Friday, 3 June 2011

"Be happy"

So I’m feeling a little more alive so I figured I’d update you more on my interesting experiences with the Indian healthcare. The first doctor I saw was at the University health center and he just talked to me a couple minutes, looked at my rash, said “oh, its herpes, be happy, you’ll be fine.”  [They call it herpes there but it’s not an STD, I promise!]  And then he wrote me a prescription for like five drugs and he was ready for me to get on with my life.  After some persisting, he took my temperature which was 102* and he was waving as I left “be happy!”.
             My other two visits were very similar- (I had to see so many doctors because I was miserable and none of them were collecting any empirical data and I needed a form to fill out to file a medical claim for insurance to cover switching my flight).  Advantages of Indian doctors are: I got taken right away and it’s refreshing to see people who believe strongly in the healing powers of positive thinking.  However you were lucky if they decided to check your blood pressure or your temperature.  At least all of them were consistent with the diagnosis, even though they prescribed a variety of drugs.  I agreed with their diagnosis but my mom made me worried that it might be something else too and all of them are like “no, no, you’re fine”.
            So even though I was frustrated with the quality of healthcare, all the people at the hostel and college were so sweet.  The girls would stop by to check in and visit.  The warden went out of her way to arrange for food to be brought to me.  I had no appetite and there was over a day when I couldn’t keep any food down, but she kept trying.  She asked me if I would like to try a boiled potato, and I said I’d try that.  A little bit later, we came back with at least a quart of cubed boiled potato.  I felt terrible when I could only eat a couple cubes.  And she arranged for chocolate ice cream “chocolate makes everything better!” (even though there’s barely any chocolate in Indian desserts- usually they serve sweet dairy dishes).  I laughed when the warden asked the guard twice to get me two mango juices in Hindi and she wrote it down on a piece of paper then the guard came back with one apple juice and 2 packets of ramen noodles.
            A bunch of people offered for me to sleep over in their rooms and I said I’d be fine because I toss and turn and didn’t want to disturb them.  The warden was so worried that she kept stopping by my room every hour until I gave in and moved into her room for the evening.  But Indians really are the most loving, sweetest people and I’m going to miss them.
            I’m not ready to write my final tribute to my trip- I’m still feeling a little loopy but getting slightly more revived by the day.