So I’m being a good girl and actually working on a solution to my knee problem. My no-painkiller stance makes it very hard to function normally but I’m limping along. I’ve lined up a whole lot of doctors and have been getting opinions and tests done.
A few days ago I had to go see one of them who sits at a government hospital. I walked in there and suddenly realised how money keeps you insulated. I haven’t been to one in ages and as I walked in, (wearing a damn skirt because I had been told to wear something that would easily expose the knee!) I realised how far away from this world I lived.
I was literally stepping over sick people lying on the floor. The old, the weak, the injured sagged against walls and pillars. The place was noisy. Stretchers littered the way, the sick lying exposed, no thought to their dignity, bored staff cleaned their nails and chewed paan. Every cliche wriggling its way in.
I found the corridor and door I was looking for and waited patiently in queue (?) only to have people push past me and go in. I wondered if there was another door out because no one seemed to come out. A man sitting at the door nodded brusquely and told me that I was a fool for waiting and that the doctor took in a number of patients at a time. I nervously pushed in and saw him sitting surrounded by a bunch of junior doctors who were looking at the papers and examining patients. He looked up at me, figured I was worthy of his attention and I was waved past everyone else to him. He asked me a couple of questions and then told me to get an x-ray.
I’ve seen most of the the best doctors in the city including the award winning doctor who treats the ex-PM’s knees. And all of them had told me an x-ray was pointless because I had no symptoms that called for an x-ray. This was good. He wanted an x-ray. Something new. Clutching on to that ray of hope I went to the private hospital close to my house that I usually visit. Such a change from the government hospital and I was so much more appreciative of the shiny reception, the polite staff, the fresh smell, the comfortable waiting lounge, the smiling x-ray technicians. A better salary makes such a difference to the way people treat their job.
X-rays taken I went to collect them and ask the technician if they show anything wrong. No, he shook his head. They seem perfectly fine. I went back to the doctor, the hope slipping away. Another day, another doctor, and still no diagnosis. The OA was in town and he joined me for the consultation.
Again, the woman in the chiffon skirt and tee is noticed among the milling crowds and called up ahead. He looks at the xray and I wait for the now familiar ‘I don’t see anything wrong madam…’ And then he holds the xray up in the light and proceeds to tell me what is wrong. A low grade infection in the bone. And now that it has been located in the xray he knows exactly what to do and presses a point in my knee. I almost fall off the stool in pain. All the other doctors have flexed my foot, poked, prodded and come up with nothing. I’ve not even flinched. They haven’t found the right spot. But he has and he shows the OA and thereafter like all good doctors used to treating a certain section of society, ignores me and talks to the OA asking him questions that I answer. Not quite annoyed with it yet because I am so grateful for a diagnosis finally.
TB and a couple of other options are ruled out. Medicines are prescribed and I’m told to return in a month. I am still grinning at him and he probably wonders what kind of person grins when told they have a bone infection. Well – the kind of person who has suffered for 9 months in excruciating pain, seen dozens of doctors and suffered the indignity of being told in just about so many words that it is all in her head. I ask you, how can a nagging pain in my knee, be all in my head?!
So anyway – medication has started and I loved the doctor for prescribing a painkiller and telling me not to use it. Told me it’s better to stay aware of the intensity of the pain and to only use it on vacation.
So thats it folks. Am off to visit more doctors, rest some more, play with the Bean whose latest idea of fun is to blow air on me with a straw and wait for me to shriek in horror and the Brat who is now climbing up the OA’s back and balancing on his shoulders like a little gymnast. If we run short of money (the medicines he’s prescribed for me are INSANELY expensive) we plan to set up a travelling circus. Exhibit one being the grey haired man cycling around with a child standing on his shoulders, the crazy little toddler doing somersaults around the room nonstop and the mad woman who will wear a top hat and run the show.
PS: Apologies – the camera went off too fast and I couldn’t catch him standing – but I assure it looks very cute. Not so much for the OA who now has a 4-year old climbing up his back as he eats, sleeps, works, (fortunately he gets to err.. crap in peace), watches TV, puts on his socks and shoes… basically, there’s not a safe moment.