Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Where to begin?

Ah, it's been so long since I posted anything, it's so hard to decide where to start.

Let's see. I'm in Jaipur, India, and have been since the beginning of September. The month of August I spent in Delhi, and also traveled to Dharamshala for some time (with the WB too!)

I have been studying Hindi here and also visiting my wonderful boyfriend in Delhi quite frequently, and he often visits me here, too.

Actually, he just came to visit, and after about one day I unfortunately got sick (AGAIN!) so he stayed extra time and spent most of it taking care of me. Poor guy. I really hate having to rely on people for help too. It always makes me feel bad.

My stomach and I have not been getting along extremely well since I got to India, but I am determined to beat it into submission (or... whatever). When I first got here I kept having weird stomach aches which I think were just from jet lag/nerves, so they went away after awhile. Then I was all chill in Delhi. But since I have gotten to Jaipur I have had... erm.. I think three bouts of the old "delhi belly" (which I never got in Delhi...) and once I had conquered those and seemed well on the mend, I got this strange stomach affliction.

Now, it all started with linzi being not-so-smart. Sure my stomach has been better for a few weeks without incidence (and may I note, my roommate nor anyone else seems to be getting sick while eating the same exact things as me!) but I guess I should not have gotten carried away and thought I could enjoy an evening out with friends, which involved, three weak alcoholic beverages. Now, I don't know IF they were really the cause of the stomach incident, seeing as how it was three weak screwdrivers (from which I did not achieve anything near drunkenness) or if it something else (like my mysterious "IBS" diagnosis from the grand doctors of the USA, which means "yup, yer stumuch hurts n we dunno why. you want sum rolaids?")
but the next day I upon eating I was saluted with a mysterious pain right underneath where my ribcage and sternum meet. Hum. So I waited a day, but the pain was rather not so fun, and if I tried to eat it became horribly worse (thought I did not feel nauseous or have any other normal symptoms of stomachy-badness.) So at about 10 pm my boyfriend V and I decided to visit the doctor.

Now, keep in mind that in Hindi visiting the doctor is "doctor ke paas jaanaa" which literally means "to go NEAR to a doctor". Whenever I think about this particular phrase, I think of the doctor as a guru, and in his essence I may be cured. Well, going to a doctor here is not to much different (at least in my experiences so far) than gaining some doctor-y essence. On this particular evening the doctors visit went like this:

(also note, this visit did not start with taking of temperature, asking about current problems/medication, or asking about any allergies to drugs)

Doctor: "Come sit, tell me whats wrong"
Me: "Since morning I have had this strange pain right here, that gets worse if I try to eat"
Doctor: "right here?" (poke)
Me: "OW! yes."
Doctor: "and you said you have nausea?
Me: "no, I don't have nausea. Just this pain."
Doctor: "aha, ok. I will give you these medicines and you will be completely better."
(proceeds to write out a long list of drugs with various notes about how often to take each one. When finished I have a list of 4 different medicines. And since he is a doctor, it is of course, illegible)
Me: "um, what exactly is wrong with me? I mean, what are all of these medicines for?"
Doctor: (laughs heartily) "That's a silly question!"
Me: (interjecting weakly) "But I want to know what the medicines are for before I take them"
Doctor: (grumpily) "You are having gastritis (I think this is what he said) which is inflammation of the stomach lining. These medicines will make you better. (This was followed by a half-hearted attempt to explain each medication). "Ok, now the first medicine is an injection."

He gave us the list and we went into the lobby (which was luckily very empty) and asked the nurse on duty where to get the medicines. He told us the hospital pharmacy was closed, so we had to take an auto rickshaw, get the medicines, and then come back so he can administer the injection.
When we came back, medicines and disposable syringe in hand, the nurse took me back and had me lie down. Only then did I realize, EEKS, it was not a normal shot but an "IV" shot, meaning.... he was going to stab the syringe into a vein on my hand. He told V to hold me down. GULP. Luckily, after such a dramatic opening, I learned that Mr. Male Nurse was in fact excellent at stabbing people's veins causing only minimal pain. Yippee.

After this I went home and tried to follow my pill regiment (I still don't know what one of the medicines is for!) but the next night it was still bad so we went back and he gave me a few more medicines, and told me only to eat liquid or semi-solid foods. whoo fun.

So that began on Sunday, and today (Wednesday) I am starting to feel mainly better, though
still having a small amount of pain. V stayed with me until today, even though he had to miss some of the classes he teaches. He helped me a lot, made me food, and all that. I feel really bad though, I keep getting sick and having to be taken care of. Sigh. Poor guy. Of course he is a wonderful sweetheart, and gets upset if I thank him for helping me.

So that is the latest story. Maybe I can give you some more stories soon, since I have aquired some free wireless internet from who knows where.

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