Phew, I’m knackered, I’ve been back and forward to Cairo and the Uk, our shipment arrived too, so with this and that and lots of exploring I’ve been “up to my eyes” as they say.
I’m starting to settle in, the kiosk guys on my street know me now giving me the opportunity to practice my very basic Hindi although the dog gets more greetings than I do. “Good morning Harry” then fits of giggles, I’m not sure if Harry is an inappropriate name for a dog here, or maybe just the fact he has a name is cause for the giggles. Either way it’s great to feel comfortable walking him again without fear of poison to be avoided. If he would just stop pooping at inappropriate times, like right in front of the mattress makers eating their dinner I’d be sorted.
This week was to be my official Week 1, all the distractions out of the way so time to settle down into a routine, yoga classes, Hindi classes and a bit of networking but sure things never go to plan. I’ve been plagued with a sore leg for months, nothing major just gradually getting worse and no amount of walking or yoga was making a difference, the four flights didn’t help either. I was putting it down to old age until I looked in the mirror after my shower (something to be avoided at all costs) and noticed I was an altogether very strange shape, distinctly lob sided and I couldn’t stand up straight without being in significant pain.
One of the downsides to being in a new place and not knowing anyone is you have no one to ask for recommendations for doctors, physiotherapists etc so google was my only option. I’m lazy so after a few minutes of searching I went for the one closest to the house. Joint Efforts Clinic I believe it was called, made an appointment and off I went. Now, we don’t really live in Delhi, we are on the east bank of the Yamuna river which is the dividing line between Delhi and Noida.
So we are in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which is officially known as the gun state and considered very rough. In fact waiters in restaurants have advised us it’s very dangerous and even they wouldn’t live there, even though thats where they come from. I know we are a great disappointment to our driver, (white uniform, epaulettes and all) as he is constantly trying to get us to move to Delhi proper. Maybe we will at some stage but the 5 minute commute to work is what sold it to us, and anyway after Cairo it’s awesome, everything is relative.
The clinic turned out to be in “the village” again much to the drivers dismay and he was rather reluctant to let me to go unescorted into the single story, steel doored, mud road fronted “clinic” undeterred in I went. It was a one room outfit, three treatment tables, a desk, a water dispenser cloaked in a floral table cloth (I’m guessing this was to hide the colour of the water as it looked distinctly green) and all in all about 12ft squared.
There were a couple of people in front of me and I was able to watch as he worked with a gorgeous little boy about 4 who was in callipers, just as the teenage boy who was next was able to watch him work with me once my turn came. Anyway, he said I needed scans etc and there was nothing he could do until then and he was rather insistent I’d been in a car accident. I hadn’t been but he felt vindicated once I said I’d been knocked down a couple of months previous to the onset of the pain.
He spent about 40 minutes with me and the charge was £2.50, not a great hourly rate. He asked if I could afford the top consultant in Delhi who charged £25.00 an hour and once I said yes he rang and made me an appointment for the next day. I’m really glad he did as there was no way I should be taking up his time on much more deserving cases for people who probably had to beg steal or borrow to find the £2.50
So the next day off I set to see the top “consultant” in Delhi, well, it was in New Delhi much to the drivers relief, although I’m still not exactly sure which discipline this guy was the top “consultant” in. We had a chat whilst he took copious notes in the most perfect handwriting I’ve ever seen, each individual letter was printed in capitals but in a tiny font size and it looked like a printer had spewed it out, fascinating.
He examined me and then it got weird. He stated that he didn’t need scans to see my back was a mess and went on to explain that an orchestra is at its best when all the instruments are playing in harmony…..and that whilst there is always room for an individual instruments solo piece, the solo only works against a back drop of harmony, or words to that effect. He was going to be the conductor and use all the instruments at his disposal to create harmony….ok says I and I was especially relieved when he said the first priority was to remove the pain and realign as much as he could.
So he started with Reiki, that’s healing hands to you uninitiated lot, they don’t actually touch you but he allowed his hands to hover above me until lots and lots of heat was generated, I don’t know how it works, I think you need a gift but it felt good. Next he did some acupuncture, then he applied some anaesthetic gel, (I’m guessing this was a modern instrument) then he gave me a massage and after that he used a massage machine, another modern one.
I’m already feeling better, if a little confused, but hey each to their own and this guy seemed open to all “instruments” I’d been in an hour so I thought it must be time to go but he hadn’t finished yet. Next came the chiropractic techniques were he clicked and adjusted my back and if that wasn’t enough he gave me some physio exercises to do at home. I had told him I’d been using yoga to help relieve some of the pain earlier so he added this into the mix too giving me some asanas (postures) on which I should concentrate. So after that little lot you can see why I’m not sure what type of consultant he was.
Anyway, i paid him his £25 quid, even though I’d been in for about an hour and a half, and set of back to the car, I can’t say I was walking on air it was more like someone had attached a football to the sole of my right foot. I was completely disorientated and felt like my leg was too long, I must have looked very strange as the driver was very concerned at my gait, I’m sure he thought I was drunk. I have to go back for two more sessions after which depending on the results he will decide if he will bother with a scan or not, I have one this afternoon, I can’t wait.
All in all I’m feeling rather lucky there are some not so lucky. The huge disparity between the type of treatments available to people, mostly dependant on where they live and the funds available to them is very disheartening, whether it be India, Egypt or even the UK. My journey back to the UK was to visit my son, he is the full time carer now for his girlfriend Charlotte who is suffering from leukaemia and, as a result of three unsuccessful rounds of chemotherapy, is paralysed and wheelchair bound.
It’s incredibly difficult to watch your 23 year old child tend to the very personal care of his 23 year old girlfriend who has been told all NHS Options have been exhausted, all they can do is concentrate on pain relief and quality of life for the time remaining. It’s also incredibly difficult to watch her parents and twin sister put on their positive fronts to the world when you know deep down that tears are just simmering below the surface.
If she lived in France or the USA she could get treatment that has an 80% success rate, maybe more considering her age. So her mum has started a Facebook page linked to a website to try and raise the funds to send her abroad, if it was your daughter or son, you would do the same. Please visit the page and link HERE and please do it today as time is not on Charlottes side.
On graduation day, big smiles, thinking they had the world at their feet…
Thankyou, and here is the website address in full http://gogetfunding.com/project/i-m-saving-charlotte in case my technical skills have let me down again
Bye, Masalama, Namaste, Slainte