1 June 2016 – writing style changed #savvytraveleraj224asia2016

1 June

Day 2 of main treatment for Sarah: 75 minutes of treatment with 6 therapists working on her followed with 30 minutes of quietness & stillness of laying on the bed without the fan to ‘recover’ from treatment.

Breakfast: Idly for both of us. At times my tummy growls in the morning before Sarah returns from treatment, but I fight through the hunger pains. I wait to eat breakfast with Sarah as I already leave her alone to eat solo at dinner time as I venture down to the canteen.

After breakfast: the usual: playing cards, chit chatting, reading, lounging, resting, passing time. The doctor (Dr. Nagarajan) visited with Sarah to discuss progress. Sarah mentions she feels ‘less sore’ after treatment today than yesterday. She did not request a heat pack for the pain this morning as she did yesterday morning.

We played the longest game of UNO with a deck of 52 cards today. We were lounging out on the corridor, Sarah suggested a card game. I dealt for UNO (we’ve adapted with our resources). Within 2 minutes, Sarah yells ‘UNO’, but I didn’t let her end the game that easily. The play continues for an additional 15 minutes as we both yelled out ‘UNO’ a couple of times. By the time I laid down my final card, Sarah said ‘Finally’. Longest game of UNO, but we managed. We also discussed how the strategy of the game changes as cards are being played and then continuously shuffling of the deck throughout the game. In the original game of ‘UNO’, multiple & repeating colors and numbers exist. However, with a 52 card deck, only 2 colors and 4 of each numbered card. Learning experience.

As I dressed, I felt ‘tags’ on my clothes. As I realized that these little plastic things, and my tags had to be cut off to rid my body of the irritation they caused. It surprised me I hadn’t noticed this before. Mind you: the majority of my clothes here are on their last leg and ready to be trashed. Therefore, they have been well worn, not flattering in any means. Sarah also traveled with her ‘throw away’ clothes. We both have about 4 outfits. However, I feel like Sarah and I will exchange some clothes and return with a ‘new’ wardrobe. My India/Sri Lanka wardrobe will contain different articles of clothing than my Thailand/Vietnam wardrobe. I’ll keep you updated. Back on track: the tags on my clothes were the tags the laundry service applied to the clothes. Housekeeping laundered our clothes the other day. Therefore, we used our ‘back up’ / pajamas as our clothes were away from us for 24 hours. On another side note: Antima (the lady from Isha Yoga) was scheduled to leave, so she gave each of us a pair of track pants. Sarah and I have been wearing these too- our wardrobes are already changing . . . slightly. Note: when traveling, pack light – especially if you’re backpacking.

Lunch: vegetable rice. The only thing in the menu for lunch: rice variety. Sarah and I joked about liking rice – even though we might not like it after this hospital stay. However, if you ask my father, I think he will tell you I’ve been eating rice for years (leaving enough rice on the table that when you remove my plate, you can tell where I’ve been sitting), I’ll probably still like it when I return from the adventure.

After lunch, Sarah fell into her post prandial rest time, and I walked around the city exploring. With the realization I’m here for another 3 weeks, I’ve attempted to ‘play a game’ to help the time pass. Even though I can exit the hospital daily, my feet can only take me so far. Therefore, I’ve created a ‘THEME OF THE DAY’ for my viewing pleasure. The topic of today is: how many people can you fit on a scooter? As I explore the city on foot, I watch for the maximum amount of people on a scooter and shoot a picture. I’ll be posting these pics on Instagram (amberj224) with my hashtag (#savvytraveleraj224asia2016). As the days continue, I’ll create new themes. If you have any ideas or interests you’d like to see, please contact me.

Ideas: shoes; food; traditional vs western dress for men/women; menu items; US food chains in India;

As usual, I returned to AVP for afternoon tea. We added another American to our daily afternoon chit chats: Kath. As I’m using this experience to broaden my nursing career intelligence, I’ve asked her if I can observe the interaction of her with the medical staff. She agreed. The interactions between the medical staff and Kath differ from how Sarah interacts with them. Sarah has traveled and experienced a language barrier in the places she has lived in the past couple of years, which was evident to me as I observed Kath’s interactions. Kath uses conversational English when speaking with a non native English speaker whereas Sarah uses simple English, speaks softly, and more slowly. During these observations, I’ve learned to use simple English, use hand gestures & body language, speak soft, and speak slow for the non native speaker to understand. Sarah still tops the charts among the 3 of us.

Dinner: khanji (rice & water) for Sarah for solo dining in the room as I ventured out the Canteen for Moong Dhal Dosa, the special of the night. Moon Dhal Dosa is a dose created with green gam, which gives it a slight green in color. After eating my first one, I ordered a second one as I knew it would be another week before I had the opportunity to experience it again. The spice and deliciousness of the Canteen food far surpasses the ‘hospital’ food delivered to the room. I’m loving this food, but during my walk today, I searched for places to eat within 1/4 mile (or 400 meters) of AVP to eat ‘non hospital’ food.

Post dinner: chit chat, read, card playing, lounge. As Sarah and I were chit chatting, we were discussing her treatments, her energy (or lack thereof) levels, pain, and overall experience with AVP. She mentioned ‘If I don’t get an enema while I’m here, I’ll feel jipped’. As a nurse, I chuckled at this comment because I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone suggest an enema for themselves as treatment, maybe a punishment, not treatment.

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