I have made many mistakes in my life (haven't we all?). But three of them stand out as life-altering. Over this and the next two posts, I plan to explain why I think they were mistakes and how they turned out to be so significant in my life.
The first mistake
I was on Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) from March 1999 to September 2005. Peritoneal dialysis offered a freedom that I never got with any other modality of dialysis. No, not even with daily, nocturnal home hemo. There are two reasons I say this.
One is the ability to travel. PD offers unmatched flexibility to travel. All you need to do is to arrange for the fluid bags to be delivered wherever you are going. If the vendor does not deliver it there, you can pick it up at a place close by or in the worst case, carry enough bags with you.
I made a few trips within India during those years. The trips to Kodaikanal (twice) and Mahabaleshwar with my family were really good. I picked up the PD bags at Chennai and Pune respectively. I did PD exchanges on the trip without any problems.
It has always been my dream to travel to Switzerland. From many years, I have had this strong urge to go to this place. Don't ask me why! Switzerland had an inexplicable allure to it. It is difficult to put this in words.
Baxter, the company that supplied my PD fluid bags had, at one point, sent the details of a scheme to all its patients that explained about the arrangements they would make for us to be able to travel outside the country. They would arrange to supply the PD fluid bags to us at the cost that we paid here. This was huge. The cost of the bags would be really much more in other countries. We would not need to pay the higher cost. They would also take care of making sure the bags are supplied in time at the place we requested. We just needed to tell them two months in advance.
This was an opportunity like no other. I could realize my dream after all. I was excited.
What happened in the end however? I did not go. Why? I have no clue, really. I got busy with work. The plan simply got lost. Who but myself can I blame? It was truly possible. I goofed. Work would have gone on. The company would not have shut if I went. But somehow, I was not proactive and did not make it happen.
I could have gone to Switzerland and holidayed there without worrying about dialysis as I could conveniently do my PD exchanges right in my hotel room. I did not need to be near a dialysis center or worry about my diet and fluids at all. I blew it.
This was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.