"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." Martin Buber
At the end of June I'm off again, for three weeks at a university in South Korea and a visit to Kyoto, Japan, then in August we will be in Guatemala looking at one of the world's greatest challenges: how to grow a lot of food sustainably on small farms. Come along!
Sunday, September 30, 2012
India # 12: Getting Sick and Getting Well
weeks of pushing hard, last week a cold I’ve been carrying for two weeks caught
up with me.After Patna, I’d been
looking forward to two nights at a Buddhist center in the place where Buddha
found enlightenment, Bodngaya, which is also in Bihar.Shasti, the head of Seija, had given me his
car and driver for the weekend, the ultimate luxury.But seven hours on dusty roads to get there
and back might have thrown me into pneumonia, for all I know, so regretfully I
canceled and returned to Bangalore two days early.
have pharmacies and pharmacists a lot of discretion. Transiting through the Delhi
airport I stopped at one for cough syrup and two remedies for reflux, about
three bucks.But the next day I know I
need a doctor and in steps innkeeper Oberi, the owner of my residence.
outside Altus Diagnotic, the doctor’s office he took me to, had already
intrigued me.It offers 13 specialties
in a tiny space. At one on a Sunday afternoon I immediately get to see Dr. Vivek
M. S., 35, and a diabetologist.In ten
minutes he writes five prescriptions plus instructions for inhalation therapy,
gargling and vitamin C.That will be $4
I then walk
across the street to Shanaaz Medicals next to the mosque, get the prescriptions
filled for $7.60. This has taken a total
of 15 minutes and I’ve walked a block from my place.
pollution had gotten to me, I think; riding business was a great urban immersion
but has taken its toll.So I take the
week off to recover.By Tuesday I feel well
enough to inviting Mr. Oberi over for scotch.This was not on the prescription list but a good time was had by both of
us.This also cements my decision to
remain at Casa Cottages for a second month.Oberi is from a famous Indian hotel family and he knows hospitality.The whole staff—and there must be a dozen,
more than he has rooms—is terrific.
I’ve stopped making progress, however (scotch?) and go back to Altus.This time I see Dr. A. A. Badami who is
older, is an internist specializing in communicable diseases and has recently
returned from ten years at the Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi.He wants an X-Ray which I get immediately on
a machine that goes back a long way.It
shows pneumonia in a small section of my lungs.So he extends my anti-biotic, adds a steroid and some other items and
now I am presented with my film and a bill for $l0.
obviously focusing on the low cost and speed of treatment I’ve received.The cost is nothing to me but consider what
this means to middle class Indians—affordable, quickly accessible care in the
middle of the city.I don’t understand
how this is possible but I’m wishing all the best to Altus Diagnostic--which makes
a Boise doc-in-a-box look like Walter Reid.
next three days I’m making good progress but will skip going to work until
Wednesday.Tuesday is another holiday —Happy
Birthday Mahatma Ghandi!