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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Sunday, 26 September 2010 20:45

Back after a great trip!

I got back last night after a great trip to Bangalore.

We reached Bangalore Saturday morning and headed straight for Wonder la. The traffic was really bad. It took us a good one and half hours to get there. The folks from Bangalore and Chennai had already reached.

We bought our tickets and went in. Some of us were interested in taking the dry rides. I was only interested in the water rides! After taking a dry ride, we grabbed a quick bite and then went to the the changing area, took some lockers and changed into our swimming gear. Wonder la is the only water park I have been to where they do not insist that you wear a swimming costume in the water area of the park. You can wear practically anything. So, most males wear T shirts and shorts. Females wear anything from salwars to saris!

We first hit the wave pool. They have an artificial beach like area - no sand though, which is kind of good - and then every hour, they simulate waves for about 15-20 minutes. Fun overall!

We then went to something called a Play Pool. They have this big pool, mostly shallow, with water spraying and falling from everywhere. Then there is this huge bucket placed at a height into which water keeps filling and then at one point, it suddenly tips over throwing a large amount of water at great pressure on you!

Then there is the usual set of water slides and rides. Every hour, for fifteen minutes or so, they also have a Rain Disco where, inside a big hall, they simulate rain with good music where you can dance. The experience was good. The music could have been better though.

There are two restaurants which serve food that is only manageable. This is one area they can really improve. Not only the variety offered but also the taste. One good thing about the park is that the temperature of all the water is controlled and that too using solar heaters.

By the time we left the park, it was close to seven. We got back to the city, had dinner at a restaurant and then got back to the hotel. It was midnight by the time we slept.

The next day, my friends decided to visit a waterfall called Shivanasamudram, about a three hour drive from the city. I opted out. The falls turned out to be really great. Something for next time!

I spent my day relaxing, met with someone on Peritoneal dialysis and then visited NephroLife, a renal therapy center. More about this soon.

What I like about these short trips is that there is not too much planning necessary. You can do them at short notice. The excitement and anticipation is still there. I also don't have to miss more than a night of dialysis. I really must do more of these!


... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2010/09/back-after-great-trip.html

Thursday, 30 September 2010 12:03

Overwhelmed!

It was threatening to be a bad birthday. Personal problems plagued me right until the previous evening. I almost cried. I started dialysis and was tossing and turning in bed until I fell asleep probably around 11.

Suddenly, the lights in my bedroom turned on. Jairam, the dialysis tech stood next to my bed and did a jig and then wished me. As I shook his hand, he signaled to someone. I wasn't wearing my spectacles so I couldn't make out what was happening. I was also half asleep. But I could figure out that there were some people coming into my room, one by one.

I was wondering what the hell was happening!

I reached out for my spectacles. I could hear someone giggle on seeing this.
When I wore my spectacles, I realized that it was almost the whole Nephroplus team in my bedroom!

I was totally surprised! They had all come to wish me at midnight!

They brought an eggless pineapple cake and made me blow the candles and cut it - all while on dialysis!


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Then Sandeep played a video on his laptop that had pictures of me right from when I was a baby of probably a few months old to recently with background music. The video ended with a slide that said "We all love you Kamal"! That was really so sweet!

They also got me some flowers and a gift.

I was so touched. No one had ever made so much effort to make me feel so good! I was truly overwhelmed!

This is one thing I will never forget all my life! Thanks again, Nephroplus!

I did not sleep much after that. I got up early too and went to the temple. I was alone there which made the experience really good.

I then went to - where else - Poorna Tiffins and had my fill of 'Nayee Idli'. I am actually tempted to praise the idlis here but I know that if I write one more line about these idlis, you guys will kill me!

I took the day off from work. I relaxed at home in the morning, went over to Nephroplus in the afternoon to thank them for their wishes. Almost all the patients there had also called me during the day to wish me (one of them actually called at midnight too!).

I had dinner out with my parents.

