Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dengue Fever and the Indian Head Wobble

Well, I haven't kept up with my posting because I am just getting over Dengue Fever! Last week we went back to New Delhi for a few days. Matt had to work, and we planned to go to the Red Fort on Saturday. However, plans changed drastically when I woke up on Saturday with a fever of 103.  Imagine a flu on steroids. I first started feeling icky that Friday night...really tired and my arms felt sore. Then Saturday came the entire body aches, chills, pain in the back of my eye like two giant headaches, and nausea. 

I stayed in bed sick until Monday, and that's when I finally gave into Matt's plea to take me to the hospital. I was trying to convince myself I was just adjusting to the hygiene here, or maybe got sick from the orphanage. But  when I got to the E.R. at Fortis Hospital, apparently my symptoms pointed straight to Dengue. They did a test to confirm, and Matt thought it was great that I got such a tropical disease. He thinks it makes a good story...

I was able to go back to the hotel in Delhi that day, but had to monitor my blood platelet count.  Normal is around 150,000 and mine was 99,000.  I went in every day that week to get my blood taken, and by Wednesday I wasn't much better and my count was 69,000 so I was admitted. I had to stay in the hospital Wednesday and Thursday night.  Getting fluids and medicine from an IV helped so much. By Thursday night I was bored and antsy, and on Friday I was definitely ready to leave and get back to our apartment in Jaipur. 

The hospital system in India is very interesting. It seems to be the one time where having too many people on staff comes in handy. I was able to walk right into the E.R. and be seen right away. It is also very cheap, and you just pay cash.  I haven't quite figured out if there is insurance here or how that works, but I got my blood tests for about $3, and prescription medicine for about $2. The only expensive part is the cost to stay overnight.

While in the hospital, I was presented with the head wobble situation which Indian's do constantly! The head wobble is a mystery to me and most Americans. They wobble their heads when they agree with you, or when they don't understand, or when they don't want to tell you "no", or...the list goes on and on. If there was just one type of head wobble with only one meaning, it would be a lot easier. However, the head wobble is a delicate thing. I think I mistake the head wobble as the "I understand what you're saying" type, but really it means "I have no idea what you're saying to me, so I will shake my head and walk away," In this case, I end up thinking they know what I mean, but never come back with what I wanted.

When we were trying to check out of the hospital, I made it very clear from the night before that we needed to check out at 9:15 am. This was crucial because we had to catch our already once missed flight from Delhi to Jaipur.  After explaining this to many nurses and doctors, and getting many head wobbles, no one would discharge me! The problem is that no one will do a job that they don't think is their responsibility. A doctor won't fix my I.V. because it's the nurses job, the nurse won't pass along the message to discharge me because it is someone else's job, and on and on.  To make a long story short, when we finally decided to walk out after hours and hours of our request to leave being ignored, we were swarmed with hospital security. It was SO frustrating. It was the first time I saw Matt get American mad, but it was justified as I had been ignored for so long.


To help you understand the wobble, the link below will take you to a video showing the various head wobbles.

Video explaining the wobble


Although I didn't get to see any sights in Delhi, I'll leave you with a few photos I have taken recently.






These are from the top floor of our apartment.  I wish we were higher up in our building to see these great views, but the higher the floor, the more pigeons there are, so I'll settle for minimal pigeon poop.


I also posted a video of a snake charmer Matt saw in Delhi. I was very jealous I didn't get to see this!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! To all my teacher friends - have fun on  your first day of school!

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy you are doing much better! I was praying for you every second of everyday! I told your dad I was going to fly out if you didn't start feeling better soon. It has been a busy week at loon lake because your New Jersey cousins have been in town. I promise to email or send you a package soon. Stay well and safe. Love you both!

    ~ Lisa

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