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Sunday, 18 January 2009

Its for real

Post the incident last week that had me lifeless and almost gone for good, I have been extremely scared. When we are scared, all of us need to share it to relieve the stress, at least I do. I share my feelings with a few of my close friends. I have this set of close friends whom I confide in and like telling them my problems. They have also been doing the same thing and it is a nice relationship that I have been very proud of.

Recently, I have been having such scary bouts more often and overall it has been very difficult for me to cope up with the stress of living with this fear as well as focussing on work sufficiently well enough so as to perform as per corporate expectations. It is therefore critical that I can share my fears / anxieties with those I can confide in and those who know my back ground etc.

I met one such close friend online and I shared this incident with that person. The response was something that I had not expected from that person. I was asked why I was narrating my problems to that person and not to my other close friends. I was sharing my experiences only because that friend was online and I really was feeling extremely stressed out with the whole incident.

I got a feeling that the friend was thinking I was making up the story. I agree that such incidents have become more frequent lately, but I have not narrated anything to this person lately nor do I let it make a difference to my professional life as much as it is possible.

I am aware that such incidents can be very common for patients on dialysis and hence we have to be prepared for it.

Such incidents might sound very colourful and very "filmy", yet they are real and I have really gone through them. It may be possible that I share such incidents with friends so that I can get some strength and encouragement from them. But whatever it is I never make up such incidents. They are so difficult to go through and such experiences are even more difficult to express or narrate.

Yet if I share my scary experiences, it does not mean I have given up in life. I still put in full days of work. I still do all things that normal human beings do. I have never requested anyone for any concession on the ground that I am a patient of chronic renal failure. I am competing with normal humans in all senses of the word. The only sign of weakness that I showed was that I shared my scary experience with one friend who I felt was very close to me. I have only one question to ask.

Don't normal humans share experiences half as scary with their close friends??

Back to Life

It has been a very rough time for me lately. It started with the injury that I suffered during my last trek (I will write a post on that very soon once the photos are uploaded). Luckily for me there was no fracture though there was a soft tissue injury which still hurts a bit. As a result, I am not able to plan treks till it completely heals.

After this there was an incident in my original dialysis centre. Due to some repair works, they were shifting the machines to another location in the same premises. During the process of shifting something went wrong and the machines were not working. So at very short notice we were told to make alternate arrangements for our hemodialysis. I felt the whole thing was managed very unprofessionally. But it makes no difference to the hospital authorities. The only people who suffered were the patients.

Luckily for me, I got an alternate arrangement done for myself with the help of my contacts. I got a slot at another reputed hospital in Mumbai in two hours.

The treatment here was good though a wee bit more expensive than the original hospital. And what happened after the first round of dialysis here was even more scary. I came home with a normal blood pressure. But once I came home it dropped suddenly.I was not able to lie down as I was getting a bad bout of cramps. I was also having such low pressure that my Bp equipment was not able to measure even. My parents who have always been very supportive were quite scared. We first tried the normal fresh lime water with salt. It didnt work at all. Then we tried concentrated salt water which gave me relief for 5-10 minutes but it went very low soon after.

Again the BP was not measurable and I was feeling breathless. I was gasping for breath. Writing on the bed. Suddenly a bout of cramps made me sit up in pain. Not being able to see anything as I was blacked out due to the low blood pressure. Then again I was forced to lie down and breathless. I didnt know what was happening to me. I was scared. Yet I could not give up. I almost went lifeless. I lost all sense. It was as if it was all over. I was almost gone. It was only the presence of mind of my mother that saved me that night. She took a fist ful of salt and shoved them in my mouth. I still remember that salty taste and in my subconscious mind started wondering what was happening. That taste was awful, but then after a while I realised that I was breathing. My pressure was now measurable.It was on 70/50 and my pulse had come to 45.

I was back to life.

Friday, 9 January 2009

You must be joking

Last night I had to go to hospital for my dialysis. Got free from there at around 1 a.m. and came down to the road. Normally we have cabs waiting at the hospital door waiting to ferry passengers home. Yesterday there was a strike by the staff of oil refineries all over India and hence no fuel was available. As a result, no cab was available last night.

I had vomitted during dialysis and was feeling very weak. I was finding it tough to stand upright. My dad had come to escort me home. I stood by a parked vehicle while my dad kept waiving out to the few taxis that were plying on the road. Most of them had passengers in them.

Just then one taxi with four young men stopped. They got off the cab. My father saw the opportunity and almost ran to the cab to engage it for our journey home. The young men saw us, ran back and almost held the cab driver hostage. They had not paid him. They commanded him to wait for 15 - 20 minutes. The poor guy had no choice. We requested the youngsters to allow us to take the cab home and let him return. It would not take the cabbie more than 10 minutes to drop us and return to that spot mainly because there was no traffic. We in fact explained our situation that I was feeling weak due to the dialysis and we needed the cab badly to reach home as early as it was possible. It was also quite a cold night by Mumbai standards.

These guys ridiculed us and did not accede to our requests. In their state of drunkenness they told us almost threateningly to look for some other mode of transport.

Jokers I thought to myself.........or in more polite terms "You must be joking"