Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Love takes courage - Part 6

(This is the sixth part of a short story - Love takes courage)

Rohan was started on dialysis the next day. He was taken to a separate hall which was meant for dialysis treatments. As he was taken in, he was surprised at the number of people in it. Pooja and his father accompanied him. Rohit and Neha were also there. They were out of town when this whole incident happened and as soon as they got back, they rushed to the hospital. They were asked to wait outside by a young, energetic man who was wearing a blue uniform, a mask and a cap. He was introduced to them as Kunal, one of the technicians at the dialysis unit.

Kunal looked at Rohan and instantly felt sorry that he had to undergo dialysis. Kunal had seen many patients in his career and was always sad when he saw a young patient. He felt that this disease was a really cruel disease even for old people. However, when young people have to undergo dialysis, he felt it was totally unfair. He felt even more so when saw Rohan. He thought to himself, Young, old, rich, poor, good looking, ugly looking, this disease makes no distinction!

Kunal made sure Rohan was comfortable on the bed and then started the dialysis process by connecting a couple of long tubes to the catheter in Rohan's chest. After about half an hour of starting dialysis, Rohan's family was allowed to come in. Pooja went up to him and held his hand. Rohan was feeling very nauseous. Kunal explained that this was a common occurrence in the first few dialysis sessions and would soon settle down.

The explanation sounded horribly ominous to Pooja. What did he mean by 'would soon settle down'? How long would he need to be on dialysis? Wasn't this something reversible? Maybe he does not know what Rohan has. Maybe what Rohan has is different from what others usually have.

Rohan felt a little better and watched television. Pooja sat next to him holding his hand throughout the two hour treatment. At the end of the two hours, Kunal disconnected the tubes and moved him back to his room.

Rohan underwent dialysis sessions the next two days as well. The second session was three hours and the fourth was four hours. Pooja accompanied him to both sessions. Kunal made sure he was always there when Rohan's sessions were scheduled.

The next day, Dr. Mehta came to Rohan's room and said they were planning to do a kidney biopsy that afternoon. With this, they would come to know exactly what the problem was. What was the reason Rohan's kidneys had been affected? Rohan was very happy. At least some questions would be answered. Knowing the primary disease, Rohan felt, would give them the much needed clarity about this horrible turn of events. It would also give them some direction for the future.

A kidney biopsy is a small procedure by which some tissue is 'plucked out' from a kidney and then examined under the microscope to see the exact tissue-level changes that have occurred which will let the doctors know what the underlying disease is that has caused the kidney function to reduce.

The biopsy was performed that afternoon. Kunal assisted Dr. Mehta. The collected tissue was sent off to the laboratory for testing. It would be a week before the reports arrived. Until then, Rohan would need to undergo dialysis every alternate day for four hours.

The dialysis sessions were more boring than painful. Lying on a bed for four hours was extremely frustrating for Rohan. There was a television to kill time but he was not a huge television watcher at all.

Pooja stayed with Rohan most of the time during the day. She would go home at night and return early the next morning. Rohan's cousins and father would take turns staying the night with him at the hospital. His mother and sister would come for several hours during the day. Everyone was waiting for the biopsy results.

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