Thursday, August 2, 2018

Bed Wetting , an indication ?

"No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself " - John Steinbeck 

As I journey forward , with a look at the past , I realise , that to suppose there are a few or many , who might have gone through the same symptoms that I have experienced , is probable. and it's time for me , to mention , my relation with Bed wetting ! When a disease pays you a visit , to become a permanent part of your life , the warnings are there. However, with dime a dozen ailments , one is not aware on the indications of every disease nor is one aware of the disease itself. It's only with our own battle & knowledge over the years , do we comprehend the various tell tale signs. One of the signs that the kidney is failing  , which came to our attention very recently , is Bed Wetting , not being able to control the bladder when asleep ! 

Till around  the age of 5 -6 years , Bed wetting , was considered as normal development. However , as I grew older, this became embarrassing. Also , I had this terrible habit , since I was a little girl , to control my bladder for many hours & only use the washroom , if absolutely clean.This also meant , loosing bladder control when pressure very high. were both individual issues or co -related ? Was this a cause of bed wetting, till I was in my teens & what followed . Was bed wetting related to my kidney's failing , or was it an entirely different reason , can only be a guess , since no diagnosis on the reason was ever established !

Although the frequency of bed wetting reduced as I grew older , it continued & stopped, once I had my transplant. 
No matter , I would be woken up in the night to use the washroom , or was conscious enough not to drink too much water in the evening to overload my bladder, accidents happened. It was quite a situation when we were travelling. However, it was well hidden , no one ever knew & we never realized , the bed wetting was a trigger for something bigger!  Bed wetting was blamed to my deep sleep, drinking too much liquids before bed time & well , was definitely a cause for my parents ire ! 

Today we know better. We know that it wasn't normal & we shouldn't have hidden it , but consulted a doctor. And then again , would a doctor, 30 years ago , done a complete blood test ? Would they have suspected that maybe it was kidney related ? Do we , even today , hide the fact that a teenager or an adult is wetting the bed? Will the doctor ( GP , considering he is the first person to go to ) , recognize it as a symptom for kidney that has flawed  functioning ? Questions, which we need to find answers for ourselves !

"Things are not always what they seem, the first appearance deceive many, the intelligence ( in my case, Time , which is also a great teacher )  of a few perceive what has been carefully hidden"  - Phaedrus 

**** So, please,  do not hide the fact , that your child beyond 6 years or an adult is bed wetting. Consult a doctor. Do a kidney profile. Do not make the mistake , that we made! 

**** Time to share your knowledge on symptoms which are kidney related. Awareness is the call of today , through your own experience , that of another & information gathered !

**** Be Aware : We have kept many private issues hidden , we need to talk about them.

**** According to Dr Sankaran Sundar, Reflux Nephropathy is one cause of kidney damage in childhood, which might be associated to Bed wetting. Some tests done, if Bed wetting, urinary infection, bowel difficulties & problem urinating is an issue, include , ultra sound examination of the Kidneys and Bladder , X-Ray or other tests.
**** The signs and symptoms of urinary tract or kidney problems vary and include:
·        swelling around the eyes, face, feet, and ankles (called edema)
·        burning or pain during peeing
·        significant increase in the frequency of urination
·        difficulty in controlling urination in kids who are mature enough to use the toilet
·        recurrence of night time Bed Wetting ( )
·        blood in the urine
·        High Blood Pressure
·        Diabetes

The Links :
- Dr Sankaran Sundar :
- Reflux Nephropathy :
- Hereditary:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

My Nani, My Donor , who lives on, within me !

"I am blessed in more ways than I can count ! "
Blessings from Family, Friend's, Ancestor's, Guru's ,God, Stranger's !

The one's who have been following my blog , will know , that it was my Nana who decided on my Nani being the Donor, inspite of strong opposition by a few. Had it not been for his firm decision, this story would have definitely had a different plot! 

My Nani did not question her husbands decisions. She went with the flow. A simple woman , who went through the entire process of check up's & then the surgery , with a strength that belongs to that generation. Her prayer & blessings for my recovery ! Ignorant that she was , no fear, no stress , her indomitable Faith and a surgery that went off smoothly. Her recovery , swift & uneventful. She never gave a thought  about the risk involved ,  to the fact, that she was giving away a part of her body, never realised the worth of her precious gift. She just gave, to give Solace to her daughter & healthy life for her grand daughter. 

