Friday, March 2, 2012

At This Rate I'll Never Get Off Bedrest

It's 2 AM here and I'm too upset to sleep. I got really sick last week with a stomach infection and then had some complications and the doctor extended my bed rest and increased my medicines, including putting me back on daily shots. It's weird to say medicines though because he has me on a course of several vitamins, probiotics and synthetic hormones. None of which have any real medicinal effect except the baby aspirins. I'm really not a good sick person and I must say I've done almost everything this doctor has told me to do. I've kept my butt glued to this bed for almost the entire two weeks. I had one 2 hour trip out to the mall and down the stairs for 1 shower. The only other rule I've broken is because I truly believe this doctor is a dumbass sometimes.

He told hubby not to let me eat chicken because the human body can't digest chicken. Now I know that the human body does have trouble digesting some meats and so in my anger over hearing this I got online and researched - not Google! I got into my university library and went through medical journals and books and I found without a doubt that the human body can indeed digest chicken without much trouble and even the Indian government says babies as young as 9months old can have chicken. So I kept eating chicken. Seriously, where else would I get protein because I'm not allowed to have beans and his diagnosis on those was dead on. Yes, they don't call beans/lentils the musical fruits for nothing. I can't afford to harbor too much air in my midsection right now so chicken was my only other source of protein besides nuts and you just can't eat but so many of those before you're sick of them or your blood pressure sky rockets from the salty ones.

Well, I was due to get off bed rest tomorrow and today I got sick again. I had an orange and a can of mixed fruit today and that is it. I only ate that much to take my pills because I'm not hungry and my stomach is soured again. What makes me the maddest about this is that, per doctors orders, I stopped eating outside food almost completely and I've only eaten home food. I had outside food once this week because no one was home, everyone had went out of town for a retirement ceremony and hubby came home from work late and didn't feel up to cooking.

So unfortunately for me it would seem home food is not as safe as outside food. That's backwards I know but the reason I quit eating home food last year is because I kept getting sick. I worked hard to only eat food I cooked myself or go out to nicer restaurants and I managed to not get sick the entire winter (2 months). Then I get put on bed rest and had to eat MIL's food or starve and now I've been sick twice in two weeks. And I don't mean 2 days of being sick.

On Wednesday I asked for potatoes, peas and paneer sauteed in a little bit of butter and salted. Hubby got the butter out for his mother and told her how to make the stuff for me. When she brought it up 90 minutes later it smelled odd, tasted odd and felt odd in my mouth -meaning the potatoes had a weird texture, kinda spongy and almost burfi textured without all the sugar. I swear she added ghee which I'm not able to digest very well. I messaged hubby and we had a mini discussion and he was sure she didn't add any ghee but I know it didn't taste like butter and my stomach started hurting by the time I took the 3rd bite. I had no choice but to eat or go hungry for the rest of the day and hubby has had to pull a lot of long hours lately. So I ate them.

Thursday MIL was gone and I went until about 4PM with no food. I finally had a granola bar I managed to dig out of the snack basket I set by my bed. I wanted something with at least some nutritional value. Hubby came home on time and cooked me maggi type noodles with some chopped veggies (cooked, not raw). I ate all of it and was fine the rest of the night. This morning I woke up and felt fine but really sleepy. So I took my morning pills and ate another granola bar and did some work then fell asleep.

When I woke up I had an orange and my stomach soured again. I lost all my appetite and had hubby call the doctor again (this was only the 5th time since Monday he's had to call because I'm having so many problems) and he said just keep taking the same medicines and get some rest. Okay fine. I'm not happy with that but fine, what else can I do. I'm stuck here in the bed with no ride anywhere because all the drivers in the family were at work.

As the evening progressed I got really sick. I'm not supposed to go up and down stairs to begin with but I had no choice but to race down the stairs 4 times! I hadn't eaten, I was very weak and now really sick. And thus started the verbal sewage of vocabulary that comes out of my mouth when I'm pushed past my limits. India seems to do that to me a lot but never so bad as this time. I pitched a massive fit with hubby and said some things I had not ever said to him because, even though they were true, it's inappropriate in my culture to say them.

