A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

It is a strange life indeed..

Posted by Pepper on August 2, 2013

I am home alone tonight. As I type this, there is a lot going through my mind right now. All my thoughts are occupied by only one person – Oregano. For those of you who don’t know, Oregano is Mint’s younger brother. He is 6 years younger to Mint, and 3 years younger to me. He is extremely dear to me and the only person I wholeheartedly trust in Mint’s family. I’ve mentioned him on this blog several times, the first time was here.

Oregano completed his engineering, and like most kids, was pulled into a big IT company. Having a coveted name on your resume does not help, if your heart does not lie there. And his heart didn’t. His heart only lies in game programming. Quite a niche field, I thought. He wants to code and program games for a living.

We encouraged him to follow his dream. He decided to apply for a Masters program in Game Development in USA. From then on, it was all about inching towards the big dream. I remember going over and trying to edit his SOPs, discussing costs and figuring out tuition fees and finances with him. After about a year of preparation and application, admits from US schools starting pouring in. He was happy. We were happy. Finally, after selecting the school he wanted to go to, he quit his IT job. He got his US visa. He came to Bombay to visit us. We had some bit of fun and said our goodbyes. He went back to Chennai and his bags were packed. He was ready to fly towards his dream.

My father in law got him to do a routine health check up a week before he was to leave. The results have left us completely shaken. A random urine test revealed high levels or protein and blood in the urine. His creatine level was high. His blood count was messed up. The report from the lab suggested a kidney problem. They asked us to consult a nephrologist immediately. From then on, it has only been downhill.

The nephrologists were quite alarmed after seeing his reports. On doing an ultrasonic kidney scan, we discovered that both his kidneys were damaged. We are still awaiting the results of the biopsy, but from the other reports they saw, they said the kidneys at present are functioning less than 50%. Moreover, the damage is irreversible and unstoppable. This is a chronic problem, at most, they can only delay the damage. In future, he is going to need a transplant.

I have been in a state of shock ever since. Mint, as expected, is upset, but a lot more composed. I am unable to get over this. How can this really be happening? He celebrated his 24th birthday a week ago. How can a 23 year old have such an acute, chronic kidney problem? How could he have no symptoms at all? We happened to discover the problem quite by chance. What would have happened had this not been diagnosed now?

And for what possible reason would life back bite like that? He was supposed to leave for the US yesterday. He was excited. His bags were packed. Instead, he spent the day in the hospital. I hate this so much more, because somebody else who is very dear to me has suffered a lot because of renal failure. My dad’s brother who is another father to me has undergone hell. I’ve witnessed it all. From the diagnosis, to the painful dialysis sessions that took place thrice in a week, to his condition deteriorating, to finally a transplant that saved his life. And oh, I’ve also lived through the misery of not finding a compatible donor. In my uncle’s case, the doctors refused to allow my dad to donate, because his kidneys was not exactly healthy. And the horror of not finding another donor comes back to me. Thankfully, my aunt stepped up at that time and we managed to come out of it. But those memories are so painful. I can’t imagine Oregano having to go through any of that, After all, he is just 24!

I know I might sound sickeningly selfish, but the thought of Mint having to donate a kidney is equally terrifying. I would never in my life create a hurdle, or even ask him to not do it for his brother, but I can’t deny the fact that the thought has made me sick with worry. I am pushing these thoughts away. For all I know, that might never be required, despite what the doctors say? I hope.

As of now, we are waiting for the results of the biopsy. My in laws are very shaken and in a state of disbelief. We leave for Chennai soon. After we get there, we will try figuring out what line of treatment lies ahead, what the prognosis is and what exactly we should be doing. Please keep Oregano and all of us in your prayers.


78 Responses to “It is a strange life indeed..”

  1. I wish Oregano a speedy recovery and you all strength… Take care guys.

  2. Yam said

    Hi Pepper, this is shocking:( Will keep all of you in my prayers. Take care!

  3. Prayers and hugs Pepper!

  4. C said

    Our thoughts are with you.. I hope everything goes well..

  5. Smita said


    I can understand what you are going through because we have gone through exactly the same thing 2 years back. My brother in law, all of 28 was diagnosed with the same issue. His disgnosis was by chance or rather because a month after his mrrg his wife felt something was wrong with him and they went for a check up. In my BIL’s case, he has a night shift job and a crazy routine. he had high bp but ignored and thus he ended up with high level of creatine. At that point of time I was in your state and we were contemplating kidney transplant. We researched a lot showed at many places (Mumbai, DDelhi, Noida, Indore & Jalandhar) ultimately we were told that the creatine can be brought down by taking care & living a routine life. Thanks to my SIL’s care they managed to get the creatine level down. But the doctor was very clear that ultimately the transplant will have to happen but with my BIL being young there is no urgency. He has age on his side. 2 years down the line the creatine keeps fluctuating & we are mentally prepared for the transplant (FIL will be the donor) but life is going on….

