Sunday, September 30, 2012

An Ailing Nurse Finally Bites the Bullet and Sees a Doctor in India - September 30, 2012

This last week of September has not been my finest in India.  I'm sure 
you don't want to hear a full description of all my miseries but I'm bored.
It started with "motion" which is the term used for diarrhea, in this fine country.
It certainly is a description word.  I was in motion, internally and externally!
I started out taking my Immodium and offered thanks to all the gods
and goddesses that the distance from my bed to the bathroom was 
only about ten feet.  When Sangeeta came for my massage, she 
commented that my body felt "very hot".  My good friend, Ajay, at the
Umaid Mahal Hotel and another friend, out  of town, kept insisitng I
see a doctor.  With equal force, I said, "no way".  I did ask my landlady,
Madhulika, for advice and she provided me with "motion" medication
from her doctor.  After a few doses, it did the trick.....much too well.  I
now had the opposite problem.  From motion,  I went to slow motion to
no motion at all.  And my masseuse kept telling me, "Your body feels
very hot."

FINALLY, I did go to the bathroom.  Had I really eaten boulders?  I was
feeling very weak and dizzy.  When Sangeeta came for my massage and
commented that there was bright red blood dripping down my leg, she
grabbed a towel and made me promise to see a doctor.  I didn't need 
any more convincing.  Ajay Shekhawat, at the Umaid Mahal Hotel, told
me that Dr. Galundia treats the royal family of Jaipur.  "Okay, okay, I'm
going," I said.  My friend, Ranjeet Bhati, sent one of his drivers and I was 
soon on my way to Galundia Clinic, "Travallers Panacea" said the sign over
 the door.  I had my doubts as I walked down the dark hallway and then down 
some stairs, into the waiting room.

A pretty lady had me fill out appropriate papers, copied my passport and
insurance cards ( though I didn't have traveler's insurance and Medicare
and Blue Shield won't cover my visit ) and I sat down to wait.  Dr. Galundia
( I assumed it was him ) sat directly across from the waiting room, in a
far-from-fancy office ).  While I waited, two beautiful women in colorful saris
came in with the cutest little girl who smiled shyly at me when I tickled her

The above is the "sister" - the office nurse.  I have had a headache rarely
in my life but I had a splitting headache that day I told Dr. Galundia I had been
off one of my antihypertensives, the extended release calcium channel blocker, 
for ten days, having just restarted it about a week previously.  I had been on
my other antihypertensive continuously.  My BP was 180/90, not good ( losing
that twenty-five pounds didn't help in the BP department! ).  Dr. Galundia had 
the nurse give me a sublingual med which brought it down immediately to 
158/80. I've been an RN forty-five years but I am still blown away by the "magic"
of medications and the brilliance of health care professionals who can keep
up with them!

This is the clinic's exam room with two beds.  It is certain different from those 
fancy places in the U. S. that are unaffordable for the average patient who
doesn't have insurance.  I didn't really feel well enough to look around but
I might ask more questions when I go back Monday for my follow up.  I am
sure I will feel much better then.

Here I am, waiting for my examination.  What excites me so much about this 
picture is that I can actually see my feet!!!  The stomach isn't in the way 
any more, thanks to my visits to India.  Amazing.  I really do have feet.

And here is the man himself, Dr. Galundia.  I told him, right off the bat, I didn't
like seeing doctors, though all of mine, in the U. S, were wonderful.  I also said
that, for 21 years, my nursing experience was in forensics so I wasn't very up
to date on regular nursing.  I did have, with me, my most recent labs, a list 
of all my medications, and two gifts.  One was a poem I'd written a number of
years ago, after my first visit to India ( 1976 ) - "Travel Thoughts" and the other
was a CD, "Sansoucci" by my very favorite singer of all time, the lovely Sony

We talked a bit and then he did an exam - my favorite of all exams ( just
kidding ) - a rectal.  The source of the bleeding was identified, he put me
on antibiotics, had blood work drawn, looked at my conjunctiva and told me
he thought my hemoglobin might be a little low.  

