This post is a part of the Book Reviews programme at Blogadda
There is more to the human body, more than the mind and the heart. Having seen patients with renal ailments from close quarters during my urology postings in houseman ship I had no second thoughts about reading this book. I smiled when my eyes fell on what the book begins with, a quote by John Ruskin who says “There is no wealth greater than life”, all I thought was about how often we realize this.
Only pain pushes us to a doctor. As the author Aditya’s mother rightly says life needs to be lived with more awareness and sensitivity. She adds further “Doing a normal everyday activity, we all take it for granted” talking about how Aditya confides when he is more comfortable passing urine after the kidney transplant. Our body really does work silently, not letting us know of the hundreds of things happening inside each cell. Early detection is another important issue which the book throws light on. The diagnostics of today is very well equipped and far ahead from what we have imagined. It is only that the clinician and the patient have to be aware of it. I say this with my experience in the laboratory. All we need to do is to know and take care of our body religiously, but some diseases and disorders are really inevitable. It is how we treat and face the challenge is what all that matters.
Aditya and his family have done this successfully. Their calmness and composure is reflected throughout the book, right from the first page where Aditya’s mother writes” I had the chance to be associated with the disease”, well not many would open their story that way. What is more impressive is her commitment to donate her kidney to her son despite herself having a major illness, breast cancer. And the fact that she succeeds at that deserves respect. Every aspect of Aditya’s health and living was carefully planned, and each family member contributed to it. Aditya as his mother says is a good patient, also he is lucky enough to be surrounded by very good caretakers around him. Not many are as blessed as that.
The modesty with which Aditya feels sorry for not taking care of his mother’s kidney after the first transplant, the urge with which his brother Dhananjay helps him out and donates his kidney for the second transplant practically proves ‘For each other’ in their family. Happiness definitely comes with giving and this real life story tells just that, if your life makes a difference in somebody else’s well that is what living is all about.
There are a few medical aspects that the book rightly mentions, firstly about organ donation, what we must know is donating a part of our body does not make us a hero, only if the donor and the recipient are in the best of their health after the donation it is worth all the effort. Secondly medical research is something which most commoners do not know about. It does take rare talent and extreme hard work. When a doctor writes a prescription or does a procedure on a patient there are a ten other doctors, researchers and paramedical staff behind the scene who have toiled day and night to prove that it is the most appropriate thing to do. They deserve some credit too for all that they invent and discover. The afterword by Aditya’s father about doctors could not be more true.
The book does have complicated terms from the field of medicine, difficult initially to relate to unless you are aware of them. But as you progress you will understand what it is all about and of course there is a glossary for help. Shades Of Life intends to make people aware that medical problems as such exist and can be dealt with cheerfully only if life is accepted with limitations, and the book succeeds at that just like Aditya’s family.
PS1: If anybody of them is reading this-
“It was inspiring to read about you. Your courage and commitment towards your well being in togetherness is greatly appreciated. Best wishes to the family”- Dr. Raksha Bhat
PS2: Much thanks to Blogadda for a wonderful book and for making my evening today :)