Monday, February 12, 2007

Day 33-34 - CULTURE SHOCK!

Saturday ended up being very relaxing. I didn't do too much during the day. That evening we were invited out to this man's beach house for a worship service. We got there late and I noticed everything was set up outside for the service. The man who invited us made us come to the front as his special guests, and shortly afterward introduced as his special guests.

Sunday I went on a tour of Mumbai. Unfortunately, my batteries on my camera ran dead, so no pics. We started out at the hanging gardens. There not any hanging anything, but the story behind the garden was quite interesting. A religious sect called Parsi, leave their dead on the other side of the wall of the garden to be eaten by vultures and decay. I think it is noteworthy to add that Freddie Mercury was Parsi. They don't believe in tampering with the five elements, so do not burn or bury their dead. The vultures apparently have come down with some type of virus that affected their population. The Parsi people now use solar panels to help speed up the decaying process.

We then went to a Jain temple, which is related to Hinduism. To be honest, it is hard to keep straight. Before we could go in we had to remove our shoes, and quite frankly, I wasn't interested in walking anywhere outside my hotel room barefoot. However, against my better judgement, took off my shoes to enter the temple. There was a service going on where everyone was sitting on the ground singing. Everything in the temple was ornate and made of marble or silver. I made the mistake of turning my back to one of the gods, and our tour guide quickly corrected me.

Next we went to the Ghandi museum. It was interesting to learn more about his life. I remember watching the movie with my mom as a child, but didn't really remember much of the story. It was mostly pictures of him and photocopies of letters that he had written.

Today, I went to the hotel doctor. I have been taking antiobiotics to clear up the crud that has taken over, but they have not been doing the trick. So I was prescribed several different medications to take. They sent me to a local medical center for a blood test and an X-ray. My left side has been giving me trouble and when I cough it feels as though something is out of place and popping around.

I had a driver from the hotel take me over there. Before I go on I feel as though I need to add this disclaimer. I guess I am used to the latest medical technology, and can't say that I have ever had any medical treatment in what might be considered a third world country. When I was in Ireland, things seemed to not necessarily be the most up to date, but at least they were clean. So, when I arrived it looked as if a bulldozer had already started to take the building down, but stopped before the job was done. It was filthy, dirty and everything was narrow and cramped. I thought surely they wouldn't send hotel guests to somewhere that was not safe to go. A sign in the narrow elevator said "Use the lift at your own risk." I went in for the blood test and was standing in a narrow hallway, barely big enough to walk through, shoulder to shoulder with everyone else. I started talking to myself saying, if it looks like the syringe and such are not sterile I'm outta here. The lab techs didn't wear gloves, but they took the syringe out of a sterile packaging. No one could really explain to me what I needed to do, mainly because of the language barrier. The needle was much larger than the ones they use in the states to take blood, so it really kind of hurt. I could feel the tears welling up as I was saying to myself, "Why are you doing this?". My better judgement was telling me to get the heck out of Dodge, but again I tried to reason that they wouldn't send me here if it wasn't legit. I prayed "Please God, don't let me contract anything!" I tried really REALLY hard not to start crying, but the flood gates opened. As a result by the time I got to the radiology office, I was a mess. I really was trying to keep it together, but I could not turn off the tears. Everyone was looking at me and I was trying to fill out paperwork that I didn't understand. Someone took me back to the X-ray room where I stood behind a shower curtain to change into the community smock, all the while sobbing. Once I was finished, one of the ladies at the desk asked me why I was crying. I couldn't really tell her because I didn't really understand it myself. I'm not one who breaks easily, but I cried all the way back to the hotel. I am sure it was a combination of being somewhere foreign, not being able to effectively communicate with anyone, being overwhelmed by how dodgy this place seemed, and little bit of me just wishing Mom could take care of all of it. (My mom is a nurse practitioner for those of you who don't know). Now it seems a little silly and I know things seem magnified here.

For now, I took a hot shower, and it all seems better now.


P Miller said...

I am terribly sorry Sarah. I remember doubling over in pain from what still remains a mystery in Lisbon. I got to get scoped. All I remember was being knocked out with what looked like a garden hose lying next to my head. I'm glad I was out for the event. However I did get to wake up under the influence of something terribly strong, stumble to the desk (I don't remember that walk), attempt to speak portuguese (not easily done w/ the drugs and the recently expanded esophagus), and basically fall down three flights of steps and out to the bus stop (once again, I only remember 1 flight of steps but I know I was on the 3rd floor).
While in China Kristi got a bladder infection. The doctor, in a prehistoric hospital said she needed an 'injection'...which ended out being at least 2 hours of IV...great way to spend our anniversary.
The good thing about the IV is that Kristi felt much within a day. I only hope you are done with whatever it is.

