My name is Indrajit Mistry and I am 75 years old. I have many health problems, including kidney failure and diabetes. Between 2013 and 2016, I was hospitalized 42 times! The Lakeshore General Hospital has always been there for me, and has even saved my life.
In September of 2016, I was at Fairview and lost consciousness. When I opened my eyes, I was in the Lakeshore ICU. My heart had stopped beating for over 10 minutes — I was clinically dead, but the team managed to resuscitate me with CPR. I spent four days in a coma and stayed in ICU for 4 ½ months.
I first started seeing Dr. Iqbal in 2011 for kidney problems, but the medication I was taking was no longer properly effective and my kidneys were only working at 10%. She made me start hemodialysis right away, which is a treatment that allows to filter wastes and water from the blood, just like kidneys do when they are healthy. During hemodialysis, the blood goes through a filter that works like an artificial kidney. It gets pumped through the filter and returns to the body, removing all the extra fluid.
When I first started hemodialysis, I was taking 42 pills a day and was feeling very bad. After the first three months of treatment, my daily dose went down to 19 pills a day, and today I feel a lot better.
I really need to be there for every treatment, or my toxin levels and fluid build up, which is dangerous and uncomfortable. If I miss more than two consecutive treatments, my body gets very swollen, especially my hands and legs, I feel a lot of heaviness, and my face looks like a balloon. Hemodialysis helps me feel a lot better, but it’s not a cure for kidney failure.
Since 2017, I have been coming to the Lakeshore General Hospital three times a week for hemodialysis. Every treatment is 4 hours, and ends with a 20–25 minute follow-up exam. I come by bus in paratransit, so I’m here about two hours before each treatment. I spend around 20 hours per week at the hospital, so I can most definitely say that the Lakeshore General Hospital has become a big part of my life!
My Extented Family at the Hospital
When you spend so much time in the hospital, you become really close to the people who work there. I also like talking to people in the waiting room; it makes me feel connected to the community. My neighbour often comes with me. She also has kidney problems but doesn’t need hemodialysis.
My wife passed away 25 years ago and I don’t have children, so I have developed a very special relationship with the doctors and nurses at the Lakeshore. They have become part of my extended family. I feel very good when I come here. I know that I am in good hands and they all greet me with smiles and take very good care of me. I always joke around with Dr. Iqbal and make her smile. I am vegetarian and love to cook. I am originally from Mumbai, India, and I often bring the staff homemade typical Indian meals.
Giving Back to my Community
The hemodialysis team is wonderful and I am very grateful for the excellent care I receive. Giving back is important to me, so a few years ago, I started putting all my small change in a jar and managed to gather $1,000 that I donated to the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation to help improve the Hemodialysis Department. I know that by giving to the Foundation, it’s not just me who is benefiting from better health care, it’s the entire West Island community.