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.


  1. How are you now? Take care!

  2. Hope you are feeling better now! Take care.

  3. Oh my! Glad to hear that your doctor took good care of you. You're on a get well path, and this too is part of it, identifying some areas to pay attention to. So glad you are still enjoying India. I just think you're the most adventurous person I know.

  4. Anonymous2:48 PM

    What an adventure. Wishing you only the very best and a soon cure.

  5. That certainly doesn't sound like any fun. I hope it is all resolved soon.

  6. Just found your blog onthe Fifty Factor. Oh my, that is some experience. I am so glad you found a great doctor and all is well. Sounds like you are having a wonderful adventure. I must read some more posts as I could do with some inspiration to be a bit more adventurous myself.