Monday, November 2, 2009

Touched

I played tennis in the same center as Sudhir. This was when I was in school - around 1986 to 1989, I think. He was a friendly guy and he came home to spend the day with my brother and me a few times too. Then, as it happens so many times, we lost touch.

About three years back, I heard about him through a cousin of mine. Both of them were colleagues and they got talking about tennis and then realized that they both knew me. Sudhir was keen on meeting me and we finally met at my cousin's wedding. We spent a whole lot of time together that day reminiscing about the tennis days. He has a fantastic memory and remembered minor details about those days.

We've kept in touch ever since.

Sudhir has kept up with tennis. He is now a very good player and has won a few tournaments held in his company too. Tennis is his passion and he never misses an opportunity to play.

He drops in usually on Saturday mornings and we chat for an hour or so. He got to know about my kidney disease some time back (before we met after many years). He is quite concerned about my medical condition. He tries to understand as much as he can. A few weeks back he chanced upon the videos of my dialysis sessions and called me to say he was quite alarmed that I underwent that procedure every night!

A couple of days back, the bell rang around 8:30 in the night. It was Sudhir. He had dropped by to say Hi. A little later my tech came. I excused myself and said I needed to go and start my dialysis session. He asked if he could see it. I said, "Sure, provided you are comfortable watching needles and blood!" He said he was ok with that.

He sat through the next half hour or so patiently, saw me cannulate myself and eventually start the session, trying to understand the whole process. After that, he sat next to me and further discussed what dialysis was and how it worked.

I was really touched. It felt really good that someone was concerned with what I was going through and tried genuinely to understand the procedure. I undergo this procedure every night. It is harrowing - for me at least - to cannulate myself every night and then sleep while being hooked to a machine. All this, to try and live a life that is close to normal. It really feels good to see someone try to understand what you're undergoing and empathize with you. It reemphasizes to you that you're not alone in this world and there is someone you can count on for support in times of distress. Thanks Sudhir!

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