India has always been a considered by the west as an unhealthy place for westerners to be. Ironically I’m reading an edition of a very impressive (and extremely good value at 55 INR!) Indian scholarly publication, the Economic and Political Weekly which has a special report on epidemics in South Asian history. The articles include some interesting analysis of how the brits saw epidemics in India, how they dealt with it and how it affected their view of the geography (and its people). All in very learned academic speak.
Anyway, it’s not me that’s sick this time – in fact I’ve been quite well since Varanasi barring a single day in bed in Orccha. It’s SG that’s taken ill and she’s in hospital at the moment with a drip in her arm and an antibiotic diet. Fortunately she is getting better and she has medical insurance. The doctors havent really found anything besides a very heavy load of bacteria (currently being identified).
Thing is, SG has been getting sick pretty much every time we move towns with very few good days in between for a full recovery. This means not a lot of reserves which in turn means that each time she’s got sick, she’s been hit worse. This time, after two days of fever, severe pain, increasing weakness and no sign of recovery, we decided to take advantage of Delhi’s resources and try to get an idea if it is something worse (ie something that has a recurrent pattern) and also to fix the problem.
So she’s holed up at the very good and professional East-West Medical Centre in Delhi in a comfortable air-conditioned twin-share room with a clean attached bathroom and cable tv. She already looks much better but the doctor has ordered another night. So maybe tomorrow she’ll be discharged.
Thing is, if SG’s health keeps being affected so badly by the food here, we’re going to have to reconsider how long we stay in India. Our plan now is to escape to Rishikesh and stay a month there for her to gain weight, get strong and see how we go from there. If she keeps getting sick, we may well have to go to Dubai early – apparently food preparation standards are much better and consistent there.
And we havent even hit Africa yet, parts of which have been known in colonial times as the whiteman’s grave (even if it is mainly for malaria and other types of fevers).