    I am sure oregano’s health will also improve and transplant won’t be that urgent. I suggest you consult more than one doctor before taking any big step. I won’t say don’t worry because that is impossible but all I will say is be strong and all will be fine.

  6. Pratiksha said

    Don’t worry Pepper everything will fall in place… it’s pathetic to come across with such situation but you have to be strong enough as Mint will of course need your strength… any help with “Hospital” plz let me know.. I’ll be in city during your visit to Chennai… tc god bless you and your family…Amen!!!

    • Pepper said

      Thanks Pratiksha. Like I mentioned, Mint is extremely strong and composed. He doesn’t even feign it. He is truly not too ruffled by such things. He keeps his cool and carries on, hoping for the best. I draw my strength from him.

  7. Jazz said

    😦 Stay strong Pepper.. Will definitely keep Oregano in my prayers.. Hope for the best..

  8. I am so sorry to hear that Pepper. It is shattering and shocking. But I am very sure there would be some treatments for his situation considering his age…he is so young. I am definitely keep Oregano and the whole family in my prayers.

    • Pepper said

      There are treatments, but the fact that the damage is so severe and in all probability, cannot be stopped completely is awfully scary and upsetting. We’ll just hope for the best though. Thanks.

  9. priyankavictor said

    Oregano will be just fine, he’s young and healthy 🙂
    Take care, y’all, always in my prayers..

  10. paatiamma said

    Hugs :)Be strong. These are testing times indeed..

  11. paatiamma said

    Sorry for the wrong emotion..Pls don’t approve that

  12. Pepper, a lump stuck my throat as I read this blog. Just hoping he will get well, shall surely remember him in prayers. Please be brave, your n mints brave front will provide enough moral support to the entire family. Hugs dear, my prayers too.

  13. Deeps said

    Oh dear God, I don’t know what to say here Pepper. I can’t even imagine the turmoil you and your family must be in. I hope the biopsy report doesn’t give any alarming signs and Oregano finds his way to recovery quickly.
    Yes, life can seem unfair at times.

    Wish you all better days ahead. Prayers and good wishes to Oregano and all of you.

    Take care

  14. That is quite baffling. At 23 and with no symptoms?! Hope everything gets better for him, from here on. Will pray for you guys. Take care.

    • Pepper said

      Turns out that a lot of kidney patients have no symptoms at all. That is what makes it so damn scary. You never know what is really going on in your body.

  15. seema3 said

    Just don’t know what to say..am speechless.A 23 yr old to go through this when his life is just starting and I cannot even imagine the agony of all of you as a family. Have courage.Lots of hugs

  16. Meera said

    He will be in our prayers for sure, hopefully he will make a complete recovery soon.

  17. omg- saddened to read this. life turns a darker shade and quite unexpectedly. It is but indeed human to feel terrified if the situation wants Mint to donate a kidney – I sincerely hope and pray that oregano is out of this disturbing phase very soon, Passing on hugs and strength !

  18. AaeKay said

    Be strong Pepper and fly! I hope Oregano gets well soon. Hugs to you and keep faith. God bless.

  19. Hi Pepper, it’s very sad to heart that and, in particular, to a 24-year-old with dreams in his eyes. My thoughts is with him and your family. Be strong, my dear friend:)

  20. aarya said

    ohh Pepper..this is so sad…I wish a healthy recovery for Oregano and hope he fights and comes out of it a winner. Your family is in my prayers…take care

  21. A said

    My prayers that things work out for Oregano and he can go to US at least next year… Be strong pepper! Hugs!

    • Pepper said

      About the US bit, we are thoroughly confused at this stage. For now, he’s written to the university asking if he can start later, and they’ve agreed. But what we should do and if he should go at all is something we’re unable to decide.

  22. I am finding it heavy even to read this, sending him all the positive vibes, and for you can I give a hug if that makes you feel better !!

  23. Sumana said

    Oregano is in our prayers. This is shockening, life is so uncertain. Hopefully things come out ok and by god’s grace he is able to chase his dream.

  24. Hell!! I have a brother who is 24 and full of life! He is really dear to me and I cannot even imagine what you must be going through right now. Although it is easier said then done, please stop worrying about Mint, even if he has to donate a kidney, because, we can function with 1 kidney and lead a perfectly normal life!! May God be with you and your family during these trying times! Take care!