A child , spoilt & pampered , by her zamindari background, a young woman , married to a man who belonged to the same culture , however ,  had broken away from traditions. Spirituality seeped in every pore of his being, knew the Bhagwat Gita , verbatim , a Goddess Kali devotee . He believed in the ideology of Gandhi , simple living & high thinking, wore only khadi & made sure his new bride followed the same. This made my Nani,  resilient to any situation. Like any Indian woman , her life was all about giving , giving to her family , friends , social obligations, taking care of anyone & everyone , but never Time for Her! And she eventually gave the most precious gift of all , her Kidney , to Me ! 

She was one tough woman ( pre & post surgery) , physically very active, never did one see her laze, always on the move , never a dull moment for her . A Lord Shiva devotee, her prayers , her faith , her unconditional devotion , almost always gave birth to a new miracle. My Nana a vegetarian ( sans garlic & onion) , had managed to convince my Nani to leave non vegetation. Although vegetation, their diet - very balanced & healthy.They never ate out, meals were freshly prepared  - the dietitians of today , would have definitely learnt many an important lesson from their dietary habits. It was this life style , that made her , such an ideal Donor & her recovery, fluid.  As such, People from Orissa, have a very healthy diet ( lets discount the pizza & burger eating generation of today ) , they do not mix proteins or carbohydrates &  leafy vegetable is a part of their daily routine, 

She lead a normal life , surgery did not dampen her spirit for life. To say , that her energy level had gone up quite a few notch , wouldn't be wrong - like , going up & down the stairs of her 2 storey home, innumerable times , without missing a step , vis a vis ,  just once was enough for me ! 

A Vivacious woman , she passed away at the age of 94 years , with her zest , intact. She has left behind a Legacy of Unconditional love ! 

Organ Donation , is the most difficult decision to make. An Emotional, physical & financial , conflict. And yet , once made , it create's a Miracle - a whole new world of Giving, Gratitute, Appreciation. 

Information :

*Source: Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University
When a single kidney is removed because of injury or for transplantation, the remaining kidney can rapidly get 50 to 60 percent bigger, an apparent physiological attempt to expand its capacity. Now, scientists have found an explanation for the century-old observation that if you end up with just one kidney, the lone organ gets bigger.


* Some links on Organ Donation are on the Intelligence & Emotional Quotient page. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Power of a heartfelt Smile, Laughter from the soul & an energised Hug , Unexcelled !

"What does not kill you , gives you many an ingenious coping mechanisms & a really erratic sense of humour " ! 

If being straight forward, which borderlines on tactlessness, is my first nature,  Laughter is second. I find a smile , laughter within the most mundane , the most serious. To be able to laugh , to spread a smile , to spread joy , to spread love. The ability to laugh from the pit of my stomach , from the soul , without inhibition , is my most powerful Grace

Life, like the graph of a heartbeat, is constant in its inconsistency. Laughter is a physical & emotional antidote, to almost any situation.  Laughter energises. Laughter heals. Laughter is your one constant Blessing.  Smile is the gentle version of laughter. And this is exactly what pulled us towards Positivity. Strength, to handle various emotional & physical turmoil's. An unspoken bundle, of electrified Elixir of Energy. 

A Nervous laughter is a sign of Fear & yet , it's the Fear , which brings this laughter & the laughter that dispels fear ! Dichotomy of sorts ! Too young to be worldly wise, Fear wasn't a part of my Dictionary, Laughter was! Life was an Adventure & continues to be. However, for the rest , it was & is, intimidating. Didn't understand then , now I empathise. What a struggle it must have been to keep that smile , a positive attitude, never allowing me to see their worry or concern. 

A few will say , when you know there is no solution , when death comes- how can one smile , find Humour in that situation? Well, I say from my experience , having seen bits & pieces of a few aspects , and death of someone close - through every emotional turmoil ,  what a Smile ,or  a memory that brings Laughter, can do, to elevate the mood , nothing else can ! And that mood ,  in a very tiny way, builds Positive Atitude & a Hug, builds an Emotional Fortitude! Seriousness has a way of being hidden in humour, lighter moments.

To make sure, that none of us, were caught in the trap of emotional fatigue , everyone & everyone , brought along a strong spice of Effortless Humour to enhance every dish , that came our way. Many a negative agitation were kept at bay, for each one of us. We all learnt individually & from each other , to enjoy the Good Moments & find a smile through the most (not all, that is tad difficult) Challenging stage's.

