Story of an Ex-Air Force Pilot and His Kidney disease.
How Quality of life can be compromised due misguided treatment. We managed An Ex-air force pilot in our hospital some time back. Being well educated he understands his illness well. He is a known case of Chronic Kidney Disease for 5 years which has now progressed to CKD5 in last 1 year Despite losing 15 kg in last 6 month due to severely restricted diet and uremic symptoms, He was not willing for dialysis. Instead He was using was an inclined bathtub to avoid dialysis which he was told will cure his kidney problem.
He came to us in a very bad state, cachexic with his face barely matching his picture from one year back. He was is volume overload causing breathlessness. Wanting his breathlessness to go away because to him that was the only concern, He wanted to see a pulmonologist in emergency rather seek a complete holistic care.
The shock of his life came when the pulmonologist told him that what he needs is a kidney specialist and dialysis. Even in his miserable state he has reached, all what he wanted was to avoid life supporting treatment. He doesn’t trust anybody and his family also has no choice but to supports his decision.
He left the hospital against medical advice to be brought back in a unconscious state within 2 hours.
A sensible relative took the call to go ahead with treatment including dialysis. He was taken to ICU and initiated on dialysis. Actually dialysis is not the right terminology. We should call it kidney support or replacement therapy.
Initial sessions are done very slowly to avoid disequilibrium in the body. After 2 sessions he was awake and his breathing was better. He was unsure what happened to him, what made him better, but he was feeling alive like he has shed a heavy metal armour.
He knew by next morning that he got better with kidney support therapy. His brain was exploding with questions, about his future but only thing right now he gained was that he can trust this treatment.
In his next Dialysis session , He met a old man getting kidney support therapy (dialysis). He really admired this old man zeal and physical capacity. They shared the same slot next 2-3 times and gradually He realised the goal of this man. It was not cure, it was not immortality. This man’s goal was to live life to the fullest, cherishing small things till life takes his mental liberty. Dialysis was giving him an organ replacment , rest all his organs are intact so why he should let it be a limitation.
This old man even persuaded him to make people aware of the right path so that not everybody is mislead to the fate he once had. Air force had taught him a lot and now with a new gained confidence, He started looking positively towards his treatment. He understood the limitations of his fluid and salt intake and need of high protein diet. He realised there are minimal restriction on food and protein intake.
He gained his weight, his stamina and his life back. Right now He spend 2 – 3 hours counseling misguided patients to the right path.
” Running away from anything difficult is easy and it’s consequences are bad. Facing difficult situation is not easy but if you accept it, life would be easy”