Saturday, April 4, 2009

Medical Issues April 4

This past week I’ve had exposure to a little bit of the medical community and it’s practices here in Delhi. My tooth filling fell out and I was told of a dentist I could go see, Dr. Teena Bedi. For a  fifteen minute auto-rickshaw drive to her office I first paid 60 rupees, or about $1.50 CDN. (as I discovered today when I actually had the meter turned on, a rare event, I over paid by about 50 cents.)

Dr. Bedi’s office was neat, clean, with beige and brown colour scheme.  It is not the kind of squeaky clean, well lit office you’d find in North America but she had the familiar modern dentistry equipment.  But Dr. Bedi is a very pleasant woman who explained everything she was doing.  The filling was a minor issue as she couldn’t help but notice my most recent extraction (that happened just before I left BC).  The gap in my teeth is hindering my chewing ability and my cheek tissue is often moving into the empty space and being chewed upon.  So we agreed that I have a bridge put in at a cost of 13,500 rupees or about $340 CDN. So the work began.  She took an impression of my teeth and adjusted a filling.  On the next visit she filed down the two adjacent teeth that would hold the bridge and put on temporary caps. Today I went in for a fitting of the bridge but she was not satisfied with the fit and took another impression and I will go back Monday for another fitting before the final installation.

My next incursion was due to one of the volunteers, Patrick, who had just came back from a trip in Nepal and brought with him a very bad gastro-intestinal bacteria that sent him to the hospital.  Patrick is from Amsterdam and has been working in Ranchi for almost a year.  So knowing he was alone here I took off an afternoon class and went to visit him at the hospital. Getting to the hospital was fun too as I took a auto-rickshaw to the closest metro (subway) station to get there.  I had been on the metro before with Michael so I knew the routine.  It’s a modern, clean and air conditioned system that is easy, even for a Westerner to use.  You pay by distance so you buy a token to the station you’re going to.  You slide the token over a sensor on the way in and it opens the gate. On the way out you slide the token over the sensor and then put it in the slot to open the gate. Hence if you went further than you were supposed to the gate won’t let you out.  The hospital from the outside doesn’t resemble a hospital you might recognize, it looked more like a small apartment house with few windows. Inside this small building was the usual lines of people in narrow corridors.  The reception told me where Patrick was and I climbed the stairs to his room.  The hallways were painted an eerie light blue colour.  I knocked and went in to Patrick’s small room, sort of large walk-in closet size with one bed.  There was a TV which Patrick was glad to have, having not watched any for the past 7 months.  During my visit two nurses came in to put a new IV line into him and took his temperature and blood pressure.  Later a young boy came in to ask me if I needed anything like a coffee or drink. Patrick, now having had a good dose of antibiotics was on the mend and was feeling ok when I left him.

Yesterday evening we all went to John’s, a Dutch vol is working here in Delhi, for a party.  John can afford to pay for his own very nice large modern apartment and he treated us all to a fine spread of food and hospitality.

It’s the weekend and I will take it easy, having had some queasy stomach issues from eating too much oily deep fried food.

My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher.  - Socrates



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