Chennai Journal
Monday, June 06, 2005
An event filled week
Well, this week certainly was action packed. For starters, Marty had to go to the hospital. His hip/back pain got worse and worse until finally, on Monday night, the pain became intolerable. He tried to get up about 3 a.m. and could barely put one foot in front of the other. So we called Apollo Hospital and they sent an ambulance with four attendants. (They did not bring the gurney into the apartment but instead carried Marty on a dining room chair to the ambulance, where the gurney finally surfaced.) Slowly --because ambulances here cannot go very fast-- we made our way to the emergency room of Apollo Hospital, which is the leading hospital chain in India. The emergency room was pretty much the same as anywhere else in the world---staffed by interns who don’t have a clue. They did call the orthopedic surgeon who had seen Marty the previous week, and finally decided to admit him.

I had to pay 30,000 rupees upfront (about $700) as an advance against the bill. They handed me a brochure with various room rates ranging from 800 rupees per day ($18) for a ward to over 11,000 ($250) for one called "Executive Suite" and they circled the one called “Single Deluxe” which was 3950 rupees ($90). I said Marty would be just fine to stay in a semi-private room (considering it has TV, bathroom, etc.). Well, of course none were available. He wound up in a room around 3000 rupees that was pretty much comparable to a good hotel---including two extra beds for attendants and family (being a poor nurse, I declined). The nurses were at his every beck and call. He was discharged on Thursday feeling much better. The total bill for a stay of 3 days was 12,500 rupees ($284).

On Sunday morning Leela found out that her brother had been badly hurt in an accident---hit by a lorry (truck to those of you from North America). Although it was difficult to understand her, it sounds like he has closed head injuries. She has gone back to Kerala to be with him and the family. So we have a temporary maid who only comes during the day. Not sure when Leela will be back.

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