Kamal Shah

Kamal Shah

Hello, I'm Kamal from Hyderabad, India. I have been on dialysis for the last 13 years, six of them on PD, the rest on hemo. I have been on daily nocturnal home hemodialysis for the last four and half years. I can do pretty much everything myself. I love to travel and do short weekend trips or longer trips to places which have dialysis centers. Goa in India is a personal favorite. It is a great holiday destination and has two very good dialysis centers.

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Monday, 24 January 2011 21:49

Goa - Doodhsagar waterfalls, Ashwem Beach

We slowly trekked down the path to the base of the falls. The trek was not very difficult especially for nimble-footed people like me! We reached the base of the falls in about half an hour. The falls were quite majestic. There was a huge pool of water at the base, from one side of which the water flowed downstream.

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There was quite a crowd already. Few people ventured into the pool however. Some of my friends quickly changed into their swimming trunks and jumped right in. I changed and slowly got into the water. The water was freezing cold! I got into the pool on the side opposite to the falls. I took a complete dip and then started swimming to the opposite side. The water was so cold that my neck was almost paining. I wanted to stand so that I could get my neck out of water. The water was too deep to stand however. So, I had to continue swimming till I reached the opposite end where there were some rocks and the pool wasn't so deep. When I reached the other end, I was relieved as I would finally get my neck outside the water and get some relief from the cold!

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This was probably the coldest water I ever swam in!

We then swam up to the point where the water was falling from above. The water was falling with great pressure. After playing around for about two hours, we decided it was time to head back. We got out, changed our clothes and then headed back. It was a great experience. This was probably the best waterfall I had ever seen.

The next day, we went to Ashwem beach. Ashwem beach is a half hour drive from Calangute. This beach is very quiet and peaceful. Very different from the hullabaloo of a Baga or a Calangute. You could lie down for hours together and not have anyone disturb you asking you to get a faux tattoo done or go for a water scooter ride. The incessant sound of the waves hitting the beach are all you have for company. A balm for aching souls!
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It is good to go to this kind of beach as well, once in a way. Yes, no doubt, the frolic at Calangute was great. This wasn't bad either.

There is one thing about trips like these. Some people like to finish 'as much as possible'. I know a few friends who had a 'jam-packed' Goa trip. They saw like 8 beaches, 4 churches and 3 temples. All in a span of 3 days. My point is why go to Goa to do all this? Any holiday should have adequate time for rest  and relaxation. Many people, on the other hand do holidays and start checking off places on a check list. And they're really happy when they have completed all the items! Anyway, I guess its good for them.

For me, however, a holiday is mostly relaxation with a little bit to do thrown in. In this holiday we did only two beaches and a waterfall. I still felt we did too much!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2011/01/goa-doodhsagar-waterfalls-ashwem-beach.html

Sunday, 23 January 2011 02:52

Goa - water sports at the beach

I was excited about this trip because this was my first long trip after almost three years. And the first one with friends! It turned out to be quite a blast!

We got to Gos on Friday evening and checked in to the Casa Severina at Calangute, a five minute walk from the beach. We booked our rooms through Life is Outside. The hotel was excellent. Nice luxurious rooms with big baths with bath tubs and a great mini-bar. The swimming pool was also great. The best part of the hotel is it is only a few minutes from the beach.

As soon as we checked in at around five in the evening we went to the beach and played the fool in the water. We then got back and had showers and then decided to have dinner in the hotel itself. The food choice for vegetarians was limited but the quality was good. We then slept.

The next morning, we had a quick swim followed by breakfast (mainly European stuff) and then hit the beach. We did the water sports jig that day. The water scooter, the bumper ride, the banana ride and parasailing. I was glad I could do all this - something I couldn't have dreamt about at this time last year with my severe bone pain. I loved the water scooter and the parasailing. The parasailing looks more scary than it is. But the feeling of flying like a bird in the sky is unimaginable!

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We had a late lunch at a beach shack - they take a long, long time to serve the average fare - serves the purpose however.

That night I headed over to the Vrundavan Hospital for dialysis. Details in another post.

