My health started improving. I was working hard on getting independent. I managed to get rid of the medical bed, wheelchair and walker. I started doing a lot of things independently at home. I still needed help, but the dependency had greatly reduced. I could help myself to the loo, have a bath on my own and walk around at home on my own. We discontinued the night nurse. Now I could sleep on my own in my room.
In June, six months after I fell sick, I joined work again. I don’t know about other people, but I consider work as therapy. I always have enjoyed my work and given it my best. This is not the first time I have gone through a tough time and work has always helped me to remain in balance. I enjoy working on my laptop with a cup of coffee. It gives me a high.
My organisation, my manager and my colleagues were very supportive. They always ensured my health remained a priority. I was allowed to work from home as I was not in a position to go to office. They allowed me time-off to go for my dialysis. My dialysis schedule was Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. So, for those two weekdays, I was allowed to adjust my working hours and Saturday being a weekend, was not an issue. I enjoyed being back at work. It was such a relief. It diverted my mind away from my illness and challenges that came with it. It was nice to interact with colleagues and get busy with work.
I started going out with my girl gang. We meet every month for a meal. They didn’t go for one till I was in position to join. They would pick me up, chose a restaurant which didn’t have too many stairs and drop me back home. I attended Sayali’s annual school concert and went for one or two of her parent-teacher meetings. She was happy.
I was getting comfortable with myself and didn’t feel ashamed asking strangers for help. I didn’t mind asking someone to hold my hand, so I wouldn’t fall or ask someone to give me preference as I didn’t have the strength to stand for too long.
I no longer threw tantrums to go for dialysis. I accepted it as something I need to do to remain alive for my family. My health stabilised largely but would have good days and bad days.
One day in the dialysis centre, a new patient was on the bed next to me. He was a young guy, only 23. Apeksha would come to check on me during dialysis and would talk to me. She came in and we started talking to this patient. His kidney failure was detected recently and was down in the dumps. His dad was next to him and tried to console him, saying “Don’t worry, this won’t last too long. You won’t need dialysis after transplant.” Then his dad mentioned that he planned to donate his kidney to his son. In a span of month, they managed to do all the tests, complete all the formalities and do the transplant.
I told Apeksha that this guy is so lucky! She just smiled at me.
For one weekend, Mamata decided to take me to her place as it would be a good change for me. It was going to be all ladies weekend – my mom, niece, Sayali, Mamata and me. We went to a mall and Starbucks! We got stuck in an elevator for minute or two due to a power outage. It qualified for an adventurous weekend for sure! When we were relaxing and chit chatting over a pizza and coke dinner, my brother called and said he will come to meet me the next morning and have lunch with us. I was surprised because I didn’t recollect meeting him when I was in the hospital. I was told he had come and met Dinesh but didn’t come to meet me. He said he didn’t have the guts to see me with all those tubes attached to me.
The next day in the morning, he came and sat next to me on the bed. My mom was sitting next to me and he asked Mamata to get tea for everyone. After two minutes of formal chatting and enquiring about my health, he said, “I have come here to discuss something very important with all three of you.” Taking a pause, he said, “You have everything, and I can’t bear to see you like this. I want to donate my kidney to you.” We were zapped. it was so out of the blue for me that I was speechless and started crying!