When I came to, I felt a sore in my throat and was coughing a little. I found myself in the Transplant Care Unit lying on a bed. A nurse was there in the room. I was dying to know what had happened during the surgery. General anesthesia literally takes away time from you. It was a gap in my life. A blackout.
"Sister, how did the transplant go?"
"It went very well. You are perfectly fine!"
"Thank God!", I thought to myself. I asked her about the sore in my throat. She said that was ok and it was due to the ventilator that was used.
I was peeing gallons through a catheter by now and they had also put me on IV fluids.
For the next few days, the routine continued. Blood tests, visits by the nephrologist and the surgeons. I was slowly started on a liquid diet, then moved to semi solid and then finally solids.
After about 9 days of the transplant I was moved to a private room. All this while, my blood tests were all normal.
On day 11 post transplant, the nephrologist, Dr. Dakshinamurthy, second to Dr. Shastry, came to my room in the morning.
"Your creatinine is a little high. I have asked for a repeat test."
I was scared. This should not happen. Maybe its a mistake. Let's wait for the repeat test.
A few hours later, I learned that the repeat test showed the same value. Now what?
The docs returned after a while. The decision was to give me a massive dose of steroids to try and force the kidney to behave and get a biopsy to find out what exactly was happening.
Steroids were given on 3 successive days. No change.
By the 20th day post transplant, my creatinine almost touched 10. Dialysis had to be started. This was a big mental setback. For me and my family.
The biopsy report was out by then. Recurrent HUS, they concluded. Cyclosporine was stopped immediately.
I was back on regular dialysis.
They tried different things to try and bring the kidney back. Nothing was working. My biopsy slides were sent to different doctors and specialists in India and the US. Nothing useful came out.
After about a month of the transplant, during a dialysis session, Dr. Shastry came to my bed and said, "We must give up now."
That was the verdict. It did not come as a great surprise to me. But that was the end of it. Officially.