27 May 2016
Finally slept in until 6:45am; Sarah was already awake. Housekeeping entered the room & started cleaning. We just lounged around until brekky arrived at 7:30am: idly (2 nos) for each of us. We leisurely ate and read afterwards.
One of the first things Sarah mentioned this morning: ‘ahh it’s my sisters birthday today’. Unfortunately, Ayurvedic treatment discourages the use of phones & other electronics.
I’ve been reading the Fundamentals of Ayurvedic Medicine. Due to the book being translated into broken English, I encountered a difficult time reading and understanding the book. However, the concepts I retained from the book were: 3 dosas (vata, pitta, kapha) when balanced are responsible for your well being. These ailments are treatment with palliative therapies known as samana (med oils). Vata imbalance is treated with taila, pitta imbalance treated with ghrta/ghee, and medha/honey treats a kapha imbalance. The four main principles are bhisak, the physician who is an expert in his profession, the dravya: medicaments treating the illness, the upasthata, the nurse who has a sympathetic and kind disposition, and the rogi, the patient who is full of wealth, obedient, strong, and courageous. When your vata, pitta, kapha, are out of balance, the prognosis falls under two categories: sadhya and asadhya. Sadhya further divides into 3 categories: susadhya: easily curable, krchra sadhya: curable with difficulty, and yapya: incurable with long comfortable life with proper diet, nutrition, and treatment. Asadhya is an incurable disease that is fatal. Due to the broken English and limited knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine, this was the main concept I took away from that book.
Sarah had borrowed the book: Ayurvedic Healing for Women. We had spoken about the topics of the books we were reading, and I admitted to my difficulty of reading my book with the broken English and limited knowledge. She said ‘her’ book was much better written. I’m excited to start that one later today.
The time came for Sarah to go to treatment. I snuck away, used the internet, and even had the opportunity to FaceTime with dad. After the conversation, I headed out to explore the town.
I exited through the front gate ( all times prior I had exited through the back gate) and headed East on Trichy Road in search of a punjabi, textile shops, and sweets. I started the adventure with INR500 (500 Indian Rupe ~ $7.50). I attempted to buy a small sweet for INR 30 ~$0.45, but the smallest bill I had was INR500. I leisurely strolled in and out of shops viewing the different items in search of a punjabi. The colors and styles of punjabis differ from shop to shop, and there are so many choices it is difficult for me to decide. I continued walking, exchanged my money at a bank for smaller bills, and found a sweet shop that would give me 7 sweets for INR70 ~$1.05. I can show you pictures, but I can’t really describe the taste to you. However, the one thing I can do is tell you coconut was involved with the sweets. I walked 2 miles East on Trichy Road, then turned around and walked the 2 miles back. During this excursion, a young man on a motorcycle asked me to take his picture and offered me a ride. I took his picture and politely declined the ride. When I returned to the hospital, Sarah informed me that he probably wanted money for being my ‘model’ for the picture- oh the things you learn when you’re in other countries! Along the walk, I passed by two hospitals, numerous fruit stands on the side of the road, a group of boys playing a game (similar to cricket would be my guess), and an array of shops.
At 12:30pm, I returned to our room where lunch was waiting. We both had the rice with buttermilk curry. We are learning that all lunches are of a rice variety with different sauces. Even though it’s been less than a week since our arrival, I’m understanding the lack of variety when it comes to hospital food. It’s learning how my patients feel when they’ve been ‘stuck’ in the hospital for weeks at a time.
We ate. Sarah fell right into routine with her post prandial nap. At this point, I couldn’t shake the ache in my head and the ‘lightheadEdness, I experienced 1 mile into my walk. I attempted to read, walk, and stay awake to avoid sleeping in the middle of the day.
At some point, I passed out too. For me, it might have been the heat, the walk, jet lag catching up, &/or all the stimulation of a new environment. Either way- whatever it was- I napped for 2 hours. From the time I awoke from my nap to the time I went to bed, I didn’t do much, not much chit chatting, reading, walking- just in a zombie like state. Bedtime tonight: 8pm.