 Six months approximately, is a long time, the hospital becomes , a second home. A peek into a time , when all looked bleak & yet we stayed afloat, with an Attitude that spelt intrepidity. 
The Universe neither Blesses you nor Punishes you, It only Responds to the Vibrations of your Attitude.- Abraham Hicks 

·        Recreating my room in the hospital, with toys & posters, gave me a comfort , lifted our spirit , which was so needed, to overcome my various medical issues. The only room, which looked different, had an energy of its own, from which, floated a constant flow of laughter, conversations &  music ! Oh yes , permission was taken by my parents, however, we ( the kids)  thought it was a big secret , with the Doctors & Nursing staff , humouring us , by pretending not to notice !    

·        Music has it's own healing power. I listened, I sang along & music made the pain go away! That everyone wanted to gag me coz of my croaking , tuneless voice, is another matter altogether ! Sketching became a Hobby , which led to my having one exhibition - that , i stuck the sticker of Sold on all the paintings , became a major laughing matter is, well , still a laughing matter  ! 

·        To watch a movie with the ward boys, in the night or afternoons, when most of the hospital was asleep, or work was at its minimum, had it own moments of nervous laughters & secret smiles. 

·        Shakir, with a dead pan face , walked in one day with his hair styled as Mr T & the next day , he had shaved his head. The expression on everyone's face was to die for. He brought along a comicality, which was unparalleled! We kept the illusion intact for a while on most thinking , he was a Bollywood star !

·        Uncle Rony walking in with this huge Teddy & being directed to the maternity ward - who would think that he had got this stuffed toy for a 19 year old ! 

·        Shoeb & Vicky ( in their mid teens)  , waging a war , to donate their blood & kidney ! being pacified by family & Nursing staff - Some sight that was ! 

·        Winning a bet & actually getting ₹100 out of Dr Gandhi on an India Pakistan one day match , was the talk & smiler for quite a while , with Dr Gandhi , for once , giving a sheepish smile ! 

·        While I was in my semi coma stage, I came up with statements,  very profound & spiritual in nature. My Nana , who had made notes of these, decided to read it out to us , once I got better. Here he was being serious & we were having the most difficult time keeping a straight face . Those words from me , impossible. After which he went around saying - She is a Devi at most times & then, she adds the L to become a little Devil ! 

·        After the transplant , for a few months, I had something called Kulthi ( Horse gram) water , Grandma recipe of benefits ( which suits only a few , so best take with caution ). The person designated to give me company & make sure I drank the same, was given to Gogi. It was no laughing matter then , but today, it's a memory that brings laughter & I can use Kulthi as a threat , to get my work done ! 

·        At every given time , there would be some celebrity ( specially actors )  at the hospital for some ailment or another & their (actor) visitors. Still remember Ashish, playing Hide & Seek , with the security since he wanted to stay the night, spend time with Sunny Deol & meet , his all time Hero, Dharmendra ! What a drama !  While my family & friends were interested in meeting & interacting with the actors , I would have them come visit me ! They wanted to meet this, tiny person ,one of the youngest patients, full of energy & laughter - considered by most, as a goner ! I became the Unlikely Star  !!

·        Doing a wheelie on my wheelchair with tubes hanging all around me, walking around at 12 midnight to wish, Happy New Year , to all who were awake - was in character .  Spreading positive energy , sharing a smile , giving pep talks to a patient or just elevating their spirits , became my duty !

Thus , Life has continued. One day at a time, a cheer, a smile , some Laughter & loads of Attitude ! Like a wise one has said , " Keep Smiling. And one day Life will get tired of upsetting you !" . Life is good ! 

Every individual has their own Laughter & Happiness Quotient. It can be spontaneous , cultivated or just needs to be resuscitated, every so often. Laughter,Love,Happiness are your Shadows, always with you, they find you .....  Life shows you every emotion - choose yours ! 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Intelligence & Emotional Quotient (IQ & EQ)

*Feedback from our experience is essential , either to us or by us, that's what empowers.* 

A piece of information , that I got to know about , just a few days back. On receiving the book, Kidney Warriors, Sharmi ( my friend forever, who never left our side for the entire time that I was ill, was my mother's shadow) , sprung a surprise on me by saying ," Just before the surgery , I distinctly remember , we were told , No matter you do a transplant , graft survival is only 5 years !" . I cannot imagine , what my family & friends would have gone through at that time.My parents do not remember this ,Sharmi does - sometimes a memory stays with you , no matter what. And in Richatd Nixon’s words, " The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire !”

