Dr. Shroff arrived at the hospital in the early morning and instructs the sisters to put cold compresses and ice on Rusty’s bursting head and eyes.
We made it back to NuTech yesterday afternoon after spending 3 gruelling days at Gautam Nagar getting a procedure. We left NuTech Tuesday right after getting done with physio, travelling to Gautam Nagar by taxi. In this particular procedure Dr. Ashish threads catheters into the muscle along side my spinal cord, and then injects stem cells through these over a three day period. In conjunction with the catheter implants he also does an epidural injection into the cord itself. In the past I have had to deal with headaches from the cord injection and unfortunately I wasn’t going to be any luckier. After receiving the injections, Kathy and I settled back into our room with me lying on my back and the foot of the bed elevated by two bricks. At precisely 7:00 pm, BAM! A throbbing headache erupted behind my eyes. These headaches are similar to migraine headaches where light sends blinding bolts of pain through your head to richocett around until the source of light can be extinguished. Dr. Shroff and her staff were wonderful, soothing my pain and doing whatever they could do to make me feel better. The positive part of all this, besides receiving the stem cells, was that this headache wasn’t as powerful as one I had after an epidural injection from this Summer’s trip, and exponentially better than the one I had on our first trip, the previous winter. So, in comparison things are getting better, easier.
On this trip to Gautam Nagar I started feeling like a caged animal. You have this room with two beds in it, with a connecting bathroom that I can barely get my wheelchair into, scraping my rims to force my chair through. Once inside, the facilities are not accessible, making performing a bowel program impossible, or taking a shower. Outside of our room there is a hall, with the nurse’s station, this is as far as you can go, they won’t allow you to go outside. Just being there with the surroundings, the smells, the noise, everything, it all seemed to contrive to drive me crazy. I can’t explain it, I’ve never felt like that before. All I wanted to do was leave. Kathy had a hard time reining me in, getting me to calm down and accept the situation for what it was. Logically I knew we were there for the purpose of getting these procedures so that we might see some changes or gain more sensation, but I was going crazy. Time crawled, every minute seemed like an eternity. The worst part was at night, with my headache I couldn’t sleep. Every noise, movement, light, anything, made my brain go whacko. Kathy, being concerned for me didn’t get to sleep either. I couldn’t eat, nothing was appetizing and what I did eat I could barely swallow. By the time yesterday rolled around I was a cranky, wigged-out, curly headed, wild man, ready to do whatever was needed to escape my confinement. Thankfully, Dr. Ashish came by early and got the last series of injections done so we could start processing to leave and come “HOME”. My headache was still there, but I was able to eat breakfast, a three egg omelet and coffee. Dr. Ashish finally gave us our walking papers and we caught our cab to freedom around 1:30 pm.
The news in the paper is always interesting. If you can read this … it says three people tried to steal a chicken from three brothers who run a chicken shop and a fight errupted. The thieves left and returned with seven other men and attached the brothers with stones. The brothers resisted by using their own swords. Eight people were injured over this chicken. Good thing there wasn’t a cow involved!
Arriving home was like a breath of fresh air. There was an air of activity surrounding NuTech, people coming and going, a constant flow of motion along the road out front, the staff working, and our trusty guard, Suba Lal, directing traffic. Opening up the door to our room and seeing it for the first time in three tortuous days, was rejoiceful! Being able to perform my domestic chores and take a shower was a welcome relief. To wash Gautam Nagar’s scent off of me and be clean, an incredible feeling. Hopefully I can recharge my brain and renew my commitment to this program. I’ve had a hard time these last three days but made it through because of my wife pulling me along, encouraging me, and comforting me while I was screaming in my mind. Kathy said I was weird, I think I blew a gasket. Time heals all wounds, please heal mine.
Just look at this fruit! Gorgeous and dangerous — Delhi Belly!
Today it was back to physio with the notorious Shivani. I could only imagine the new, devious, cruel things she had in store for me after my absence. My back has been killing me these last two days. With all of the inactivity from lying around, plus Dr. Ashish’s handiwork, my body had stiffened up substantially. After all of my terpidation as luck would have it Shivani was sick, she had a cold, and did not feel like pushing me all that hard anyway. Yes, there is a God! We slowly worked at loosening up my old, stiff body. There was only a couple of instants when I felt my head throb, but no full-blown headache came on. I knew it was important to get back into the swing of things and work on getting my muscles to fire. Dr. Shroff and Dr. Ashish are hopeful for bladder sensation and I’m to work diligently to get that system back on line. That would be incredible if it happens, that’s why we came originally. They feel this last procedure with help promote connections and repair in this area. We’ll cross our fingers and hope.
On February 13th Rusty’s step-grandmother, Kathleen Corder, celebrated her 88th birthday in Fruita, Colorado. We totally surprised her by calling to wish her a happy birthday from our computer with Skype. She said it made a very special day for her and we were glad to be able to bring her joy.
In the evening before Valentine’s Day, we started noticing activity across the street. People were decorating for a festival with huge pieces of cloth as shown hung across the front of this lot.
Then lights were hung from the roof and a whirlwind of more activity. Tonight there should be music, food, and celebration — we guess for Valentine’s Day. Man, do they ever know how to celebrate in India! This should be fun to see. More later . . .