Monday, February 13, 2012

Having Surgery in a Developing Country

That's what I'm doing today. Possibly even as you're reading this post depending on where in the world you are and what time it is, etc. So this post was scheduled a few days ago and it will also serve as my monthly update for my 13 month anniversary which is on the 15th.

You may have noticed a lot of random posts that weren't about my life this past month and that's because I was out a considerable amount having medical things done and being a pincushion at the doctors office. I've had over 30 shots, injections and blood draws in the last 3 weeks alone. I took pictures of my arms to show you all but the pictures just don't do it justice. You couldn't see the bruising around each shot area. It's rough. The shots itched for a few minutes and the injections hurt, sometimes for more than 24 hours after getting them. It's been a very rough month.

The minor surgical procedure I'm having could have been done in some other country had my own life circumstances allowed me to travel and go through it elsewhere. However, since that wasn't an option for hubby and I (because his visa was denied after a 2 question interview), I was pretty much stuck having it done here. This scares me for many reasons. Let me give you the short list:
  • The doctors here are much rougher than in the US - and there is virtually no communication between the doctor and the patient during treatment. 
  • The equipment here is outdated by about 15 years and even then full equipment is not always available (so for example they may have only one kind of ultrasound machine attachment).
  • The facilities are FAR from hygienic and I've already had enough infections this year, I don't want any more. 
  • There is very little customer service in any aspect. As I already posted I got in a huge fight with several of the staff at this facility and since then it has improved in that they actually talk to me and answer questions when I have them but they are still rude (not just to me, it's others as well), unorganized and generally rotten (well, most of them...because one loves me now since I went off of Ms. McLoving and 2 others took my side and are friendly as well - apparently they didn't like her either and thought she deserved what she got.)
And before someone posts of how I should have went to a metro city to get this done, let me explain why that wasn't possible either. Hubby has damn near lost his job a few times this past month trying to keep up with all the appointments already. I am at the doctor daily and for the last week it's been twice a day. Had we went to another city, we would have to have stayed there for the full 3 weeks because just transportation alone would have taken up too much time by train (7 hours each way) and too much money by air ($140/7280 INR each per trip or $5880/305,760 INR total). Hubby would have had to quit his job to make all those trips and that is a huge taboo here in India. Not to mention, how are you going to pay all those medical and travel bills with no job then keep up paying expenses afterwards while you look for another job? It wouldn't be the smart choice to quit your job and go live in a hotel for 3 weeks - well, longer because before these 3 weeks we were going every few days since October (those trips are not factored into the costs above).

I have barely been able to work either because the shots and injections are making me sick daily, causing headaches and generally debilitating me. Even my FB and email has been suffering and that's not normal for me at all. I haven't kept up with housework (like putting away clothes and shoes, cooking or dusting) because I'm not capable. I have limited motion in my right shoulder and I'm quite weak. Unfortunately the medicines causing all that trouble are necessary and those side effects are normal. I've lost 4 KG in the last week alone because I'm barely able to eat and not able to cook for myself. I have some pretty intense dietary restrictions as well that MIL can't quite grasp so when she's tried to cook for me, I haven't been able to eat it for many reasons. So I'm living off of granola bars, chips and oranges mostly. (I'm not complaining about my MIL either. There are too many things I can't eat right now and I don't know how to translate all of them. She did try a few times but gave up when I wasn't able to eat anything she could cook.)

All that aside, I did go out a few times this month with friends and no matter how bad I felt, even death would not have kept me from those meetups. While I was out I was able to forget about a lot of the challenges I've been facing this past few months and just enjoy some great English only conversation. I've also had some really good food that hubby has brought in or taken me out for on our way to/from the doctors office.

I feel bad for hubby because this month has been really stressful on him as well even though I'm the one experiencing all the pain. It's quite a challenge keeping up with all the doctor visits, work, his family's chores, the drama in the house, my hormones and stress over it all and more. He's a trooper but has said to me earlier this week he feels like he can't take much more.

All that being said, I do have a few more scheduled posts that hopefully aren't as dull as some of the ones from the past month have been. I'm hoping its enough to get me through this next phase. I'll be getting a lot of rest and it's possible I'll be around but I can't be sure and I'm committed to having a post up every day here on the blog. Bear with me, I will be back up and running fairly soon I hope. I'm also quite sure I'll have tons to post because I'm going to be stuck in the house for 2 full weeks on bed rest after this procedure and I'm quite sure it's going to drive me crazy. Thanks for sticking with me through the tough times!


  1. Get well Kristy, make sure you take care of yourself and get plenty of rest.

    Nicky Singh.

  2. get well soon and take care !! happy (hearts) day and have a great day :))

  3. My best wishes for your good health ! 4 kgs in one week sounds pretty bad though. About the lack of good facilities -- sometimes one has to put up with all this, but the human body is hardy enough to tolerate such trivial things ... we have endured far harsher conditions for 2-3 million years and survived. compared to that Amritsar is heaven.

    Keep a cheery mood and all will be well !

  4. Take care of yourself girl, and I know what you mean about antiquated equipment in some clinics...been there, in some places even the examination tables are creepy. 

  5. For all firangs(goras/goris) who still want a faqs for travel to india......good read

  6. Thank you, been working on it even if it is driving me a little crazy! lol

  7. Thank you. All went well to okay (some things better than others lol). I'm not quite sure I would compare Amritsar to heaven compared to what people have been through in history but, that could be because the longer I'm here the more I hate it lol. I'm thinking it's more like the outer circle of hell - so it could be worse, but not by much. ;) just kidding!