    • Pepper said

      I know they say we can function with one kidney, Shweta. But I’ve realised how common kidney problems are now. And if Mint were to end up with a kidney problem himself in the near future, having one kidney would only make it worse. Plus, I’ve known cases of kidney donors who ended up having a lot of other complications and critical ailments because they donoted the kidney. Like I said, if need arises, I will not stop Mint from going ahead with it. But honestly, I don’t know how I can not worry..It is such a hard situation 😦

  25. R's Mom said

    Hugs hugs hugs…Oregano was the one of the earliest contributors when RD decided to run for Nanhi Kali…I will never forget that awesome gesture of his…

    I will definitely pray for him getting better as fast as possible

    • Pepper said

      🙂 Honestly RM. Oregano is a sweetheart. He did tell me about his contribution when I had led him to the link. He also showed me the mail he wrote to RD. He had just started earning, and could not spare a big amount, but he wanted to contribute for the cause all the same.

      He’s always doing such things. And I feel really awful when I think of how such a horrid thing could happen to such a nice person. But then, that is life..

  26. DI said

    Dear Pepper, I can only imagine how hard it must be.
    About the issue, my closest friend has the same problem, only it was diagnosed much earlier and is hence under control but entails too many tests, visits to the docs, a lot of restrictions etc.
    I am sure something will work out. Fortunately, medicine has progressed a lot now and we seem to have many more fixes for problems we can imagine. I strongly feel he will get better, things will get better and he will end up coding the best of games.
    Don’t lose faith, that’s what takes us through the hardest times. Will definitely pray for him.

    • Pepper said

      Your friend? Gosh, how common these ailments are! I am glad she was diagnosed in good time.
      Yes, i truly hope Oregano is able to get on with life with regular monitoring. So far, we don’t know. Just praying for the best.

  27. metherebel said

    Pepper, very saddened to know about Oregano. May you all have the strength in tough times. Oregano and the family will be in my prayers.

  28. Wishing and praying for a quick recovery for Oregano.
    And lots and lots of strength to help your family with this crisis.
    I am sure he will be fine and will bounce back.He does have youth on his side

  29. clueless said

    Feel very sad to hear about your BIL. Be strong, take it one step at a time. It will be alright..remembering him in my prayers.

  30. Deepa said

    Dear Pepper,

    Awful news for you and the family. Take one day at a time and decisions slowly if they lie at all in your hands. I was diagnosed with a terminal invasive cancer 2 years ago when my son was just 6 and the journey has been nothing short of terrifying and sickly but I learnt to take it a day at a time, a decision at a time and not project too much into the future.

    Do also look in to well known naturopathi remedies. Many do work if you find a good naturopath. My father also suffered from renal failure in the last year of his life and it was heart rending to see a once-full-of-life man reduced to nothing.

    My prayers with organo, mint, you and the in laws.


    • Pepper said

      Deepa, big big hugs! Your situation makes me realise how much I take granted in my life. My best wishes are with you. Thanks for the advice. We will consider consulting a naturopath.

  31. Pepper,

    I just read this and am sure it is a sign – The best of miracles happen when you are about to give up. Hang in there and am sure, Oregano will be super fine, by God’s Grace!!!!!
    Praying 🙂

  32. Oh my God – this is shocking. My prayers are with you guys. Also, Pepper – I have a close friend who has been on dialysis since the age of 13. He just graduated from Cambridge and he’s about 25 now – about the same age as your brother in law. He had a kidney transplant (from his mother) which failed and he’s still awaiting a new donor (undergoing dialysis in the meanwhile). He’s amazingly positive and very well-informed about everything related to this. Please let me know if you’d like to speak to him.

  33. radha said

    Have faith, support him and trust the drs. that is all you can do. Yes kidney disease does affect the young, however nowadays treatment is far advanced, think of this as a temporary setback, it’s a pause for a yr of his life, he will bounce back stronger .
    don’t worry about donation etc., thats ways off, why worry about something you have no control about.
    trust in god and keep faith and more important support to that kid.
    All will be well. it usually is 🙂

    sorry if i sound lecturish.. after more than 4 decades on this earth, I’ve seen various terrible things getting resolved. keep faith is all i can say

  34. yaadayaada said

    Hugs! Prayers!

  35. pixie said

    Hugs Pepper! I hope Oregano gets better soon. Sending you and your family lots of prayers and good wishes.

  36. hugs peppy..wishing oregano a speedy recovery..

  37. Jas said

    Lots of prayers and hugs your way.

  38. sayamaya said

    I have an aunt who is going through this and after many docs, the best nephrologist is in MIOT… Pls take oregano there once as the chief guy is really good… My aunt is now on dialysis and is too old for a transplant .. I know how terrible it all is…

    • Pepper said

      Okay, thanks. Let me pass on this information to my inlaws. Would you know the name of the chief nephro there? Anyway, I’ll ask them to go there and figure out..Thanks once again! And I do hope your aunt finds the strength to go through this..

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