Now I’m sick, not as bad as Youngest Son I’m glad to say. It’s been a day of tissues, and lots of sleep, and reading aloud. Another care package from the Chabad house got us through shabbos, and some of the shabbos treats and sweet drinks went begging, but so it goes. One more day of shopping, running errands, and (dare I hope?) sightseeing, one more night after that, and we’re on our way to Pune airport. If we had someplace to stay besides this business hotel, and some necessary accommodations, I’d be sorry to be leaving. As it is, I look forward to heading home after as adventure-filled a trip as I hope to go on. If I wasn’t so crippled…
But, to go back a bit: we were going to a new-to-us mall, the Seasons. The first thing we did there was look for somewhere to get YS some tea. He’d been coughing, sniffling and sneezing for a couple of days, but the changes in our lives, the pollution in the air, lack of sleep &etc., were enough to explain it so I didn’t think it something to worry about. At the Seasons mall however he was without energy, and when I saw his face all red and sickly white underneath it was time to take it seriously.
We had to ask for help getting a taxi, note to self: next time get a prepaid sim card for the cel phone at the airport. A very nice woman called the hotel from which they were able to ‘book’ a taxicab. She chatted with us quite a bit, was interested in our names and how Israelis speak English, and was quite forceful about having *no* accent. After a few back-and-fourths, I finally conceded that she spoke English, and only the rest of us have accents. *sigh*. It is hard when otherwise perfectly nice people are didactic to the point of being offensive.
In any event she accompanied us outside and waited with us until we were safely on our way. She wanted to know how Israelis say ‘goodbye,’ so we thought her to say ‘shalom.’ We rode back to the hotel in relative comfort, but YS was clearly not well. I had nothing that could really help, but I gave him some vitamin C and zinc from my supplies. Other note to self: bring extra everything, including supplements, whenever traveling abroad. In the U.S. or in Israel I know where to go or who to call. It was scary, having a sick son and not knowing what to do. Almost a relief when a doctor came and took it out of our hands.
After the doctor took his vitals, he said that YS needed to go to a hospital, which he and the hotel arranged transportation and YS’s reception at the E.R. There are a lot of small hospitals here (in Pune, I can’t speak for the rest of India), and most if not all of them are private. We were at a hospital in the Columbia/Asia chain. YS received very good care and after numerous tests and an i.v. to re-hydrate him, TH and he came back to the hotel – in the middle of the night – with three days of medicine and orders to return later (the same day, since it was the wee small hours).
Friday, after breakfast, and yes, we slept late, all of us piled into one of the hotel cars to take YS to the follow-up appointment. YS was seen by an E.N.T. doctor, presumably there was not one there last night, and received a thorough check-up and some different meds. The whole experience was as painless as it could be, and the medical care we received compares favourably with any I know of. The prices, while substantial by an Indian scale, were incredibly reasonable, and quite a bit cheaper than we would have paid anywhere else I know of.
There was a long-ish wait when YS went to the E.R., but there was at least one serious case ahead of him, and as TH noted you want to be the lower priority in the E.R., rather than being a more urgent case.
After leaving the hospital, YS was quite perky, and we took a taxi to the MG Road street market, to (hopefully) get YS’s jacket from the tailor, and some homeopathic remedies. We weren’t successful in either but I did find some raw silk fabric (plain, sadly there were no patterns). What was the best part was that we went behind the commercial front into the neighbourhood behind, where the shop owner had a really wonderful house, the corner tea shop had a crowd of locals, and we got to be a part of it.
TH was able to take a few photos with his phone that I hope to be able to share. My phone wasn’t working.
I’d like to say more but this is as much as I can type right now. More later or tomorrow.