(This is the eighth part of a short story - Love takes courage) Dr. Mehta asked for Rohan to stay in the hospital for a few more days. He wanted him to settle into a thrice weekly regimen of dialysis. He also wanted to get started with some of the tests for the transplant. It would be much easier if they were in the hospital.
Rohan protested at first but gave in because he wanted to do whatever he could to get a transplant quickly.
Pooja stayed with him most of the day and one of the cousins would be with him at night. Rohan's parents and sister would keep coming during the day or whenever something important was happening like a test or a discussion with Dr. Mehta.
Rohit and Neha, Rohan's close friends would also visit every week. Rohit also stayed with Rohan at night every once in a way.
Kunal made sure he was there for every dialysis session and did everything he could to make the experience more pleasant for Rohan. Whenever Rohan was feeling low, Kunal would do his best to cheer him up. Pooja would do her bit too.
On one such occasion, Pooja was sitting next to Kunal's dialysis bed and was trying to engage Rohan in a conversation to get him out of his bout of depression. Kunal joined them and Pooja recounted something she saw that morning as she entered the floor on which Rohan's room was located. She saw the nurses arguing agitatedly about something. She heard "Rohan sir" being mentioned and she stopped. The nurses hadn't seen her coming so they continued.
After a couple of minutes, Pooja burst out laughing as she realized that the nurses were arguing about who would give Rohan a sponge. They all wanted to do it and had actually made their own little private duty roster! One of the nurses was on leave and the argument was about who would fill in for her!
Pooja and Kunal laughed out loud while Pooja narrated this episode. Rohan also managed to smile.
"Good looks can be dangerous, you know Kunal!" she exclaimed.
"Very dangerous!" Kunal replied.
They all laughed. This time Rohan laughed too and mockingly hit Pooja's hand.
Dr. Mehta began the process of getting the tests done for Rohan. He also had a discussion with Mr. Karmarkar about the donor. The easiest way, he said, would be if someone from within the family donated. They quickly realized, however, that Rohan's blood group did not match any of his immediate family's. Couple of his cousins had the same blood group but they were considered too young to donate. They were completely ready though. But Dr. Mehta did not think it appropriate.
Dr. Mehta then suggested that they get Rohan onto the waiting list for a cadaveric kidney.
When Rohan heard that his only option was a cadaveric kidney for which he would need to be on a waiting list, he was devastated. There was no definite period before which he would get a transplant. The wait could be a few years or more. No one knew for sure.
Rohan did not cry any more though. He knew what his future was. He now had to take some important decisions. Decisions that would impact not only him but also those around him. Most importantly, Pooja.
For the next couple of days, Rohan thought very hard about his life. He thought about his work, his family, about Pooja. He realized that his life would revolve around dialysis for an unknown period of time. He did not want to let his problem affect any of his family members or Pooja.
He finally made a decision about Pooja. This was the toughest part about his entire fight with kidney disease.