Friday, March 21, 2008

Sick as a dog

     About 36 hours ago we were walking through the wholesale market, visiting customers and learning about India.  People here are generous and at each stall they offered us something to drink, a cookie, or almonds, or fruit.  It would have been rude to reject the food but I felt nervous each time I took a drink from a glass or plastic cup, or bit into some fruit, where did the water come from that washed them?
By the evening I decided not to have dinner with the others in the delegation and went back to my room, falling asleep at 8pm.  By midnight I was very sick.  All night long I had intestinal and stomach problems and my self medication of Imodium did not solve the problem. 
      We were scheduled to meet at 7am for another 12 hours day of visiting markets and a major cooking demonstration by Sanjay Kapoor, the most famous television cook in India, who was going to make apple crisp in a demonstration kitchen at one of the most upscale shopping malls in the country. I really wanted to go, but when I tried to get out of bed I collapsed.  I called Todd and explained and of course he offered to help.  I said "thanks but I just want to stay in bed today."  He wished me well and said he would check in with me later in the day.  At noon he called and I was getting worse so Sumit Saran, our man in India, called the hotel and had them send up a doctor.
     Dr. Ashok Kumar Shetty was promptly at my door.  He had a great bedside manner, said it is obvious I had food poisoning and he prescribed six different medications. Within 30 minutes the meds were delivered and I began taking them.  It is now 14 hours later and I have stopped all the violent behavior, but am weak and exhausted.  Sadly we are checking out in 10 hours to catch a plane to New Delhi.  I hope the medications keep me stable during the flight.  Dr. Shetty said it would take a day or two for the antibiotics to work, depending on the severity of the infection. 
     All this happened on a memorable holy day in India.  There are four major religions here and today, March 21, being the spring equinox, was the Hindu holiday Holi, which is celebrated by everyone tossing colored paint on each other to announce the beginning of Spring.  It also is Good Friday and there are many Christians here.  It was also Navroz, whicih is the New Years day for the Parsis religion.  Finally, it is Id, the birthday of "the Prophet" Mohammad.  Everyone in Mumbai is celebrating something.  I am celebrating that I am still alive and am starting to feel a bit better.  I wish you a Happy Easter.  And thank the Lord for antibiotics.

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