That's right, I went off about his mother, his aunt and this house. He didn't like it but I held my ground because some of these things I've been trying to gently tell him about and he's not listening. Others I've fussed about before but never in such a mean way. I completely lost all of my southern belle hospitality and just went off. I've really reached my breaking point and I can't seem to put the pieces back together anymore. Living here is more than I can deal with.

During the argument I found out MIL had been sick and had been coming up here and sharing her germs like it didn't matter. This is common in joint families. No one seems to understand anti-bacterial or sanitization in this house. I've been putting my foot down on a lot of these things she does in anticipation of this healing period knowing that it won't take much to put me in a critical position. Obviously, she didn't care when hubby warned her ahead of time.

I don't know what her problem is lately but she's just about completely destroyed any respect I have for her. She's a sweet woman in many ways but I tied up a trash bag the other day and she untied it right in front of me. Earlier this evening she came in the room and I faked sleeping because I didn't want to be bothered and she started going through stuff in my room (the non locking areas) and trying to wake me up verbally. I didn't respond because I wanted her to go away. Instead she came over to my side of the bed and proceeded to wake me up and ask me for something I didn't even understand. Yes, I was fake sleeping but that doesn't make it any less disrespectful. She knew damn well I'm sick today because hubby had already come home and told her he was going out to get medicine for me. She knew he would be right back so she had absolutely no reason to bother me. It's not like I can get up and help her search my room.

That was one of the things I went off to hubby about, this time right in front of her. Our argument started while she was watching so I know he told her stop searching the room and I know he told her about her lack of cleaning. Call it what you want but she's one of many MIL's I know of who thinks rinsing a dish in water makes it clean again. So hubby has brought dirty dishes up here for me to eat off of not even realizing they were dirty. The food was visible and stuck there but he didn't notice it.

At this point I honestly have to say I fear for my life here. I know not everyone's situation will be the same as mine. I have an autoimmune disorder that I had learned to manage and not have trouble with in the US. Unfortunately in India I don't think it will ever be possible for me to survive given the filthy conditions in this city. I have no desire to move elsewhere either because I know people who live in the bigger cities that have similar health problems that never go away. (Delli belly obviously didn't get it's name from a smaller city either.) I've started dropping weight again and I don't have that much left to lose before I'm too thin. My bones are popping and cracking and I am extremely vitamin deficient. I break out often in small red bumps from allergic reactions and I pretty much stay weak all the time.

Once I get well and off of bed rest and pending my upcoming tests results I'm seriously considering paying the money to change my flight and leave here as early as possible. I'm way past my limit on what I can put up with and no amount of hospitality or in-law niceness is enough to make up for the filth I have to live with on a daily basis or the sicknesses I keep getting. I think I've more than done my fair share to try and learn to adjust. I'm done. And that's exactly what I told hubby. No, I don't mean divorce. I'm just not willing to continue to suffer like this any longer. I will gladly go back to the US, take on a crappy job that never pays enough and take whatever stress comes my way. India has not even been close to the relaxing or renewing place I was promised it would be.

I know this has gotten long but I had one more thought. Uncle ji told me that India is completely polluted and I need to learn to eat spices so it can kill the germs and I won't get sick as much. The doctor forbid me to eat spices though. So I guess that means I'm screwed. Of course he's right. India was just recently named as the most polluted country in the world. I think what bothered me most about that statement is that instead of cleaning this country up, people are only concerned with eating more spices to combat the effects of the pollution. Seems counterproductive doesn't it?


  1. ((((Hugs)))) I would get out of there as soon as possible too, you need to take care of your health, and for Dr to claim human body can't digest chicken! To me this is "Quack Alert", is there anyway that in the mean time you could go to another Dr that might not necessarily be a specialist but one with a fair enough grasp of your condition to get a second opinon?

    I would suggest also getting a small pan and a hot plate in your room, so that you can cook yourself a few simple basis without having to go downstairs, these won't take much space, and it might actually save you from food poisoning.

  2. I like you. I think you have put up with a lot. That said, you are clearly a pain in the ass for this poor family. Seriously, I think you have the right instinct to go back home.  I also think that when you get back some therapy might be helpful. I have read you for a while now and keep trying to feel empathy but ultimately, it's difficult when you feel  so sorry enough for yourself already! It's like an accident that's hard to look away from. Take charge--something, anything! As individuals, we are ultimately responsible for our own happiness. I say this with the best of intentions. Please.

