Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Making a rebound - Steph :)

Well...the last few days have been rough.  I have spent a fair number of hours in the fetal position, in the bathroom, and at times with tears in my eyes and curse words flying out of my mouth...but now, I am feeling much better and ready to rebound back into my Indian Adventure.

I'm not sure what it was that set off the gastrointestinal disaster that ensued over the past few days.  I have been super cautious about the water I drink, the food I eat, and I regularly use hand sanitizer after I touch anything questionable.  Either way, some stomach bug got to the best of me and brought out the worst in me.

That aside, let's catch you up on the happenings since my last post...this weekend we went to Rishikesh, which was absolutely beautiful.  The Ganges river, a holy river, flows through the center of the city and it is an amazing green color like nothing you've ever seen before.  There are mountains in the backdrop and to the excitement of my yogi (yes, this is the correct word for one who does yoga) heart, many many ashrams where visitors can come to train in yoga.  Sadly it was only a day trip so I didn't get the chance to partake in a class, but I see a trip to an Ashram in my future, I'll probably need it after residency.

We did a little shopping, ate and drank a ton (likely the culprit was in here somewhere) and then took an evening bus back to Dehradun to our new homestay.  The bus situation is what I've come to think of as "typical Indian."  Although the bus leaves from the station every 15 minutes and is sitting there waiting for passengers for at least ten minutes before departure, the overwhelming majority of people get on anywhere along the road during the trip.  In fact, when we left the station there were maybe 5 people in total on the bus, but within the first 30 min of the trip we had stopped I don't know how many times to pick up people on the side of the road.  It came to the point that every seat was full as well as the aisles and space around the driver.  Everyone happily crams together and no one seems disturbed that we are wasting insane amounts of time stopping every 5 feet to pick up more people.  For someone who gets easily stressed about efficiency I have found these situations remarkably refreshing.  I could never live my whole life like this, but it is nice to step out of the non-stop attitude of America and realize as my mom used to say "we will get there when we get there."

This week we are in Dehradun as I have mentioned.  We are staying with a new homestay, she is a bit much for me but she is incredibly sweet and means well.  She just has to know where we are and what we are doing every second and continuously wants to shove food and tea down our throats.

Clinic wise we are working with a cardiologist and an Ob/Gyn doctor.  The Cardiologist works in a government hospital while the Ob/gyn has her own practice/mini hospital which is known here as a "nursing home" (it saddens my heart that nursing home in this context does not refer to old people at all because i can assure you that the older adults here are just about the most amazing people ever).  In cardiology clinic we get the chance to see amazing things like severe murmurs in small children from rheumatic heart disease, and a guy who has had his mechanical valve in much longer than would ever be recommended in the US because of the risk of surgery/cost of the procedure.  It is incredibly sad sometimes when I think about the care they would receive in the US and Joe and I recently had a conversation about whether or not the general population here would be upset if they knew what care the COULD receive.   Would they fight for the same care or would they just think we are absolutely insane for keeping people in the ICU on ventilators and dialysis and balloon pumps?  Sounds like a good topic for my paper, so I won't bore you :)

Well friends, it is time to go to ob/gyn clinic.  I hope you are looking forward to maybe one or two more posts this week because next week I am apparently living in a very rural village and so internet will not be a part of my life.

Hooray for feeling better!!


  1. You and your dad's impressions of the Ganges are quite different, I hope you are upstream of him. Are you sure your barefoot walk in the Ganges isn't the culprit of your GI disaster?

  2. So glad you're feeling better! Please try to come home intact, my dear!
    Very interesting observations about the health care access they have over there. I've been really enjoying learning more about it!

  3. Wow, I am very happy, that I stayed home. This is not my kind of vacation. But I am glad, that you enjoy it.