I am a 64 year retired Manager from State Bank of India, where I served for 36 years. It was for fifteen years that I was seeing a diabetologist for Diabetes and hypertension. It is only in Dec2018 that symptoms of fatigue, loss of appetite, occasional swelling in the feet and body itching. However, the doctor did not pay any cognisance to these symptoms and I took on a causal approach , not knowing how seriously my health was being affected. What was destined had to be faced and in I was diagnosed with kidney failure due to diabetes and hypertension in Feb 2019.
I was on Haemodialysis for 3 months and the doctor advised that we go for transplant, a fistula would have to be made for future dialysis. My wife decided to be the Donor , no discussion was allowed on this topic , I was not consulted. My wife conveyed her decision to the doctor , my 2 sons and their respective wives. The surgery was scheduled on 14may2019. I could feel the pain on the faces of my family members except my wife. Perhaps they were worried about the decision of my wife and any repercussions , since both their parents were undergoing surgery. A difficult position for them to be in. I do not hesitate to say, had I been her place, I would have thought twice ! I once again reiterate that for any organ donation, whether live or cadaver, the family support is a must.
After transplant, I was skeptical whether I would return to normal life, and my mind was always preoccupied with thoughts of survival. As my wife was my donor, there was a fear in my mind as well as in the family, whether both of us had become unfit for life. My wife forgets she is a donor , and leads a completely normal life and is forever busy. She gives me the courage to be who I am , her silent strength , resilience is my inspiration.
After much thought, one day (15 days after transplant) I decided that I had to get up and move on in life, and set an example. I started with a few small steps in my room with the help of my family members who were also deeply concerned for my recovery. In spite of some discomfort, I was determined to carry on till I attained total recovery.
I used to play indoor as well as outdoor games, but after transplant, I thought that I had to forget that chapter of my life. After two months of routine checkup with my nephrologist, I asked the doctor, “Can I play some indoor games like Table Tennis?” The concerned doctor gave me permission, but simultaneously asked me to be cautious and avoid vigorous activity.I was delighted, and asked one of my friends, to whom I shall remain always indebted, to accompany me for a daily one game of Table Tennis. The day I started playing again, I was so elated that I completely forgot about my transplant surgery.
Next, I participated in the National Transplant Games, Mumbai (just 5 months after transplant) and won silver medal in the game of TT. Pursuing my passion for sports, I participated in various walkathon and marathon (5km) events, while continuing to walk 10 km every day, practice TT for one hour and play indoor games like carrom, etc. All these would not have been possible if I had not undergone a transplant. My wife is not only my Donor , but my caregiver too. She prepares the diet chart for me in consultation with the nephrologist and dietician. Timely meals and good diet has been the key to my quick recovery of my health after surgery & basic fitness for all my sporting activities.
In spite of restrictions imposed by my family members, I insisted on going out on my bike to purchase groceries, newspaper, etc. Even my wife now takes part in certain walkathon/marathon events which makes me feel elated, and sometimes it gives me a feeling that we are married for a cause.
I wish to convey to all transplant patients to consider transplant as a bliss. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities. I have a passion for reading and writing, and hence, occasionally contribute articles to magazines/journals/newspaper. An added bonus was that the doctor stopped my BP medicine which I had been taking for the past 25 years, which can be attributed to my disciplined life , exercise and a possibility that BP was due the slowing down of the kidneys functions due to CKD.
I wish my story will boost the morale of other patients and instil confidence in them. I believe that when God has given a second lease of life, it is for some purpose. The purpose is to educate society by setting an example and propagating the message of organ donation and benefits of transplant.