24 May 2016
Yes, it’s true, no need for the sleep sack. Even though the fan spun at high speed throughout the night, I used the sleep sack for security reasons as opposed to a cover for my body. Throughout the night crows were barking, birds were chirping, and the fan continued to spin.
I vaguely remember a conversation with Sarah with the lights on prior to sleep last night, but I don’t remember saying goodnight. I awoke at 4am without realizing I didn’t pay attention to the light switches yesterday. Therefore, I used the toilet without a light.
I exited the room, walked around (stayed within eyesight of the room), enjoyed the morning. Unfortunately, the light wasn’t bright enough to read, and as mentioned earlier, I didn’t pay attention to location of light switches, so I wasn’t able to read outside of our room.
At 6am, the medicine man delivered medication to all of the rooms. Even though I tried out be quick to answer the door, Sarah awoke. She attributes it to her light sleeping habits. As Sarah and I were both awake, we chit chatted for a bit, sat outside, and read a bit. At 7:15am, I returned to the room and slept of an additional 30 minutes. They delivered breakfast at 7:45am. We ate breakfast. When the man delivered the water, he inquired about spoons. The past couple of meals we ate with our hands because utensils were not presented to us with our food, and Indian tradition (or so I thought) was to be eaten with hands. The past couple of meals allowed us to eat with our hands as the dense food clumped together more easily. However on this particular morning, it was more of a grain/quinoa consistency. After breakfast, we lulled around: reading, writing, chit chatting. Many people entered the room, asking questions, examining Sarah. One doctor asked about my presence and my reasons for accompanying Sarah on her journey. He proceeded to inform me that I was able to partake in the treatments, and if I did not, I was a ‘Loser’. Sarah & I chuckled at this comment. After this, Sarah mentioned a recommendation mentioned to her about not sleeping during the day. I responded with ‘that’s for you, not me’, she gave me the ‘Sarah glare’. Since I came to support her in her endeavours, I realized she recommended this for me as well.
Throughout the time we spent at this compound, my eyes have been open from a new perspective. As I observed the interactions of the doctors, nurses, aides, housekeeping, kitchen staff, dieticians, treatment staff, etc, enter and exit our room without saying much, I’ve learned how important and comforting it is for a foreigner (like Sarah & myself) for the person entering the room to introduce themselves to us. Being an advocate for the patient (Sarah) as opposed to a member of the medical team may cause a change in the way I provide care to my foreign speaking patients and families. Another learning curve for me: Sarah doesn’t question the doctors, she doesn’t inquire about the medications, or understand the ways of the treatment. She knows that they work and follow the recommendations of the medical staff.
The dietician, Rajeshwari, entered our room to discuss the items of the menu, which would be easily digestible for Sarah. She reviewed each item. Before this, food had been delivered to our room, & we ate, not knowing exactly what we were eating. However, according to the website, all of the items on the menu are of the vegetarian variety. From here on out, I will try to identify and explain our food options.
A man from the temple arrived in our room, offered flowers and a leaf to Sarah, bowed his head, & offered a prayer (that’s my thought). He didn’t speak much English. Sarah looked at the contents- unsure of what to do with them. We admired them and placed them on our table.
Lunch arrived: variety of rice with different sauces along with a tortilla of the wheat variety with a side of papaya and pomegranate. The papaya and pomegranate were the first pieces of fruit I ate since leaving the states. The delicious food savoured my taste buds.
Between lunch & dinner, Sarah & I read, played card games, relaxed, and waited for the different staff to enter our room. We heard earlier that morning from one of the doctors that he was going to review Sarah’s file and return with a plan for treatment. However, at another point during the day, we heard Sarah’s first treatment would be at 3:30. We didn’t want to venture far from the room. My feet were still sore, & honestly, I enjoyed the relax full day full of resting my feet. At 3:30, a treatment lady, Subhadra, entered our room to take Sarah to the treatment center (on the compound- just down the hallway). On Sarah’s return to the room, she explained to me the details of the treatment and mentioned “she bathed me. I haven’t been bathed since I was an infant”. We played more cards, walked around the compound, chit chatted, and read for a bit. The medicine lady dropped off medication for Sarah to be consumed at 6p. Sarah informs me at this point that regularity of medicines, sleep, routine are important aspects of this treatment. The Ayurvedic Treatment Center recommends no reading, no internet, no long phone conversations, no sleeping during the day, and strict routine to ensure your mind plays a role in the healing process.
Dinner arrived: rice kichidi: rice based porridge. Prior to this, we had received tea and crackers, which I erroneously consumed an hour after it arrived, which filled me up prior to dinner. Even though I enjoyed the rice kidichi, I didn’t finish my meal.
After dinner, we played more cards, walked around the compound, read, chit chatted, and relaxed. Tonight I ‘clocked’ our leisurely walk around the compound: at a maximum of 1/4 miles- depending in the route.
We laid down for bed at 9am.