Any ailment concerning the kidney , is a jolt. Always takes you by surprise. You do not expect it, it's not somethings you asked for, it's not something you planned , it's not always because of an unhealthy lifestyle, you do not choose it ! The reasons at times are unknown,  some - one can guess & a few - known. It's only once the ailment traps us, that we look back , on what we could have done to avoid CKD . There is no escaping a Disease, any Disease , that corner's you & CKD steals the show, in every which way! 

Our entanglement with CKD has shown us the close link between the EQ ( our ability to understand our emotions as well as others ) & IQ ( our intelligence, rational thinking level ).   An assimilation of a few crucial aspects of both.

Information (IQ)

Information can confuse. In trying to gather every aspect  one tends to get side tracked from the main topic. Abundant knowledge will help initially , however , it still plays second fiddle to one's experience & the wisdom that one gains along the way. One begins with the Diagnosis , finding the right Doctor , the right Hospital, the Treatment.
These 2 quote's best explain , what I want to say ! 
"Do not seek Information of which you cannot make use." - Anna Brackett
"The result of information overload is usually Distraction, and it dilutes your Focus and takes you off your Game." - Zig Ziglar

Dialysis & Transplant (IQ)

If you are lucky & the exact diagnosis is done at an early stage , the situation with the right treatment can be reversed. Else , your only option is Dialysis & then Transplant. 
Dialysis, is painful. It's tiring. It restricts your everyday activities & diet. It's time consuming. Atleast that's how it was for me . A few with their endeavour's , have a different opinion, prefer Dialysis.

The next option then is a Transplant, for which one needs to consider , Donor , Finance & general health of the Patient. 
General health , will decide when the patient is equipped for a transplant. 
Second step is finding a Donor. As of today , the restrictions, the policies , have become so stringent , to get an approval from the right channels , has become a task. Time , patience , financial strain & endurance is tested.  Options are either find a related or unrelated willing donor & the other being, register yourself with the government registry department or NGO's & wait for an availability. 

It's EQ, from here on –Donors,Family,Friends,Care Givers .

When it comes to speaking with related & unrelated Donor's , be patient. With limited knowledge of organ donation, fear of loosing an organ , apprehension on life beyond the surgery - is difficult to comprehend, even for the most knowledgeable. If there are multitude of emotions at play for the Donor & the family, the scenario is the same on the other side too. A willing donor saves much anguish.  If not, begin communication with a few. Your own conviction will play an important role for them to empathise & even think about becoming a donor. Don't Force. Be gentle. Communicate the urgency with enough information , which will justify the need for a transplant. Cold as it may sound, you need to justify your request for organ donation. And then hope & pray , for Donor compatibility / kidney match.
One gives a gift, the other treasures & respects that gift forever.

We talk about patients & I am one. Being a patient one has been through a trauma , however , please, do not undermine the stress ,the decision taking,  the concern , the complete turmoil that is faced by the family members, the Care givers. I have been a witness to that , a witness to the stress that my Mom underwent, my Dad with his unspoken anxiety , my sister who's teen years got lost with the mayhem caused by my illness & attention I got. While the patient's concentration is their own well being, adjusting to the  various physical & susceptible aspects - for the caregivers, it's not only being vigilant about every aspect of the patient , it's also keeping their own emotional balance. It  is an exacting responsibility. 
They too learn on a daily basis. They too need a shoulder , they too need to share their concerns & how to deal with their issues , be it with Counsellor's or other care givers. 
My extended family , my friends - my blessings. They helped me grow, be the person, I am today. No matter , the side effects of medication played its role, they always uplifted me. Never a dull moment with them. They continue to spoil me, pamper me, take me with a pinch of salt , allow me to be who I am, accept me the way I am. And so, Care Givers & every extended support system, your contribution is unparalleled, This toast it for you all !

