Monday, June 13, 2011

Update on health

So... for the past two weeks I have been sick as a dog. The problem with the sickness, was that I would throw up multiple times, be sick for a few days and then seem to get better. I'd even be able to keep down a meal or two. As is evidenced by my posts here, here and even a bit here. Progress seemed to be made! But alas, things were not better, and I kept getting worse.

I went on a trip to visit the site of the Polavaram Dam and see the Koya people (more on them later) and seemed to get somewhat better. I wasn't eating much because it was a lot hotter there and the traveling throws off my schedule. But since coming back last Wednesday (one of the reasons why I'm so behind on my blog) I have gotten progressively worse.

It's generally not a good sign when I've lost 10-15 pounds... in 2 weeks. That's NEVER healthy by any stretch of the imagination. So I kept trying to take care of myself, keep it easy, and limit my diet to juices, vitamins and rice (or chipati). Pretty bland, but safe. Unfortunately this didn't prevent me from getting really sick on Sunday. This proved to be the encouragement I needed to finally go to the doctor.

So, today I had my first-hand experience of the Indian Health-Care System. Or at least the private healthcare system. So I went to the lovely Apollo Hospital in my part of town and spent the day navigating the different aspects of the hospital. First we got checked in and did the usual waiting for a doctor. Then when I actually got in to see a doctor he started asking my symptoms, how long they had been going on, etc. Then he did a blood pressure reading (boo... not normal for me) and started palpating my abdomen which was not fun because whenever I said something hurt he poked it again. :(

Getting my blood pressure taken, ignore the grossness

So after that initial examination he sat down and started writing out a. prescriptions and b. tests to be done..... 5 tests to be exact. And 3 prescriptions. X.X

And he wanted me to go see a specialist. Yeah... no bueno. So I saw the specialist in what was one of the most unpleasant and violating experiences of my life and got another 3 prescriptions, none of which seem pleasant.....

After this I went downstairs to do testing. Only to find out that in order to do the ultrasound testing I need to a. have an empty stomach (check-the whole throwing up thing takes care of that) and b. have a full bladder (not check.....) so instead I went and had my blood drawn (which always makes me freak out) and then go upstairs to wait and get water to fill me up.

That was a fun experience going up and sitting and chatting with Melissa. She's become my pseudo-mom/super good friend since coming here. It's just a bonus that she's my country director. We're kindred spirits. :)

So after waiting, we FINALLY were able to go downstairs and wait in line for the ultrasound.

While waiting we saw this picture:

Did you know that in India it's illegal to ask to know the sex of the baby or to promote finding out the gender because so many female fetuses are aborted? Sad but true....

So... the ultrasound requires a full bladder.... which stinks when someone is SHOVING something hard all over your tummy and organs. That lady was MEAN.

So finally after all of the poking and prodding and stripping of my dignity, I'm finally about ready to leave. I wait for my prescriptions and a friendly family says hello

And because of the violation from today I treated myself to my first Cadbury Chocolate Bar.


So after all of that, I found out that I have to come back tomorrow to get an "official" diagnosis since my lab results weren't going to be back until too late for a doctor to look at them. So we decided to leave and took our printouts that we had and had lunch before going back to the house.

It was funny because on the way back we were stopped at a light and beggars came up to us. But instead of being the normal, I'm lame or a child, it was the third gender beggars. These are the men who dress as women and there's some other connotation to it that I'm not quite sure, I think they're supposed to be a God's consorts or something. Either way, they're pretty interesting. They came up to us and were like, 10 Rupees! And so Melissa starts joking with one going, No! You give ME ten Rupees! And so they're joking back and forth and finally before we leave because the light turns green, he/she puts a rupee in Melissa's hand and blows her a kiss. It was by far the funniest thing all day.

We get back and Melissa needs to get ready to pick up Mindy from the airport (one of our Help International board members) and I get to catch up with everyone from the day. It was funny because I had THREE different people go, "so, are you pregnant?" And the answer is NO. I am 100% not pregnant. But it took a few minutes of teasing to convince them otherwise. After looking through my test results and the ultrasound tech's write-up, I looked up the condition she put up and it
was Cholelithiasis which means gallstones. Woohoo! An answer!

And what did my mom ask about this morning? "Make sure to ask about your Gallbladder!"... Moms always know.

So yeah, I'm on a ton of pills right now and I've still got another round of doctor's visits, but the end is near. There is a diagnosis!

Yay pills....

So I'll make sure to definitely update on the outcome of this saga and the next step from here tomorrow. Wish me luck!


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