Reading my journey, I am sure you must have noticed the tremendous support Dinesh and I have received from our family and friends. Difficult times are true barometer of people who stand by you in your difficult times and I am extremely lucky in this department.
My illness got me closer to people with whom I was already close and also got closer with people who I was closer once but kind of lost keeping touch with regularly.
Our friends became a pillar of support in the initial trying phase of my illness. While Dr. Sanjeev helped with overseeing my treatment rest of friends were taking care of Dinesh who was having hard time grasping with situation. His wife Mona was there for my transplant to make me feel comfortable and updated Dinesh about surgery. Dinesh’s other friends Dinar, Jyotsna, Satish did not leave his side, waited with him in the hospital, slept in the car in the hospital parking area and boasted his morale. They would visit me regularly in the hospital as well as home when I was little better. My friend Sarika came every day in the evening to give me and Mamata company.
When Dinesh had to move to Mumbai, all of them were on my sister’s speed dial and would come home to help her with me. There was one instance when I was not feeling well in the night I ended up crying, Mona and Jyotsna came all the way to console me and cheer me up and left only once I fell asleep. They would take Sayali with them to spend time with their kids.
My kitty gang did not have our monthly luncheon when I was unwell and even when I was in isolation, kept me in good spirits.
Few friends who do not live in Pune but are regularly in touch found it unusual when I stopped responding to their messages and calls. They knew something was wrong and called Dinesh and kept enquiring about me. One of my friends on my not responding to her calls went to the extent of taking out her late husbands cell, charge it and dial Dinesh’s number. When she found out my illness, she dropped everything and came to meet me next day all the way from Mumbai. I am so touched with that gesture.
My college gang kept calling me frequently and came to meet me which was a much needed breather in my otherwise boring existence that year. Just not my friends, even my sisters friends came to meet once they realise how grave the situation was and my sister needed comforting shoulder.
My colleagues kept checking on me, called me and visit me. In fact in one of the annual meet ,my team recorded a lovely video message and signed a get well card and sent me. I still watch that video.
I also got very close to my cousins. We were always close but kind of got busy once we got married with our life, work and kids. My cousin Vrushali had called Dinesh to wish him on his birthday and came to know about me. The next day, all my family members made a trip to hospital. They would cheer me up. I had lost my appetite and refused to eat hospital food. My eldest cousin Anita Tai, would cook a sumptuous lunch and send every day including a dessert which invariably was the only thing I ended up eating.
At home, they would often come home and spend time with us. This was such a relief for Mamata, she would have someone to talk to as I would be sleeping most of the time. Vrushali who is a Pranic healing practitioner , an alternative healing therapy, came thrice a week for that entire year during her lunch break to give me therapy. Her healing sessions would relax me and help me sleep better. When we were not in a mood of healing, the session ended up being a gossip session.
As a family, we are much closer today compared to few years back. In fact when Anitatai’s daughter was getting married, we had a party for her at my place and everyone was there. It was really enjoyable. If you have ignored your family ties, don’t wait for someone to fall sick to regroup. Life is short and unpredictable.
Just not my family and friends, our domestic helps have played a huge role. Apeksha was a hired nurse but she proved to be an outstanding support. She ensured I was taking my medication on time, reached dialysis on time. She was extremely vigilant when it came to my help. Many of the hospital staff would ask her help as she was a trained nurse.
My driver Sachin didn’t take any leaves till I was going through dialysis, he would always come whenever he was needed. I would scold him if I didn’t want to go for dialysis but he wouldn’t listen and he along with Apeksha made sure I reached on time for my dialysis. He was among few who offered his kidney for me. My nanny Radhika who was with us for five years looked after Sayali so well. We didn’t have to worry about her school, classes at all. Once Mamata asked Sayali in a lighter mood “who are you scared of the most?” She said “Radhika” It was bit of a shocker for all of us but she was the one who kept her in the line.
I have lost the count of people who came to meet me and cheer me up. So many of them have prayed for me, wished me good health and it is because of them I have been able to come out of my illness.
If there was a Forbes list of richest people on earth on the basis of good people in their life, I would make it to that list for sure!