Be it on Dialysis or Post Transplant, one adjust & moulds to every situation. No Blinkers ! Daily trials and tribulations don't put a stop to your life ! That's such a part and parcel - it's like breathing. Life happens beyond that ! Precautions, Hygiene, Diet, Work outs, Restrictions & some , becomes a part of you! And like Shillpi ( post transplant, 7 years ) said, "Yeah sometimes it suffocating too , but it's okay not be okay sometimes !!! The day as usual day starts with gratitude and ends with it." 
Edit your life frequently & ruthlessly.It's your masterpiece after all. – Nathan W Morris

Have Faith in yourself, Don't Give up ! 
No one gave up - Death wasn't an option. A thought which never crossed anyone's mind except during medical discussions. All the was on my getting the best treatment, my recovery ! Never Give up ! Like someone has wisely said , " The Universe always falls in love with a Stubborn Heart ". I had one, so did my entire clan ! 

Along the way  ......

*I definitely have the Hygiene & Infection phobia!!! Having said that, in so many years post transplant , no one even notices the restrictions or precautions I take. It's subtle , discreet & if noticed , it is taken down to my being very demanding ! :) 

*Swimming in a public pool is still a No No. However , if & when comfortable with the disinfection , I do get in the pool ( which has been fairly recently ) & its dog paddle for me ! (Dog paddle is a  safe and fun way to move around the pool while keeping your head above water)

*Every day is a new day, keep re-inventing , keep adjusting , keep within the restrictions which is for your own longevity.

* Be it Diet, Medication or Information , the Placebo & Nocebo Effect takes over , specially the Nocebo Effect , when Fear is involved ! With Diet & Medication , the effect can be either , however with Information ( specially Negative)  , its normally Nocebo - the Mind plays a very important role on how your Body reacts ! To be Positive is the right Attitude !
Placebo is when a positive effect is seen in the study group when giving a known "non-effector" (meaning it is a substance already established as having no effect), whereas nocebo is an aggravation of symptoms or negative effect seen in the study group when giving a known "non-effector".

Some informative links ......

Transplant in the 80's wasn't as taxing as it is today. Post 1994 , it took on a new turn, due to the state of affairs, relating to organ donation. Laws  made easy & yet red tapism comes in the way of smooth implementation between NGO's ( advocating Organ Donation ) & Government bodies.

The law -

The Government bodies -

A US based site , which is an interesting read, we need something like this in India. 


Iran Organ Drive regulated by Government 

Donate ... Register ....

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Side Effects to Watch out for, Post Transplant !

*I am ready - neither Death nor Life can scare me. Death is part of Life & Life is all about Living!*

Let me begin by a message that I received from Sejal. She is one tough woman, has gone through her own issues, continues to fight & survive with a smile ! 
" You are the first person I met after my transplant in 2003. Just in awe of you since then. Been so many years but I still remember the one thing you said - The only way to thank the Donor is to Respect the kidney they gave you ! It was so difficult to understand then. Today it makes sense. " 

It makes for the most logic sense then , for me,  first to mention , my Nani , my Donor & her recovery. A generation that believed in a healthy lifetstyle , she was back on her feet within 2 weeks. A strong woman , full of grit , she was ready to get on the table & clean the fan. That's her. Strong & how. She was around 60 years , when she gave me the Gift of Life & passed away healthy & happy at the age of 90 years.That generation was a power house.

On the other hand - I was moving along in slow motion. The side effects of the medication began to take over my body , constantly surprising me , confusing & keeping me on a razors edge , wondering - what next.

As mentioned earlier. Hygiene & diet was prime. My room had been fumigated by the hospital & I was in isolation for 3 weeks. The next 3 months , one visitor per day , for no more than 1/2 hour. Both patient & vistor had to wear a mask & I began going to Marine drive for morning walks! Slowly the number of visitors increased, I started moving around the house,discipline & routine of Walking, 3 main meals & 3 snacks , medicine on time , rest & hobbies ( reading, music, painting & such ). 

For a little more than a year, wearing a Mask, in the house ( when many visitors) & outings , became a second nature to me. To be seen with the mask, while stepping out of the house, was another ball game. Call it attitude , call it being vain - I was not going for my daily walk  , or any other outings , with a mask. That was just not happening. So, I became a designer. I would tug part of a scarf into the mask, throw the rest across my shoulders, revealing just my eyes! ( Much like girls on bikes, who  cover their faces with scarfs, to protect themselves from pollution & sun- I began that eons ago ). At times, I would pull the scarf at the nape of my neck, tuck my hair in & make a bun . My new avatar was named, Bandit Queen ! 