The next morning, we headed over to the Doodhsagar Falls, a one and half hour drive from the main city. The road is excellent - most of the time you are on NH-4A. You reach a point where you have to switch to jeeps that are driven by the locals - probably part of some co-operative. We wondered aloud why we couldn't take our cars to the falls?

We soon knew why! The road to the falls from that point was  - wait a minute - what road? There was no road! It was a path full of stones, small rivulets, steep inclines and completely rocky terrain. Any thoughts of taking our delicate city-bred sedan soon vanished!

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A half hour roller-coaster ride later we were at the spot were the jeep would not go any further. We were instructed by our driver to return within an hour. "Fat chance", I said to myself.

Continued tomorrow...

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2011/01/goa-water-sports-at-beach.html

Thursday, 13 January 2011 20:21

Off to Goa

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I am off to Goa today!

I am really looking forward to the trip. At the same time I am a little apprehensive about the dialysis bit. I just got off a night session. I will not get any dialysis tonight. I will dialyse tomorrow (Saturday). That will be a four hour session and then I take a full two night break. This kind of a one-four-hour-session-in-four-nights thing is something I have not done in years now. I am hoping I spend enough time on the beach and in pools to not let it bother me.

I am also going to Goa with friends for the first time. I've been twice only with family. So, it is going to be a different experience.

I am most likely not going to be available by email or by phone so unless something earth-shattering happens like say if the state of Telangana is formed or if Sandeep Gudibanda responds to an email, please don't bother me!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2011/01/off-to-goa.html

Monday, 10 January 2011 09:59

The medical mafia

There is a certain section of the medical industry that has become larger-than-life. At least they think so. They believe they are above all rules. They think both the patients and the institutions they work for are all dependent on them. They have inflated egos and no ethics - a deadly cocktail especially in this industry.

They are the middle layer in the medical industry - those between the doctors and the patients. They are somewhat qualified, somewhat experienced. Unfortunately, a lot of medical institutions depend on them to a large extent for patient care. This is where corruption has got so institutionalized that nobody bats an eyelid, there is no hint of guilt while committing acts that would have otherwise seemed entirely abhorrent.

This layer has become so unabashedly powerful that in many hospitals, even doctors cannot touch them. And patients? Patients quiver at their very sight. Those that protest are silenced by the threat of harm. Yes, it is true.

Sample this threat by one of these demi-gods to a poor patient: "You know what will happen if I open this clamp?", referring to the clamp that connects to the saline line in a dialysis circuit. If not closed soon enough, the patient can die of an air embolism. Later, the avatar of Yama, laughed it off as a joke. How can someone even joke about such a thing? The very thought sends shivers down my spine. Such is the breed. Many of them are not well-educated. Is that the reason for this callousness?

Not all are like this, for sure. Many of them are very dedicated, are in this for the passion, for the love of looking after sick human beings. But there are a dangerous few. Those that sully the profession. Bribes, commissions, lust for money and power, all dangerous traits. Each feeding off the others.

Even one such must be culled at once. How do we deal with so many?

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2011/01/medical-mafia.html

Thursday, 06 January 2011 06:52

Chalo bulava aaya hai, Goa ne bulaya hai...

Its holiday time! It has become something of a habit to do some travel around January apart from the short trips around October. I went to Goa in January 2008 and 2009, Coorg in 2010 and now Goa beckons us this year! It is said that you never decide to go to Goa but Goa calls you and you answer the call. Hehehehe!

A few former colleagues and I will be going to Goa on 14th January and coming back on the 18th. We plan to stay close to the Baga beach since that's where all the action usually is. I am looking forward to a relaxing holiday interspersed with some water sports at the beach. We had a ball in January 2008 when we stayed at a hotel right on Baga beach.

I have already booked my dialysis session at the Vrundavan Hospital, Mapusa on Saturday night at 8:30. It is not very far from Baga. I will be getting a one day gap on Friday night and then a two day gap on Sunday and Monday (fingers crossed!) and will return in time for a session on Tuesday night. I must control my fluid during this trip especially after my dialysis session on Saturday.

We still need to figure out the accommodation. I am in touch with the great folks at LifeIsOutside and hopefully should nail down something soon.

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2011/01/chalo-bulava-aaya-hai-goa-ne-bulaya-hai.html

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