Thursday, February 7, 2013

ER: Indian Style

Chad and I have been living in India for close to five years now. It can be expected that over that amount of time we've had our fair share of trips to the hospital for this and that. Personally, I think I've had more than my fair share of doctor visits in India, but that's a different story for a different day.

In this version of our continued saga living in Mother India, Ezra made his first trip to the hospital for anything other than a routine check-up. Let me just say, it was as positive an experience as we could have hoped for, and I'd like to thank the doctors who took care of us yesterday evening.

Here is the play-by-play:

After our family walk, Ezra and Cedric were playing in the nursery while Chad and I started to get dinner ready. After about a minute or two of play, we heard Ezra crying. When we went in and checked on him, we found him with a bloody lower lip. He was sitting right next to the door, which both he and Cedric love to play with. I can only assume that he got a little to close to the corner of the door. The cut doesn't look too bad in the picture, but it was pretty deep.

We called our resident PA who lives a few doors down from us, and she recommended taking him to the hospital. Our employer has a contract with Max Super Specialty Hospital, and our school doctor arranged for a physician to meet us there. We also called our dear friend Mary, who was in the middle of a massage, but stopped everything when she heard her phone ring twice and hurried over to the apartment. Mary agreed to come along with Ez and me while Chad stayed home with brother Cedric.

Driving to the hospital, which is about 8 miles away, takes forever in Delhi traffic. On the way there, the doctor from Max called to check on us and see how Ez was doing. We told him we'd be there in 30 minutes. In reality, it took more like an hour. At the hospital, the emergency room was crowded, but impressively organized and clean. The doctor looked at Ezra (who was in his usually cheery mood), and determined that the plastic surgeon needed to be called.

We waited for about 45 minutes for the plastics doctor, and when he arrived he gave us two options: general anesthetic or local anesthetic. We opted for local. In the end, though, it was determined that due to the location of the cut and the size of Ezra, that no aesthetic would be used at all. Oh my!  This daddy's blood pressure went up a few notches. We held Ez down while the doctor quickly worked at putting in four stitches. Ez screamed louder than I ever cared to hear any child--let alone my own--scream. But, the pain was quickly over, and Ezra recovered his usual mood after a few minutes. By this time, it was about two hours past Ezra's bedtime. We got the bill taken care of, stopped off in the chemist to get some medicine, and headed for home and Ezra nodded off for dreamland.

A few takeaways from our experience for any traveler to New Delhi, or any IPs coming for surrogacy.
1. Max hospital is definitely a number you need to have on hand. They're a good western-style facility.
2. Indian hospitals, including Max, are quite crowded and the idea of personal space is not the same as it is in the West.  (Our only experience in a non-crowded Indian hospital was at BLK hospital, where the boys were born, which seemed to have plenty of room for everyone... does the exception prove the rule?)
3. You have to pay at the time of the procedure. Have your credit card or cash on hand. FYI: four stitches cost about $175.
4. (apologies ahead of time for the generalization) Indian doctors typically have really poor bedside manner.

That's all for now.


1 comment:

  1. This grandmother says "Poor Baby!" "Poor daddies!!!!" Very hard to have happen for all 4 of you! Hope healing is fast and easy, glad you got the stitches.