Lisa said...

I wish your mom was there, too! What a heart-wrenching experience! I prayed for you this morning. I hope that you have a restful nights sleep and that you are cured of what ails you.

I didn't care much for doctor's visits in Scotland. They we're tremendous hits to my self-esteem. I've never really recovered. The only positive experience I had was when I got food poisoning and discovered there were doctors that still made house calls. She gave me a shot and a pill to alleviate some of my suffering. Other than that, I just as soon not go to the doctor in any country.

The Gearharts said...

Sarah I am so sorry for you. I feel like I have experienced similar insane moments. I think it is a little more clean here though, but I am sick yet again. I have had Typhoid(which I had a vaccine for before I left the states), Salmonella(I think the doctor misdiagnosed that one), and Strep while being here. I don't know what I have right now. It feels like what I have been sick with before, and I usually don't agree with the doctor. I had a blood test the other day for a regular thyroid check (another annoying problem) so I had them to do a CBC since they were going to have a needle in my arm anyway. My hemoglobin ended up being 9.9 so I started back on the daily iron routine and took some expired Cipro I had in my possession. I am tired of doctors and tests and no real answers.
I am no encouragement at all am I?
Hey I am still alive and watching God do amazing things. I am praying you recover fast. Don't let fear over whelm you. Laughing helps your body heal. Smiling helps your your heart to do the same. Fresh air and meditation helps your spirit to calm.
Amy G

Sarah said...

I just talked to mom, and she looked up all the meds in her trusty medical drug book. She didn't act too worried about the blood work stuff. So I feel better having talked to mom. I don't think I have cried that hard in a long, long time. It must have been a long time coming! Paul, good to know you guys survived that stuff. Glad to be back in my hotel room, where I can be barefoot, and crawl into a CLEAN bed!!!

Thanks for the encouragement, y'all!

Angie said...

Well, hon (I just sounded like my Mama!)... you were right to title this post "CULTURE SHOCK" and in all caps for emphasis!

Remember when Tommy said he just didn't see how you were processing so much... I think that was probably a big factor in your moment of insanity! Even GREAT things are a shock to your system. Although you possess one of the most adventurous spirits I know... even you've been overwhelmed in these travels. So your body has taken all this stuff in, and more and more... I think it finally just had to release something.

Yeah, I'm not a doctor but I play one on t.v.! :-) Seriously, I'm not trying to diagnose anything, that's for sure! But I had an eye-opening moment in studying massage therapy... that only God understands how interwoven the body and the spirit are & how they affect each other.

I've given massages to several people who have just broken down crying unexplicably... They would keep apologizing & not know what for. I think God used a caring touch to bring out something that was being (albeit unknowingly) repressed. And in your case, it seems like a bit of fear is what brought it out!

Culture shock is one wild phenomenon. So is PMS. But I digress...

tim rush said...

Well, how do you follow Angie?

I'm so sad you're still sick, but hope that after all the crying, plus laughing, you're soul and body feels a bit refreshed. Perhaps you just needed a little cleaning out.

Reminded me of my fall in Portugal. I remember being put in an ambulence to go from one hospital to another. Lying on my back, I looked up and asked my teammates, who were the only ones in the back with me, "Am I out of it, or is there a zipper in the ceiling. They thought I was crazy until they looked up and there was a zipper in the roof of that ambulance.

I didn't cry after the fall, but I almost did after they had to shave parts of my head to put in the stitches. I'd just gotten my first good hair cut in Portugal. It is so hard to explain what you want in a hair cut when you don't speak the language.

Angie said...

unexplained + inexplicable = unexplicably

Mom said...

Remember: The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears. My soul is full of rainbows.

elaine santos said...

I love that saying Mrs. Floyd!
And remember who makes rainbows...

"You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book." Psalm 56:8 (Msg)

I love you and am praying for your physical strength AND your spiritual strength during this time.

Oh, and if it makes you feel ANY better I cry at even the little bitty needles--seriously.

greg said...

our sarah, man, i'm so sorry for what you've had to deal with due to health issues. thanks for sharing your heart with all of us, and my heart and prayers go out to you. i'll ditto angie's comments, too. you can cry on our shoulders anytime you need to. much love!