling. Along with that the mountains and the waterfalls that line the valley is a sight to behold.

The link at the bottom of the post would give a more accurate expression of the beauty.

We rested here and emptied the packets of glucose powder that we had carried. I normally carry these during treks as I am not sure how much fluid I can consume. I feast on glucose and gulp it down with small sips of water.

Around a couple of kms walk from here is a village from where the real climb starts. The village has a couple of households who run a restaurant. It serves only one dish that is kanda poha (pounded rice diced with onion and other spices)and you have to oder for meals. Meals normally constitute bread made of rice (bhakris), vegetables, dal and rice. We decided not to order for the meal as we were carrying enough food stuffs. We had tea and poha and went up. This climb is a steep one and in rocky terrain which had become slippery and treacherous due to the intermittent rain.

I was very tired here and had lost a lot of fluid due to excessive sweating. To add to it was the fact that it was a sunny day. I had to sit for a while. I almost got blacked out at a point of time. But I had to make it to the top. I was trekking with normal guys after all.

My friend Shyam was always with me. He has been a great support even since we met around 17 years ago and he taught me how to trek. Hence it was a great source of solace that Shyam was around. He offered to hold my bag. He did too for a while. Then I took it back as the climb was too tough to do with two bags in hand. It was tough for me. I guess it was equally tough for everyone else. This part of the trek was really quite steep.

Finally we could see the ramparts of the fort and it was a relief to me. A sense of achievement as well. I had made it ....despite the cramps...despite the hypoglycemia....I felt great.

I simply didnt have any energy to go anywhere else.So I went to the cave at the top and lied down on the rock. The cool rock face was so refreshing. IT was amazing in fact.

I took out my bottle of water and had a huge gulp. I felt that even if I consumed more fluid than necessary, the machines were there to take it off me. This was heaven and I had to enjoy water....that heavenly drink.

On the way back we saw a couple of more snakes which we were not able to capture on camera as they were too quick for us. The best part of the whole trek was that during the whole trek I didnt slip even once. And I was having pain in my calf muscles due to the cramps as well as the hypoglycemia.

What a wonderful adventure it turned out to be !!

What a wonderful way to celebrate that my transplant didnt happen!!!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Aborted Transplant

I got a call for a transplant on tuesday. I was asked to be starving and everything was kept ready so that I could go on the surgery table at 4 pm.

At 330 I was informed by the hospital authorities that the relatives of the donor whose cadaver I was to get have changed their decision to donate.

I was upset.....very upset. The last time around as well I missed out on a surgery, but this time no one got the organ. That was most depressing. I came home. Had a bit of rest and then went off to see a movie. That was the best decision I could take then. It also turned out to be a good decision as I felt nice after watching the movie. It was a welcome break from the rigours of the daily routine.

But I really needed to have some fun. I needed to make the most of the opportunity that not having a transplant offered. Being monsoons the mountains are really beautiful and ester is available in plenty.

Nothing better to do than go for a trek and I decided to go to my favourite place Kotligad.

This decision happened on friday and we had to leave on saturday. Hence, it was difficult for people to take time off at such a short notice. However, as luck would have it, five guys confirmed their participation. It was a great trip. The photos are yet to be uploaded. Hence I will write about it when they are up. As a result everyone can see the pictures along with the description of the trek as well as enjoy the pristine beauty of this wonderful watch tower / fort.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Some people really dont

While we are so obsessed with our normal functions, we are at times very insensitive towards what others in our midst are going through.

Last week I had to get hospitalised due to an infection. Some incidents were so funny and at the same time stark.

When i got admitted as usual one ward boy came with a urine pot and told me to store my urine in the same for testing. i politely informed that the same was not required as i do not pass any urine. With surprise written large on his face he left. Maybe it was difficult for him to believe.

The next day, another ward boy (duties change with shifts) came and asked me why i havent kept any urine sample in the pot for testing. The aggression in the tone was itself very disturbing. Howqever, i again laughed it off saying "Bhai i do not pass any urine"

In the evening again there was a change of duties and this time it was a nursing staff who came with a similar query. " Why dont you store your urine in that pot" Now it might have so transpired that the nursing staff had admonished the ward boy and now taken it upon himself to ensure compliance that the patient would save a urine sample for testing purpose. That was his holy duty to do the same and no force on earth could stop him from doing so.

From my side as well there was the same response. However, my mother who was witness to these happenings got a bit irritated. She pointed it out to the dutiful nursing staff that the earlier ward boys were informed that no urine is passed and hence the issue of storing the urine does not arise.

We requested the nursing staff to make a note of the same in the patient register so that no one has to go through the ignominy of asking me for the urine for testing.

The next morning at around 530 a.m.

I was fast asleep. This ward boy wakes me up rudely "Pishab kidhar hai"

I replied half asleep " No sample for you"

He responded "Looks like you havent passed urine for the whole night"

Me: " Not only for the whole night but for the last 3 years "

He (Absolutely stunned): " Arre.......havent you told this to some doctor"

I woke up and shouted at him ........... how many times have i told you that i dont pass any urine.........thats the reason i need to take you realise how much it hurts when you ask me why i dont pass any urine............i really dont know. Doctors too dont know. But they have a word for it....idiopathic.........but yes, it hurts ..........especially in hospital where people are supposed to know.

It hurts like hell...........Many people really dont pass any urine.......