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Monday, July 30, 2012

What's been going on

Okay, sorry, it has been forever. Circumstances...have not been ideal. Since my last post things have just been a little more difficult than I would like. Shortly after I posted last the internet here started going crazy. For like two and a half weeks I could not load any pages related to blogger. I couldn't see anyone's blog and I couldn't post anything. It was kind of super frustrating. Around the same time (sorry this is about to get a little frank) I started having diarrhea problems. I mean, eating spicy, essentially liquid based food, you are always a little soft in Delhi at least. The food here does not agree with me for some reason. I had no problem in Himachal Pradesh. Literally no health problems whatsoever and there I was drinking the water and eating all the food including homemade yogurt and milk and there was no refrigeration. So they are doing something right. Delhi however, the "modern city" is where I have had all my problems.

Anyhow, so I have always been a little soft here, but it was not really a hassle, it was normal. About a week and a half ago things started to get serious to the point where I could not really leave my flat because things were a little unpredictable and there are not really public bathrooms in Delhi. Even at stores and restaurants. Unless you are in a super posh area, there are no toilets in stores and stuff like the U.S. So really, you can't go out. Then I started getting a headache and a cough. Ergo ibuprofen and some generic imodium. The local tablet called brufen works wonders. The generic imodium...not so much.

You all are probably thinking I should have gone to a doctor, and you might be right, but it's diarrhea. It is a constant reality of life in India, so I didn't really take it seriously. I bought some yogurt, held off on the spicy food and just waited it out. Except it didn't really go away. The cough/headache turned into a fever. That was a fun five days. That faded two or three days ago to be replaced by a near constant pounding headache. Oh, and the ever constant diarrhea. Actually yesterday I remembered that I have some sort of cipiroflaxin tablet series thing, so I started that. Two days in, nothing has really changed, but we will see.

Part of the reason I haven't gone to the doctor is it hasn't been one constant set of symptoms. I have been dealing with diarrhea, fever, headache, cough, sinus problems, and aches, but not all at the same time. So I don't know if I just got lucky and got like five things at once or if this is some weird disease with a bunch of different changing symptoms. Another part of the reason I haven't gone to the doctor yet is because this is India. Every time I get some sort of fever or something, but it's usually just a week max and then it goes. This has been about a week and a half two weeks, so if it continues longer I will make myself go out to the doctor, I guess.

But let me be honest, not trying to bash here, but the real reason I have not been to the doctor is because there are only Indian doctors. Quite frankly, I don't trust any of them. I am not trying to fear monger here, because they are definitely very talented, but I've never been to one who didn't lie to me to get me to come to extra appointments and buy extra medications. That isn't the end of the world, but I am someone who does not like medication at all to begin with and I especially don't like someone giving me extra medication for no reason at all. Especially because this has been so varied, I have the feeling they are going to tell me it's something awful and I have to do tests and buy lotions and pills and spend thousands of rupees to cure a moderate case of influenza. No thank you. Also, the other issue is hospitals in Delhi are weird. They don't just have general hospitals. Everything I've seen is super specialized into specific departments. When you go online to request an appointment you have to know the exact kind of doctor you need before you can request an appointment. I'm not even sure what kind of doctor I am looking for. Usually I just, you know, go to the doctor, not the urologist or the endocrinologist or whatever.

The monsoon and the mosquito population picked up right around the same time, so I feel like it is probably related to that. I have three or four days to go on the cipiroflaxin. If things haven't changed by then, I will go to the doctor, maybe. Just, I have exactly two weeks left. Two weeks from American doctors who I can sue for millions if they try to lie to me to get me to take extra tests and medications I don't need. I have to be honest, if it does not become a serious problem, I may just try to stick it out until I can get back to medical help I can trust.

Anyhow, the most frustrating thing about all of this is it has wasted a good two weeks of time when I actually know what I am doing. I mean, it did not take very long to get the information I needed and now that I have some connections, as long as I have one good week, I will be able to get some pretty solid specific conversations/interviews about reading to see if I can't fill out more about the people who actually read. Blah! I am so mad that I lost all this time at the end! Why couldn't this have happened a month ago when I wasn't accomplishing anything?

So nothing has really been happening on the project front to report on. But I have decided to make sure that these last two weeks (exactly two weeks starting tomorrow) I am going to post something on here every day to report what has happened. And I have to catch up on my field notes. Blah on field notes. Let me be honest, field notes proper have been a complete waste of time for me. I am not writing an ethnography. I am looking at the idea of what people read and comparing it to post colonial theory. Things like where they get the books and where they read the books matter, perhaps, but that is like one entry. Their clothing, their marriage rituals, what they look like, what they sound like, how they eat, etc. etc. while fascinating is completely separate to my project. Blah!

Oh, and I have a post I started that I completely forgot about when I got fevered. I should go finish that now. Hold on.

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