When I got back, I quickly started dialysis with Jairam's help. Just as I was about to go to sleep, Srinivas came with a couple of his friends. They got balloons, a cake and gifts too! So, I again cut the cake - while on dialysis! We chatted for a while and then they left.

This was the best birthday I have had in recent times!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2010/09/overwhelmed.html

Friday, 01 October 2010 10:08

Re-nopain works like magic

I have been using Lignocaine just before cannulation. I take a little bit in an insulin syringe and then inject a little in both the sites - arterial and venous and then cannulate. So, even though the lignocaine injection itself stings a bit, the cannulation becomes painless. After all, kuch paane ke liye kuch khona padta hai!

Recently, Jairam brought me a tube of an ointment called Re-nopain. It had lidocaine and prilocaine. I think its composition is similar to the Emla cream available in the US. You basically have to apply it an hour before cannulation and then it is supposed to act as a local anesthetic.

The advantages are two fold - first and foremost, there is no injecting, so it is totally painless and second, since you are not injecting, the damage to the fistula is minimized.

I have been meaning to try it for a few days now but kept forgetting until I was about to cannulate. Jairam then asked me to put a reminder on my phone that repeated every day! I did.

Yesterday, I put the cream on both the sites an hour before cannulation. I was very apprehensive about the pain.

Fortunately however, the cannulation was totally painless!

I am going to use it again today and if it works, I will finally stop using lignocaine injections!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2010/10/re-nopain-works-like-magic.html

Friday, 01 October 2010 21:25

Re-nopain - I spoke too soon!

Yesterday, I wrote about how I used Re-nopain, the anesthetic ointment that I used successfully before cannulation. Well, I think I spoke too soon.

I used it last night too and there was pain during cannulation.

I will probably use it for a couple of more days and then decide whether I want to continue to use it or not.



... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2010/10/re-nopain-i-spoke-too-soon.html

Wednesday, 06 October 2010 07:56

Nephrolife - Bangalore's one stop renal shop

During my recent trip to Bangalore, I got a chance to visit Nephrolife. It wasn't planned however. On my way to Wonder la, in the middle of a traffic jam, I happened to notice their ambulance which was right next to our car. I quickly noted the telephone number and called to check if they offered nocturnal dialysis in the hope of utilizing this facility the next time I visited Bangalore. The receptionist transferred the call to the MD, Shriram Vijaykumar.

Shriram invited me over to the center the following day. I went over to Nephrolife on Sunday at around 12:30. They had a few doctors visiting to see the center as well. I met Dev Roy, the Chairman and nephrologists, Dr. Topoti Mukherjee and Dr. Sushma Rani apart from the other members of the team. They really have a fantastic team. Shriram and Dev showed me around the center and I had a great discussion about a lot of things - both related and unrelated to dialysis! Both of them are extremely passionate about providing quality care to renal patients.

Nephrolife is a state of the art center which has the entire gamut of renal services from dialysis to access surgeries to even pre and post transplant care. They have a complete set of specialists on board to take care of every need of the kidney patient.

Their hemodialysis center is extremely high-end with very comfortable dialysis chairs (Shriram actually made me try one!), each attached with its own IP TV that boasts of hundreds of channels and a large collection of movies.

They also take care of all the ancilliary needs of patients like a dietician and a psychologist.

They have also integrated technology very well with the center. Each ambulance is equipped with a GPS. Doctors' notes are also instantly transmitted to a computer using a special note taking device.

The one thing I found surprising is the price of a dialysis session. I couldn't help wondering how they are able to sustain the operation at such low prices! If they are able to keep the prices low and yet run the company, their years at Carnegie Mellon and University of Chicago have not been wasted!

Nephrolife, I am sure, is a welcome change for dialysis patients in Bangalore. They started this center in February this year and already have close to 70 patients which is very commendable. They soon plan to expand to other cities in India. Here's wishing them all the best!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2010/10/nephrolife-bangalores-one-stop-renal.html

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