He also told me his daughter lives in Orlando and he did his first cruise last
year.  "Out of Miami or Port Canaveral," I asked.  "Port Canaveral," he replied.
"On the Monarch of the Seas?" I wanted to know.  "Yes," was the answer.  I
told him that was the first of my 78 Royal Caribbean cruises, beginning in 1995
when it did seven day cruises out of San Juan.  Within an hour after I boarded,
I met Odelio Santos, Champagne Bartender from Mumbai and that is the 
beginning of my love affair with India.  That whole week, I visited with Santos, met
many other Indian crews and it went on from there.  In 1997, I spent 10 days with
Lorna, Santos and their son, Nick, and, when I came back for four months and
stayed with them last year, Jake, their second son was part of the family.  

So my treating doctor here in Jaipur sailed on the same cruise ship I did -
the wonderful Monarch of the Seas - 16 years later - and he was just ast delighted
with it as I was.  I told Dr. Galundia I had written an "Ode to Royal Caribbean" and
I would email it to him...but I am just going to finish this blog by adding it here.
My beloved Monarch of the Seas, with that very special crew goes out of service
in 2013, much to the regret of so many passengers and crew who love it.  I sailed
on her 26 times and I hope I will again!

Ode to Royal Caribbean

I love Royal Caribbean
 And it’s many splendid ships,
With all the dining venues,
That do define my hips.

The crew from many nations,
Are the best that one can find,
Working day and night,
To help the guests unwind!

Exotic drinks are served,
At a vast array of bars,
But the smiles of staff mixologists,
Truly are the stars.

Activities keep one busy,
Variety for each guest,
From things like napkin folding,
To more x-rated like, “The Quest.”

The various destinations,
Are some of the planet’s best,
Enough to cruise a lifetime,
With little pause to rest.

From Caribbean beaches,
To Norway’s grand fiords,
To Sydney’s lovely Opera House,
Cruising offers life’s rewards.

As one sails about the oceans,
Great friendships form so fast,
Among the staff and passengers,
Treasured connections last.

New ships debut so often,
Each grander than the last,
But I cannot forget the ones,
That were built far in the past.

Welcome to the Oasis,
The grandest ship of these,
But, no matter what may come,
I love the Monarch of the Seas!!!

Carmen Henesy

Copyright © 2009 Carmen Henesy. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wild Bird Wednesday 11 - Indian Ringneck Parrots - September 26, 2012

I've never participated in this meme before.  I am not too familiar with birds.  Sure, I
can recognize common ones such as flamingos, cardinals, parakeets, hummingbirds,
robins, sparrows, know, those birds.  Get me near the water, though,
and I mix up egrets, cranes, and those creatures.  My dear life long friend, Charlene
Payton, must consider me totally hopeless.  She is quite the bird person.  Here in India,
where the national bird is the peacock, I am delighted because I do recognize those.
Right in my own back yard, they fly into the trees to spend the night, making the 
loudest unpleasant cries.

When I first came to Jaipur, a friend took me some distance from the city, to the
monkey temple.  I never saw one monkey there.  Again, I have seen plenty of those
right in my own yard - and one in my room, stealing my bag of onions and tomatoes!
As I was leaving the monkey temple, though, I saw all these pretty green birds which
I think are Indian ringneck parrots or parakeets.  There must have been fifty of them,
gleaming in the sun.

 I am participating in Wild Bird Wednesday 11 -
to join in the fun, add your bird photo!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Three Year Blogaversary - September 23, 2012

Little did I know I would still be blogging three years after my first effort -
now would I ever have imagined I would be writing from India!  My 21 year
nursing position with the city and county of San Francisco had ended in
February of that year because of massive budget cuts to the Department
of Public Health.  I was 64-years-old and not happy to be plunged into
forced retirement.  Having specialized in forensic nursing for so long, 
there really weren't nursing options open to me.  To say I was pretty
depressed is a vast understatement.  I had always enjoyed writing,,
especially poetry, so I concentrated my efforts in that direction.  With
the help of a dear friend, Joanne Olivieri, aka Poetic Shutterbug, "Carmen's
Chronicles" was born.  Subsequently, Joanne helped me launch my 
first book of poetry, "Life's Journey" which is still available on Amazon.

The world of blogging opened up an amazing number of new friends for
me and I was surprised at the people who began following my blog - total
strangers from around the world, in addition, of course, to loyal friends,
colleagues and family.  I found I enjoyed reading other blogs, as well.  My
skills as a photographer improved vastly and I found it was fun shooting
other than genital injury and physical trauma!  When I decided to use my
last frequent flyer miles to visit Royal Caribbean crew friends in India this
past year, I also took the opportunity to meet  blogging friends from this 
incredible country.

