Day 3 of treatment for Sarah: Sarah awoke with a headache/migraine, but treatment must go on. After treatment, she mentioned she feels better after the treatment. Granted, she is always in pain, but she does think the treatments are working. Her energy levels are down, and she feels weak. However, she expected that with Ayurveda treatment.
Brekky: Idly (steamed rice patties) & pongal. We shared. As we were eating, I asked Sarah how she would describe the consistency of idly to another. Her response “dense & spongelike”. Idly is steamed rice shaped into a ‘fly saucer’. Honestly, I’m not sure how to explain it.
After brekky, we chit chatted, lounged, read, etc. Dr. Dinil arrived for morning rounds. He said that Sarah was in the peak of treatment, so she should be feeling tired and weak with low energy levels as her body is ‘detox’-ing. He doesn’t expect her to experience much progress at this point. He prescribed ‘capsules’ for Sarah to increase her rest/sleep as she experiences broken sleep at night.
At 11am, I ventured off to explore the streets of India. Theme of the day: unknown- many ideas raced around in my mind, but I didn’t decide on one. I continued capturing the experience through pictures. I walked and walked and walked- through residential streets, alleyways, main streets- all without a map. At some point I came across a bike shop. I entered and viewed all of the bikes. Upon discussing the possibility of renting a bike for an extended time, I found the mechanic who had a bike in the garage he rented to me. I’ll admit: it isn’t the prettiest, it isn’t the most efficient, it isn’t my first choice, but it’s a BIKE! Bike: fully equipped with brakes, bell, basket, and air in the tires. I hopped on the bike & rode away: beautiful!
I continued riding and riding and riding and riding. I explored places I’d never seen before. I just rode. I didn’t have my odometer to track my speed or distance, but a smile filled my face. I found a couple of places I’ve been meaning to explore (on foot), but I couldn’t tell you how to get there. I lost my way a couple of times. There was a point where I was wanted to get back to AVP! The sun shined on me, the heat burned my arms, and my legs were tired. After 3.5 hours of being out in the heat, I finally came across a recognizable place. I biked back to AVP – just in time for afternoon tea.
The first thing I did: rinsed off. At this point, I realized I haven’t taken an actual shower since leaving the states. In our room at AVP, we have a non working shower head in the bathroom. Therefore, our ‘showers’ (or my showers as Sarah is bathed daily by her therapists) consist of water coming out of a faucet at waist level and using buckets and pitchers to rinse off our bodies. Now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t think Sarah has used ‘our shower’.
Between afternoon tea and din din, we lounged, read, chit chatted – the usual. At 6:30pm, I attended a lecture on the Braj Foundation (www.brajfoundation.com) presented by Vineet Narian. When Sarah signed me up for it, we didn’t know. It was in the conference room above the outpatient clinic- Sarah wasn’t permitted to attend due to ‘house arrest’. The lecturer’s accent made it difficult for me to understand him, but from what I gathered it involves the Hare Krishnas restoring/preserving the holy sights in Northern India.
Sarah waited to dine with me as we wanted to try Veg Oopthapam tonight. While she waited, she curiously researched the dish the dietician ordered for her: Arrow Root Khanji. In the book ’Ayurveda: A Life of Balance’ by Maya Tiwari, she found arrow root to be an uncommon ingredient. ”Arrowroot: the root of the arrowroot plant is best known for it’s starch which is used as a food thickener (use cold water or other liquid to dissolve)”. We had a hay day about her food thickener dinner mixed with water (the Khanji). She did mention ‘this is what I expected when I came here’ to which I replied ‘glad they are living up to your expectations’.
After dinner, we stayed awake until 9pm and fell asleep. We realized the noises are significantly decreased if we close the door, not just he screen. However, on this night, we had a cat meowing outside of our window. Oh the joys of being away from home.