Every time a problem arises, especially a significant health one, life doesn’t seem fair. We learned something about two years ago that took us two years to comprehend and accept. My husband, who appeared to be in good health, was just experiencing stomach and chest pain when all of a sudden, the diagnosis was revealed: KIDNEY FAILURE! We had lost all hope! We were just informed about kidney transplant as the only option. How is it even conceivable ? A transplant of organs? There was a lot to process here! Like everyone else, we believed there had to be an alternative.
The usual routine started getting hindered. He was becoming increasingly pale, had swollen body parts, blurred eyesight, was throwing up, and other symptoms. The symptoms became more severe.Nothing seemed to be working despite countless doctor appointments and consultations! It was killing me how every day just seemed to be a hardship for him.
The hardest part was explaining everything to our daughter, who is now 11 years old. Before going to bed, she and her father used to play a lot every night, but now he was unable to speak clearly. Our daughter found it to be quite perplexing. But we made sure she understood everything we said.
His health was getting worse every day, and I was running out of patience. I saw him slowly perish as a result of that. One of my guiding principles in life is to stop whining and take action in the face of a crisis. Go with the flow if there is nothing you can do.
A new battle began after we saw a nephrologist in one of Gurugram’s renowned hospitals and were advised that the best option for living a healthy life was to have a KIDNEY TRANSPLANT.
According to the procedure, the first stage was to find a donor—someone alive who could give him a kidney! Only the patient’s blood relatives can donate organs in India, and this restriction is in place to reduce the possibility that the patient’s body may reject the organ. It’s a big issue to donate a body part, but there was no other choice. I decided to donate.
We support one another and always will. On our subsequent visit, we informed our doctor of our choice. In the interim, however, the doctor made the tragic decision to start him on dialysis.We told our families and our daughter about our choice. Our daughter was astonished, but we explained to her and requested that she come with us.
Although the tests are physically performed, your mind is affected. Every morning was a war—a war of new levels of tests. Our daughter managed on her own during the day for more than a month; this shattered us much more, but we had no other choice. I did not even have time to process everything as I waited in line for tests, billing, and reports. Life became a never-ending roller coaster. There was no region of my body that wasn’t checked, and some of the medications tested had side effects that lasted for one to two days. However, there was no time to wait for them to go away or take a break.
Every day was valuable because his body was on the verge of failing. His body was so weak due to dialysis that even standing was difficult. How is it possible to live without liquid? He was only permitted to drink one litre of fluid every day. During his trips to the hospital and for his dialysis, I did my best to keep him engaged. He never failed to ask “Main theek to ho jaunga na” on any given day. I couldn’t even talk to myself about this since I was so depressed inside. I believed that I had to be strong since there was no other way to approach him.
We were assigned the date of the surgery: July 4, 2023, after going through all of those terrifying exams. When the date was revealed, I was a bit terrified .
Everything was planned, including his accommodation, a cook, supplies, money, and clothing. Although we had no experience as either a donor or a recipient, we were certain that we would do it. For the next two months, my parents visited us and stayed with us.
The day finally arrived, bringing with it optimism and anxiety. We proceeded to Operation Theatre after getting ready. The last time I checked the time before surgery, it was 7:58 a.m. My father held my hand after my five-hour surgery, and all I could manage to say was, “Papa bohat dard hai,” which made him cry. However, the anaesthetic kept me comatose for the following few hours.
When I regained consciousness late that night, I felt a severe, stabbing pain in my belly. I still get goose bumps when I think about that. I was in such much pain for the next four days that I was unable to speak. I worked so hard to speak but was unsuccessful. I spoke with nurses holding signs. Even if I want to, those are the days I can never forget. The day after the surgery, I visited my husband in the ICU, and for the first time ever, I started crying. He was draped in pipes, and the sight was agonising, but I was assured that he was in good health. A sigh of relief: We did it.
Even though the six days before my release were the cruellest of my life, I was still optimistic about my husband’s return to a regular life, of which he had only been dreaming for the previous two years. My daughter’s birthday fell on the day of discharge. She sobbed uncontrollably when she saw me when I got home and said, “Mama, you came on my birthday; it’s the best gift I could ever have.” My mother wept as well, but she was glad to see me moving around again. After 14 days, the spouse was given the all-clear.I became aware that life is a gift as I watched him make his way back home. When my daughter got both of her parents back, she was ecstatic.
We are now in the recovery phase, which is a crucial part of transplant, but we are happy and healthy. My husband’s finest comment was, “See, my skin is pink again!” and I was happy to hear that. We experienced a rebirth-like feeling. I never lost hope, and I am grateful to the Almighty, who is with me every second of my life.
This has been authored by Sushma Singh
Sushma is a runner who was running until a day before surgery.
3 things she learned from running:
1. Self-belief: never give up on yourself
2. Patience: be calm, no matter what
3. Keep moving; never quit, no matter what
She is a super disciplined person who believes that you can do anything if you BELIEVE in yourself and because of this,she is running again.