So how long will I continue blogging?  Well, who knows?  Probably as long
as people are interested in reading what I have to say.  What was the content
of my first blog?  Well, it was about travel, of course.  See the link below if
you'd like to check it out!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Camera Critters #233 - Goats in Bhankrota, Rajasthan - September 22, 2012

During my visit to Bhankrota, Rajasthan with my young friend, Sunil Choudhury,
I was delighted to see a whole herd of goats, walking along the roadside.  I
couldn't be content with photographing them from across the street but had
to get right in the middle of the herd.

I am participating in Camera Critters #233.                      .
Add your critter shot to join in the fun.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Signs, Signs - Size Does Matter - September 20, 2012

I came across a new Thursday meme which looks like fun.  I've never 
participated before but I'm sure I'll return.  My sign photo is from Camelot
Fish and Chips in Pacifica, California.  Though I'd lived in the area for
over 20 years, I'd never eaten there.  I just happened to be at the post
office, in that neighborhood,  when the hungries hit me.  Other than all 
the calories, the fish and chips were delicious, close to what I had with 
my British friends in Rye.  I did have a Guinness with my meal but I 
opted out of the fried Mars Bar.

I am participating in Sign, Signs - add your
interesting - or funny - sign to join in the fun.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Orange & Yellow Flower, Drowning in Monsoon Rain - September 17, 2012

In our torrential downpour last week, this cheery blossom took quite a beating
from the relentless rain.  It remained standing, however.  I'm not sure what it
is - iris, maybe.

I am participating in Mellow Yellow Monday, #191,


Add your photos to join in the fun!

Your Sunday Best #35, Monsoon Scenery, September 16, 2012

I enjoyed taking photographs during Jaipur's most recent monsoon rain.  
The skies really opened up for an hour or so, bringing slightly cooler
temperatures, and a wonderful freshness to the air.  I always wonder
 where the monkeys and the wandering cows go during these

I am participating in Your Sunday Best, #35 -
add your photograph to join in the fun.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Camera Critters #232 - I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel - September 15, 2012

I've been living in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India for almost three months now and, still,
I get so excited at seeing camels.  There are many, decorated in fancy trimmings,
for tourists to ride but, even more, I like the ones, pulling carts - sometimes, right
in the middle of busy vehicular traffic, loaded down with all sorts of things. 


Isn't he cute?  I guess it could be a she but I didn't look closely.

I am participating in Camera Critters, #232.

Add your critter photo to join in the fun.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Flash 55 - Ohhhh, That Feels Good - September 14, 2012

We people of the human race,
Complain and carry on,
In keeping up with the Joneses,
Soon our money's gone.

At least we have two hands,
To scratch if we should itch,
Just think of this fat piggy,
When her skin begins to twitch!

 Pretty smart, I must say,
A "scratching" post saved the day!

I am taking part in Friday Flash 55.
Join MrKnowItAll & the gang to
have some fun.

As I headed to the market in Jaipur, I came upon a pig entourage. 
Mama and three babies.  Babies had to wait while Mama
scratched her neck, then turned around and scratched
her backside.  

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Camera Critters #231 - Don't Make a Monkey Out of Me - Saturday, September 9, 2012

When I opened the door to my room the other evening, I was so excited to see a 
monkey parade passing right in front of my eyes.  There was a group of eight and 
they were kind enough to stay while I grabbed my camera.  My landlady said
that monkeys are frequent in our Bani Park area and that they always travel in
a pack.

I started snapping away and loved the shots I was getting against the darkening
cloudy evening sky.  I became a little wary, however, when my first monkey did not
seem to appreciate a flash in his face and made to leap down on me.  An Indian
blogger friend commented that she was surprised the monkey didn't do so and
snatch the camera from me!

I am participating in Camera Critters, #231
Join in the fun by submitting your critter photo!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Skies of Jaipur at Dusk - Friday, September 7, 2012

Awash in pastel pinks,
On a canvas of lovely blue,
Jaipur is covered with beauty,
As night comes creeping through.

There is a hint of rain,
Behind the setting sun,
But, now, we watch in awe,
God's artistry has begun.

What an end to a lovely day,
I find such delight in this beautiful display.

I am participating in