Chapter 6. Back to square one!
Eye issues had become an inseparable part of my life. I was learning to accept and live with it as and when they would occur. However, little did I know that something unexpected and grave was about to happen.
After a roller coaster ride with eye infections, I had a new challenge awaiting to test my endurance and patience. It was the end of October 2016 and I had my latest blood and urine test reports in front of me! Despite of all the struggle and measures that we took during my childhood, my kidneys were still fighting a battle I did not know about. My urine reports had re-presented hematuria and proteinuria in high amounts. I was clueless. Everything had come back to square one! I refused to give up and wanted to dig deeper and find out what was going wrong. I immediately contacted one of the physicians near my institute, as per the recommendation by my research guide and explained him my medical history. He suspected me to be suffering from IgA nephropathy [a disease that involves abnormal deposition of IgA antibody/protein (this protein is usually responsible for fighting against disease causing organisms) in the kidney and hampering its function] and asked me to undergo Ultrasound imaging (viz. Sonography) and consult a nephrologist (viz. kidney specialist) for the diagnosis.
Alike my childhood days, my maternal uncle, Dr. Anand Joshi scheduled an appointment with a nephrologist from Hinduja Hospital and we re-commenced our sessions with the doctor. He asked me to do a couple of tests that included routine CBC (complete blood count), urine routine, serum potassium, serum creatinine (a substance that is usually eliminated from the body via urine but gets accumulated when the kidney function is impaired), thyroid hormone, C-reactive protein (to know the inflammatory response generated in the body, if any), C3 protein (which has immune functions), urine protein, urine creatinine, etc. Creatinine and protein levels in the urine had already crossed the maximum limit and was indicative of the kidney damage. Sonography reports showed few changes in the appearance of kidneys and the formation of cysts (sac-like pockets filled with liquid or air). Based on my earlier history and latest reports, he asked me to do a kidney biopsy. It was going to be very crucial in diagnosing the disease and planning the treatment.
The surgical procedure that was cancelled in my childhood was planned on 17th November, 2016. Since the time these health investigations had begun and the biopsy was planned, I went through a cocktail of emotions like distress, anxiety and fear. Like anyone else would have done, I read everything possible about the kidney biopsy on the internet, watched the videos and made up my mind. I completed my routine lab work a day earlier and got admitted to the hospital on the next day. I could gather the strength to face the situation due to my mother, my biggest strength and supporter who was with me on that crucial day. I completed the admission procedures, wore patient gown and waited patiently for the doctor to arrive and start the biopsy.