Heavy dosage of medications gave a new meaning to issues I had taken for granted -

Appetite & Weight , I have mentioned the details on my earlier page , surprised me. I always had a good appetite ,the medications however increased it to .... twice... thrice the quantity ..... Looking back, it is beyond my imagination, how my appetite had increased ! Weight increased at a steady rate till it decided to stop at around 70 kg! Had diet been lax,I had been a sweet tooth or given walking a skip, lazed around - I would have touched 100kg or more! I was Round like a Potato , nothing symmetrical & yet Round ! Therefore, when i read about a few post transplant loosing weight , i was more than surprised ! 

The Hump : at the back of my Neck (cervical vertebrae ). Was a gradual growth & later became big enough for anyone to hold it in your palm. I called it the Camel hump ! It is there even today , however , has reduced in size ‘ that’s a relief. Had to wear full collared / Chinese collar shirts , Blouses , to cover the hump. Today , I am use to it & not so conscious! 

Skin - flawless & radiant, it did an about turn. A simple statement by my sister, will be a classic illustration. " Didi , your skin looks & feels like Godhi Chamada  ( Monitor skin). In simple words, coarse & dry! Possibilities that constant moisturising ( Oil, cream, lactocalamine) of skin might have helped the skin getting worse! 

Hair was a catastrophe! My hair was loosing focus & growing wild! Facial & body hair, was unheard off - And , the kind of thin invisible skin colour hair , was changing to Heavy growth , thick & black in colour ! I could well twirl my mouschtache & shave my beard ! Most body parts ,was the same scenario. However, hair on my head , that started to deplete ! Ridiculous ! Shouldn't it have been just the opposite ???? Have I exaggerated , maybe I have, nevertheless, for a 20 year old, that's what it was! 

Women go through their additional issue of monthly Menstural cycle/ Mensturation / Periods/ Chums - a woman's best friend! Why do I mention this - well, the side effect was such, that my cycle decided to take a rest & my Chums decided to surface after more than a year. Interestingly ,it not return with a vengeance of having taken a sabbatical. When it did come, the kind of heavy bleeding,  stomach cramp & pain , wasn't to the same degree as before. This is one side effect , I have no complains about! 

The restrictions & with my very protective parents , 9x5 Job was out. Working where hygiene was an issue was out. Basically working out was out ! 
So , I dabbled in various projects. From designing clothes , being an Artist ( water colour is my favourite medium ) , running hobby class for kids , just being the Boss's daughter at Moms parlour , to working with my father in his spinning unit. Life was spinning ! 
Seven years later, on Mom's cajoling I went and gave my IATA exam , worked part time with friends , to learn the ropes of running a travel agency & took off on my own. 

Have been a - Voice your thoughts  person, since I was a child. Very straight forward , mistaken for being rude, not one to take any wrong without an outburst - my  being annoyed , short temper after my surgery for a while was taken with a pinch of salt , as me just being more precocious & spoilt! Slowly , realisation with experience that , my tempers were a side effect of the medications. Point being - we didn't make a big deal out of it , was just a process of growing up !
It 's only in the recent past that one has read up & understood the implication of a surgery, medication & how it effects your body & mind. The restrictions imposed , physical changes , chemicals that effect your brain & more ,  play a part in the subtle changes in one's behaviour. 

Once the mask was off, I started to take short Trips within the country. Visits were confined to places where family & friends lived. My routine not broken, hygiene maintained, diet balanced. Life got to a normal routine & I was ready to take a longer trip, outside the country. I still remember ,Dr Gandhi, being very clear- with hygiene being a top priority , it was UK or Europe , rest of the countries were a complete No No! So, London it was & we stayed at my Masi's for a month

Over the years, Steroids have been reduced & today , it's on a bare minimum dosage. Appetite, weight, skin & hair , have come to normalcy! Been a continuous correction process , no more unwarranted looks & people recognise me ( which didn't happen for the initial 10 -15years after surgery).

Do not loose my temper as easily as I did before , however, even now , when I do , I am not sure , if it's my normal self or reaction to so many years of medication. 

Ladies, no one was allowed to apply any products on my face, no taking any chance of a reaction coz of the medications ( home remedies only). The facial hair came & went on it own with the tapering of medication ! Maximum was waxing ( legs & hands)! Yes, I do wonder, had I cut my hair real short, not gone wild dyeing my hair with all the left over colours ( Mom had a Beauty parlour,then) , would my hair have managed to stay as healthy & thick ..... maybe Yes, maybe No.... an answer , I do not have!

