Thursday, February 14, 2008

#2- Feb. 14, 2008 Being Sick….Being Doctored…another interesting experience!

Wednesday, February 13th

Well, I guess sooner or later it had to happen seeing as how I’ve already been to India many times and always been healthy, except for the occasional slight cough and cold due to changes in climate etc.
But this time I’ve really gone all the way. From all the symptoms, it would appear that I have pneumonia (I haven’t had pneumonia in over 15 years, and that was also the last time I’ve taken antibiotics). I already thought about this possibility yesterday when I found myself with a fever of almost 40 ! I never get fever at all, and a fever this high really worried me. Together with the loss of appetite, complete exhaustion, wanting to sleep all day and wet cough in my chest, it adds up. But I wanted to give it another day (probably should have already gone to the doc today) and see what happened. This evening my fever is still raging, although I was fine until about 2 in the afternoon.

Everyone here has been really concerned and wanted to take me to the doctor yesterday…but now I went down to Amir, the guy in charge who always takes good care of me, and asked about going to the doctor tomorrow. He was very relieved as he has been watching me for 3 days and seeing me get worse each day. So arrangements have been made. Tomorrow the Manager will take me to the local Western Hospital in town. He will first call and make an appointment for me so I won’t have to wait on line at the clinic, and he will personally escort me and stay with me to make sure I am properly cared for. I have escorted other people to hospitals in India before over the years, including a good friend who was really sick in dharamsala, but I have never been to one myself . Well, that’s not completely true. I was in a hospital in Chennai when I burnt my leg on the exhaust pipe of a bike…but that was different.

I imagine the doctor will know what to give me and that over the next couple of days I should start feeling better. But antibiotics are not friendly to me and they in themselves really exhaust me. I hope it won’t be long before I can get out and about and begin feeling like I am in Rishikesh. Even to go down and get a phone card so people can call me, and the few things I need in my room, has so far been impossible.

But knowing I am well cared for here gives me a good feeling, in spite of the frustration of using up so many days of a too short stay in India.

Anyone out there who can send me Reiki (which I’ve been doing tons of to myself and I imagine that is the reason I am not in any true discomfort….just exhausted….), it would be greatly appreciated.

Perhaps this is a lesson for me in TRULY accepting all things that come along and believing they are all for my Higher Good. It is not always easy, and I guess being tested every once in awhile is in order.

PS: having the laptop here is fantastic. I would not be able to do this writing, including the private letters I answered today, if I had to sit in the internet café. This way I just go
down for 10-15 minutes and zap them off later or the next day. I can also play games, watch movies and it makes being sick easier I must say.

Thursday, Feb. 14th…Valentine’s Day

Well, I’ll continue this post before sending it off as I’ve been to the doctor and back, and, as is everything else in India, this too was an experience.

First of all, it was decided that the Manager would take me down by bike and we headed off to the hospital clinic where he had previously made an appointment for me. The main road to Rishikesh was blocked today for roadworks, so we drove all around the back roads until we got into town. Interesting to see all the lovely houses and when I mentioned this, he said “yes, nice houses but no nice roads”…which was true enough. Negotiating the potholes and bumps was not easy, and me trying to hold on to the back of the seat with one hand while keeping a scarf covering my face with the other hand, and trying not to fall off, was not easy. But I figured 10-15 minutes of this was not so bad. We got to the clinic, and too our great surprise, the doctor was not there. He was called back to the hospital for emergency surgery. So, off to find another doctor. The next clinic was open but the doctor had not yet arrived, and the third one, had a doctor there but it would be a 3 hour wait! By this point, I was on the verge of fainting and finally, the Manager asked if it was OK for him to take me to HIS family doctor. When I asked him why he didn’t do that in the beginning, he said he felt I would be more comfortable in a regular hospital clinic instead of with a local family doctor. Well, we finally got to his doctor, who runs a lovely, clean clinic. He went in, and 2 minutes later calls me into the examining room, the doctor talks to me for a minute and then excuses himself, together with me, leaving 10 other patients to wait. He took me into a back examining room which was private, not like all the others being checked with everyone else looking on. It was an x-ray room actually. He asked what was wrong, did a thorough checkup, including the Ayurveda checks of tongue and pulse, but said in my condition I would need antibiotics as well as ayurveda herbs. Sounded good and thorough to me. No pneumonia, but very bad congestion in both lungs. I was given antibiotics, cough syrup, something for the fever and another to loosen up the congestion.
I was also given very specific instructions about what to eat and what not to eat…which was fine since I have no appetite anyway. All in all, a pleasant visit, and the whole thing cost me 25 shekel including the medications!!

So now, I imagine, in a day or so I will begin feeling better, but being out and about already lifted my spirits, driving all through my favorite places in Rishikesh, see everything again, and knowing that soon enough I will be out walking, has made me feel a little less down in general. And at least the weather is sunny. I am sitting outside on my roof writing this now and the warm sun on my back and the fresh air, are just wonderful. On the way back I even asked him to stop at an Airtel place, so I now also have a local number which makes me feel better already.

So I will end this here and hopefully get it posted today.

Be well!!!!