Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"excuuuse me?"

Pondicherry Institute of Medical Services (PIMS)
This is the name of the local hospital nearby. Sure we have great medical services in Auroville but it's a clinic. Lots of the girls have gone to Auroville clinic and received great help. Great help for UTI's, stomach issues, or headaches.
Why do I mention this you ask? Well I was fortunate enough to experience first hand the great medical services of Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India.

So the last time that I needed to be at the hospital was when I was a wee little baby almost near death with the Kawasaki disease. No I didn't make that disease up. Anyway.. The only time I go to my doctor, which is still my pediatrician, is for essential shots and that's pretty much it.
So during my stay here in India I'm taking malaria pills. Doxycycline. I have to take it religiously every day and even 28 days after I get back from India. My travel clinic doctor who prescribed me this medicine told me "DO NOT miss a day. You miss a day and you WILL get malaria". This man instilled so much fear in me that I make sure that I take my Doxy every day. One day I ALMOST forgot to take it but got that light bulb in my head right before I fell asleep so popped in it my mouth and went to bed. I sighed with relief thanking my great memory for letting me not forget.
The next morning I woke up with feeling as if the pill was still stuck in my throat. I've gotten this feeling with Nyquil before so I wasn't too worried. The next day came along and I still had that feeling in my chest. Along with that feeling, in the middle of morning yoga I got the sudden urge to throw up. From that moment forward I threw up absolutely everything all day long. I felt miserable but was in acceptance to the fact that I was in India and it was probably just the food.
I felt much better the next day but was STILL feeling as if the pill was stuck in my chest. Along with that feeling, everything I ate and drank was a painful experience. Being the stubborn person I am, especially with medical things I decided to wait it out.
My friend Michelle wasn't having it and even with my objections she googled it. When she googled it, it seemed like many people have experience similar things that I was experiencing. Still, google didn't give me a good remedy or did it comfort me in anyway. So I decided I could get some easy, quick fixes from my travel clinic doctor. *side note: my travel clinic doctor is someone i met once and literally just prescribed me malaria.
I call him and tell him that it feels like it's stuck in my chest. Without asking any questions on my symptoms or anything like that he says "You MUST go to the doctor right now. Not just a clinic but a hospital. This is a very serious matter that you need to get to a doctor immediately. This is very serious." I asked if there is a chance that it's not so serious or if he could tell me something a little more comforting and he responds with a quick no. So I go to my advisors and tell them that I think I need to go to the hospital. They wanted to just call the local doctor in to see what was wrong because in India the hospitals are not 24 hour. They do have standby nurses and they can call doctors but that would be for big emergencies. Seeing that I was living, breathing and my symptoms were not too dire, they wanted to talk to the travel clinic doctor for themselves and ask questions. As soon as they got off the phone my advisor looked me and said "okay you are going to the hospital". My heart sank and I was sure that I was going to have to go through some heavy duty stuff. My imagination took off without my consent and I was terrified. The taxi ride over to the hospital was a quiet and long one.
We walked into the hospital which seemed more like a dark and scary asylum of some sort. It was circular, the lights were all off or dimmed and the only thing that was going on was janitors sweeping the floor. It was so quiet. We went to the first nurse we saw and Martin, the program coordinator asks "excuse me we need to see a doctor" and she replies "why? what's wrong?" and he replies, "we have possible internal bleeding". I just look at him and say "WHAT?! excuse me?! internal bleeding?!" and the nurse responds "take her to Casualties" and then again i look at martin and ask, "EXCUSE ME? CASUALTIES?"

This is turning into a long story so long story short I ended up at the casualties section, was given a mysterious shot and sent on my way. The doctor just asked if I was pooing blood or throwing up weird things and I said no. He said that they usually prescribe antacids with doxycycline and that it is not an unusual thing. He said that I could do an endoscopy if I wanted (where they shove a camera down your throat) I thought I would go with this but after taking few days of antacids I felt much better. I also talked to my buddy Andrew Jones and he had the same problems and he is still alive. Basically I am shaking an angry, angry fist at my Travel Clinic doctor in Pasadena. I don't recommend him. He just scares the ants out of your pants. 

I would like you guys all to know that I am nearly 100% now and feeling back to my old self. =]
This was one of the scariest moments ever...
Until next time.....
poyt varen.