Monday, November 21, 2011

Finally out of the hospital

Thursday morning I woke up and had a cup of coffee with mom and Steve. Our plan that day was to go to Gurgaon and pick up my cousin Shamili and spend the day seeing some sights in Delhi. When I woke up though I wasn’t feeling quite well so I stayed behind and mom and Steve went out for the day. When they returned they called me from the taxi in the parking lot and asked if I needed to go to the hospital and since I had deteriorated rapidly I said yes without hesitation.

The taxi driver took us to the emergency room at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi’s best private hospital. I was in quickly through the doors and in a few minutes I was waiting outside the pulmonary doctor’s office, coughing hard and finding it hard to breathe.  The nurses were very attentive and kept a careful eye on me. After a couple more minutes one nurse interrupted the pulmonary doctor and he came out to see me and immediately sent me to the emergency room. There they started me on antibiotics and a breathing treatment and a few minutes later they said they I needed to be admitted. I already knew that from the way I was feeling. I was given the choice of an open ward, shared room or private room and chose the private room, of course.

On the way to my room the orderly took me to get a chest x-ray and once I got to my room my mom and stepdad were there waiting for me. It’s a nice room, quite large with a sofa for overnight guests and visitors and a huge nicely decorated bathroom. Once settled in the next few days were pretty much routine with lots of iv’s, drugs, breathing treatments, more x-rays, a ct scan and so on. Everyone here speaks English which has made it easy for me.  A dietician came in to speak to me about any specific needs I had and she put me on a continental diet, though I probably would have preferred a Indian diet, I am in India after all.

The normal routine in the hospital is;

7am  - tea service
8am – breakfast
9am – morning paper delivered and housekeeping cleans room
10am- plate of fruit delivered
12pm – tea service
1pm – Lunch service
4pm – Housekeeping cleans room again
5pm – tea and cookie service
7pm – soup delivered
8pm – dinner delivered
9pm – warm milk delivered

Everyone here is really professional and the hospital is clean and modern. I’m very satisfied with the care here. Every day after housekeeping is done with the room someone comes by to ask if I was satisfied with the service, I always answer yes.  A dietician stopped in every other day to make sure I was okay with my meals and a social worker came by to make sure I was happy with my treatment in the hospital. The doctors come by at least once a day to check up on me. Sunday was kind of scarey for e though. The doctor was listening to my chest when I started coughing so hard that I passed out. I had this really quick dream, like an outer body experience. Then when I came to I was so disoriented that I didn’t know where I was or what was happening. Took me a few seconds and it was kind of scarey. My bed linens are changed daily too. Yesterday a young man came in and asked if I wanted a sponge bath or a shower, I told him I would take a shower. So I go into the bathroom and he follows me in there. Okay, I say to myself. He goes into the huge shower and gets the water running and tells me that he’s going to shower me. Um, what? It took some convincing to get him to understand that I could shower myself, but he was dead serious about making sure he did his job properly.

So after five days in the hospital I’m feeling so much better than I did when I first arrived. I’ve been more than happy with the care surprisingly the food wasn’t bad either, especially the salads. On Sunday evening the doctor came in and visited with me. I asked about leaving Monday morning and he was a bit hesitant but after ensuring him that I was feeling much better and would take it easy he said okay. I’m not supposed to travel for a week but with my south India tour already paid for and scheduled I’ll just travel but cautiously. He also told me that I have sleep apnea and suggested that I go through a sleep study. I’m not surprised about the diagnosis but will wait until I return to the states for the sleep study.

 I was discharged on Monday morning and went back to the apartment where I’ll take it easy for another day or two just to be sure I recuperate properly.  Our time in the apartment is up on Tuesday morning so we’ll be moving to a hotel in Gurgaon which is southwest of New Delhi.  Because of this slight detour in my plans I was unable to attend my cousin’s wedding which would have also been an opportunity to meet a lot of my relatives. The good news is I’m invited to two weddings on December 15th so I’ll have a chance to see a India wedding and meet some relatives, just a little later down the road. I also missed the opportunity to visit with my uncle Amar whom I got along great with the weekend prior. I missed the opportunity to go explore New Delhi too but maybe I can figure out a few days to do that in January before I leave here. I have gotten a lot of invites from various relatives but unfortunately I won’t be able to see everyone  because most can only be visited on the weekend, and I still want to go visit Varanasi and Rajasthan and a few other places, so it will be tough to schedule everything in such a short time frame.

But mostly I feel bad for my mom and stepdad who have had to spend the last five days without me and for the most part just sitting around the apartment. I’m sure it’s not quite the vacation they had in mind. However on Wednesday we will fly to Bangalore to start our three week south India tour. Joining us will be mom and Steve’s friends Donnie and Lee. Should be a great time.

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