Travel has become a second nature to me. To be a part of the city , capture moments in pictures , create memories. 

With my experience's , constant learning on a daily basis , how to accept & lead a normal life, inspite of the transplant , to live life to the fullest , the following  quote's  best explains my Present! 

" Life can be only understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards." - Soren Kierkegaard 

" The past should not drag you behind, the future should not pull you forward. You must be fully concentrated on the present, on what you are doing. You must be so concentrated on what you are doing that it is as if the salvation of the world would depend only upon your work." - The Mother

Reminder !

The side effects mentioned might not be a replica for all , some are classic's & some might just be specific just to me. As mentioned earlier, reaction is individualistic. Some side effects disappear. some loose their strength & a few , due to Long term use of Immunosuppressant's, remain with us , in some form or another, for the rest of our lives. In my case, my Memory wasn't the best & isn't getting any better. These days, any work that needs to do , is penned down immediately, in case I forget ! As such , with age , Osteoporosis is likely to effect us , with long term use of medication , it is definite. Twisting of my ankle or knee happens often , muscle pull , hairline fracture once & I have become extra careful with my footings  - walking, getting up, turning & such. Uneven weight distribution - that is a bummer , no getting out of it though! And , there is Spinal degeneration, on account of which , I have become marginally shorter in height , with passage of time. Posture, exercise, yoga, workouts are essentials to keep this in check. Calcium deposit / Tartar deposit is another phenomenon that occurs frequently. Mostly the deposits are brown or yellow , Mine though ,is black in colour , most likely a reaction of medications with tartar. Oral care is extremely essential to your wellbeing for all Health aspect. Do not neglect Dental care,go to the Dentist atleast once a year. Neglects & you might just be inviting other medical issues!

Repeat I shall, from the day of my surgery till the day I die, no matter , I am at home or travelling or at a party - I maintain the dietary restriction & hygiene is always a priority. When I am not sure about a meal when travelling (short or long distance ) or visiting someone , I always carry water, banana , biscuit & dry fruit , as a precaution. For more, please go through the write up on 3rd Nov, Information. 
Weight can wait, Healthy diet & Lifestyle cannot! 


Godhi aka lizard aka Bengal Monitor :

Osteoporosis : Bones become fragile due to lack of calcium. Brittle Bones, fractures are to be watchful about. Calcium supplements & diet control can control the weakening/ disintergration .

Spinal degeneration begins with spinal cartilage, either in the discs or in the spine's facet joints. It involves the gradual loss of normal structure & function of the spine over time.

Long term & basic side effects of Prednisolone
Increased appetite, fluid retention, weight gain, increased blood sugar (which can lead to diabetes), change in body shape (increase in fatty tissue on the trunk while the arms and legs get thinner), increased susceptibility to infections, acne, thinning of the skin, easy bruising.( Except for Sugar, which I haven't got as yet, the rest, I do!) 

I wouldn't call it Depression , to begin with. Mood swings & such are side effects of medication. With my experience, let's just say, it's adjustment of body with the chemical reaction to the meds , physical changes & restriction's imposed. We tend to react differently to all this. That's when support from family & friends , help you settle / heal . Instead of getting upset at the change in behaviour , they recognise it as temporary & become, Emotional anchor's. For example - No matter how Fat & Ugly , I really looked , no one ever made me feel that , I was simply Special! Or a time when I looked so old , that a few people mistook me for my sister's mother & her 2year old son's Nani & you had to see my sister jump to my defend and scare the lady away. That's love , that's support
A positive Attitude , someone who doesn't let anything pull her down , ready to face any challenge , Humour & Laughter , Hobbies - my Spiritual family background was a Grace, Blessings from the Guru's, elders & innumerable individuals , helped my recovery on all fronts.
Also, as in the case of Sejal & so many others ( like Dr. Gandhi ensures & other nephrologist's too) , meeting other patients & their families  , going through or have gone through the same procedures & predicament's , how they are dealing with it, is the Support that's so important. Also, as quite a few hospital's are ensuring, Counsellors speak with patients, gearing them for the present & turmoil ! 
It's when this does not happen , that it takes on a larger platform & can be labelled under Depression ! Awareness, Recognition, Acceptance & Ability to Move on ( working with & around the symptoms) , are the keys to beating negative emotions !