Wednesday, March 18, 2009

‘’Why me, Ma’am?’’ - A question on World Kidney Day

‘’Why me, Ma’am?’’ Those words still ring in my ears. I didn’t have a reply though I just managed to fumble out a few words of reassurance.

These words belong to a staff and colleague from Delhi (we interact with other branches through phone as we’re centralised for a number of locations at Mumbai), He’d moved to another Bank in Delhi itself on a good payscale . He was hard-working and kind and good in his work. We were happy for him. He always turned to me for advice on issues and learning things about Trade Finance. When things go right, many envious eyes spoil it. I was not superstituous. But recent experiences have led me to believe that envy does destruct. Immediately, on quitting and before joining the new job, he was afflicted with a stomach infection for which he was admitted to a hospital for a month. He was on heavy antibiotics and requested the new Bank to consider his late joining through a reference. This was a year back.

He finally joined the new job and won accolades for his good work. Again he happily announced it to the world and even scanned across his ‘certificates of appreciation’ to all. I’d warned him earlier and re-warned him again stating that everyone is not a well-wisher and good things should be shared with close family and well-wishing friends and relatives only. This was around 6-8 months back.

Three months back, he called again. ‘Ma’am, I’ve a kidney problem. Doc says both my kidneys have failed. I just have 3 months time. I don’t know what to do. I am scared to start dialysis as docs suggest. Or I need to look for a donor.’ I was shocked as the fellow is just 29 years old. I advised him to go for dialysis soon and not waste time further. He’d started some herbal/ ayurvedic medicine, which had helped him reduce his Creatinine level by 1. I didn’t know much about kidney failure then, so told him to follow his docs advise and not delay anything. Meanwhile I tried to find help in whichever way possible. Knowledge about kidney failure, any medicines available and the likes and informed him. But I was obviously disturbed. After a month, he called back half-upset. He’d done his Creatinine test, and the drop by 1 increased by another 1 and stood at 11. His family members were crying and he’d lost all hopes of survival. Their only hope was a donor, which they were unable to find. That’s when he asked me, ‘Why me, Ma’am? I never smoked, I never drank. I didn’t do any bad things in life. Then why this happened to me?’ I had no words. I wanted to tell him about how life and the thereafter works. About God’s tests and trials for good people. But that was not the right time and would suggest something negative to him. So I just advised him to start dialysis. And keep other options on, side by side. Also advised him to quit job if that was acting as a deterrent and concentrate on his health.

Presently (since a month) he’s doing dialysis twice a week (Sun and Thu) and thankfully his company allows him a weekly off on Thursdays and allows him to leave in decent hours on other days. He’s looking for a donor and some advice on kidney related matters. If anyone can help, please leave a comment . Your prayers will also help.

12th March was World Kidney Day. I want to ask everyone – Why are people falling prey to such diseases so often now? And that too at such young ages? Once upon a time, kidney failure was a rare disease. And scared us all. It’s still scary, but we hear of it more often now. What is going wrong? Are our lifestyles to blame? Are we failing in our diets? Are the junk we eat are to be blamed? Are too many antibiotics the cause? Or are these effects of allopathy medicines? Take the above case for example. The person was under hospitalisation for a month. And a few months later, he was diagonised with kidney failure. Or are we indulging in too much self medication ‘coz we don’t have the time nor inclination to go to the doctor.

Let’s take this case of a girl, who had a severe dental cavity resulting in acute pain in the tooth. The girl was shy to go to the dentist as all the dentists in the locality were males. So she resorted to self medication. Whenever the pain occurred, she took Combiflam tablets to subside the pain. Overdose of the tablets over a period of time had a negative impact on her kidneys. Both her kidneys failed. But by the time her treatment started, it was too late. She expired at a very young age. May God grant her peace.
Vaguely, it can be said that today’s stressful lifestyle, dietery habits (including content of food and time of eating) and self medications contribute to kidney failures. It can also result as side effects of some medicines/ antibiotics. Hope to highlight details through a thorough research soon (working on it), inshallah.

May God keep us away from chronic and life-taking diseases!

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