March 28, 2012
8:30 a.m. Sitting in the reception area of NuTech, horns honking outside, friendly “I am here” honking, constant from about 7:00 a.m. I am awaiting Ari’s arrival for physical therapy, dashing down from the Ashton Hotel about a block away, where he is staying until being readmitted here on April 2nd for a final month of treatment.
Dannie has been released from the hospital, and has returned to NuTech.
The lobby is empty now, rare during daylight hours… typically buzzing with swarms of out patients and their support persons. Children with apparent congenital problems, adults fighting Alzheimer’s, paraplegic patients of all ages. The housekeeping staff is bustling about, bringing out water glasses for the hot day ahead, delivering the two-egg breakfast standard to the rooms upstairs, staff rushing to punch in at the reception desk, patients beginning to stir and come downstairs for physio. A gecko holds fast to the wall above a shrine in the corner.
I have purchased two tokens to have two miniature cups of coffee dispensed from a machine, which turns out to be sugar-filled with little coffee flavor. I have suspended my eating practices here… caffeinated coffee, our organic food stash that we brought from home depleted, fresh stuff requiring extra care in cleaning and only a bathroom to work in. So Dannie is eating cheerios, gluten and sugar included, and Ari has a nagging belly issue from eating “outside.” We are rolling with it!
Dannie’s pain has not subsided, but is differently treated now. Her time at Apollo afforded her the opportunity to try a variety of pain medications less intrusive to stem cell transplant, under medical supervision. The result was that she returned to NuTech on a continuous drip, with other intermittent medications, none of which provide her any real relief from pain for any duration; one can provide sleep when the dosing is ‘right’. Her pain remains 9-10, awaking from sleep with sudden horror of pain at a 10, chasing pain, trying to communicate her needs, trying to survive. The first sign of her awaking is a gasp, cry and her fingers raised signifying 10, IV lines trailing down her arms. She wears an eye mask, ear phones and sometimes oxygen~ we rarely see her face. Sleep or pain: her two, almost exclusive, states now.
Dr. Shroff is certain that with stem cells the healing will begin and yield less pain, restful sleep. Days away. A beautiful picture in my mind, my heart.
Ari is making his way. A bit tired the past week. A lot to adjust to. Heat is rising, draining. The stomach thing…Keeping himself busy in service to us and to making a bit of a life while awaiting return to the clinic. He is essentially living in Delhi, alone. I am so filled with joy bearing witness to his emergence.
He has made a few local friends and is learning so much about the local culture. He is conducting an independent study of the “changing face of new Delhi” interviewing a wide range of people, reading, reflecting… Trying to learn some Hindi. Clint, his caregiver remains his daily companion, and I imagine now a friend for life. Today he is staying in bed, resting. A good decision.