  3. Hey 

    Its gill. You changed the blog.
    My third month " reading your adventures". But really, looks like nothing's really changed. Instead things seem to be getting out of control. I wrote a very long reply for you but deleted it since I dont want to add salt to your situation. I really shouldn't have wrote my second long comment. But anyways I am not posting it here.
    Also, you are friends with nicky now. Good thing for you.
    May god cure your illness soon
    And once again, YOU ARE GREAT honestly :)

  4. I have been reading your blog for while and do empathize with your situation. But I honestly think that you need to stop generalizing about all Indians being filthy based on your family's experience. It is really not fair. I know of many more families that have a very high level of hygiene. As for doctors my experience with the doctors here in the united states has not been so great. They will barely talk to you or listen they just seem to have no time. One is in and out of the office in 5 mins.That is not a great experience either. Anyway I just wished you would stop generalizing India and Indians. I wish you the best with your health issues and hope that you get the immediate care you need.

  5. As bad as it sounds, I've started diagnosing myself. There are some things I don't know but a lot I do. So I've taken some matters into my own hands and using India's relaxed standards to my advantage. I went and had some bloodwork done this morning. You're right this doctor is awful but that is the norm here. I called several other physicians this week and they refused to see me because they consider what he started as continuing care, even after I told them I'm no longer his patient and his work is done. Now I just have to wait for all my test results to come in and then I'll move on from there.

    Rohit and I worked out some cooking issues as well and I do now have things in my room I can make myself without too much moving around. I guess it would seem an emotional fit worked in this case lol. I don't like those but sometimes can't contain them.

  6. Lol. You're absolutely right. The more I have to put up with, the more of a pain in the ass I am. I'm learning how to play this game and using their tricks to my advantage as well. I am actually already in contact with a therapist I had seen in the past. I like therapists, and this one is particularly good at helping me work through my own issues. In reference to your accident statement, I often tell Rohit that moving here was the start of a slow, painful death sentence. >:D I don't like what India has turned me into at all. This is not the me I want to be and I will be leaving soon. I already have my ticket sitting beside my bed to remind me that I don't have long left.

  7. Hi Gill! Thanks for the compliment. You're right, not much has changed except after spending almost 2 months infection free I'm now getting sick repeatedly. Your long comments don't bother me. I can handle objective, even conflicting opinions as long as they're not rude. The only time I've disagreed with what you said was when you said Rohit didn't love me because I didn't talk about him enough. The focus here is about what someone could go through when moving into a different culture and experiencing culture shock. I didn't see where too much relationship information fit but you made me realize I'm wrong. It's not fair or well balanced if I don't mention these things in my blog because then the world is missing out on many amazing aspects of Indian culture that I have yet to find elsewhere. If you look back over the last 2 months you'll see I've began posting our memories as well. Good things do happen here, just not often enough to keep me from blowing a fuse and exploding like a stick of dynamite.

  8. Hi Kristy, adapting to a new country is really hard I know, especially when it's completely the opposite way of life that we are used to. Feeling sick all the time is really depressing especially when you are continually getting infections and sick from food.

    As you know I have also had food poisoning here 5 times in one year and have spent many day's in bed resulting in kidney problems. Just like you I have a really hard time living here in Amritsar and looking forward to returning home at the end of May.

    Some western people can come to India and just fit in and others like ourselves have a terrible time. I really feel for you and just want you to know that I'm just a phone call away if you need me.

    Please take care, you and Rohit will be fine and the future will work out!

    Lots of hugs!!!! Nicky.

  9. I empathize so much with most of your dietary concerns and I just feel so terrible for you and that your family there isn't understanding of them. I really wish there was something...anything I could do to help your situation. Every time I read your blog it reminds me of how much trouble I had with food while I was there and how isolated and lonely I could feel while being constantly surrounded by people and my senses being overstimulated and assaulted at every turn. I have only ever had to deal with it for a month at a time so I know you must feel exponentially worse. For now I will just pray and try and send healing thoughts your way.

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