Time to leave the monastery to go get assess by a doctor... the joy of travelling!
Just before arriving to the monastery my arm as been a little itchy. Nothing too crazy but uncomfortable. Since I have been in Nepal I have had my share of insects bites and having redness and itchiness as not been uncommon. Just before coming to the monastery I went out to the hills and spent some times at a waterfall where there was a few insects. The vegetation is also very different here. I am not sure where I got this from but all I can say is that :
IT AS BEEN VERY CHALLENGING TO MEDITATE WITH ITCHY ARMS!
But just before arriving here those redness spots started. It as been progressing fast:
i for sure did not like how quick the progression of the redness was going. I finally shown one arm to the ‘female monk’, who was our main teacher. Sherapidly told me that I should go to the hospital. I did not told her that I had shown her my ‘good’ arm that the other one was way worse. There is a medical clinic at the monastery but it is close today so I will have to go in town.
My friend who originally drove me to Kopan Monastery came and pick me up and here we are on another adventure to go visit the local Kathmandu hospital! My friend’s mom is a retired community nurse so she suggested a skin hospital. We made our way to ‘DISHARC‘ hospital.
Being outside of the monastery already felt a little weird. The noise, people talking. We have been ask to keep silence after our last meditation around 19h and to remain silence until after the morning meditation. Slowly my brain was getting ready to the silence without really realizing it. But I will be honest that part of me is happy to get out. I was missing the chaos and the movement of people everywhere. This monastery is a little too quiet for me I think.
Arrival to Kathmandu Hospital
Here they actually specialize in Skin conditions so that’s perfect for me. One person is in line before me. Wow that fast service is pretty impressive. Canada 0 – Nepal 1 haha. Just kidding!
The hospital feels very… rustic. It is clean but not the standard I am used to in Canada that’s for sure. Everyone is very nice to me. My friend Sandesh stayed with me the entire time. I am still amaze by the hospitality of the Nepali’s people. I really feel reassure to have him here. When you are not feeling well your mind wants something that it knows as you are feeling like you are losing a little control of what is happening. Having him here with me and helping me translate makes a big difference. I will be honest that I got a little scare this morning at the monastery. I started to have lower gastro-intestinal issues and felt hot flashes that could be the start of a fever. I mean a skin infection is one thing but a systemic infection is a whole new thing that can progress really quick to something bad. But as Sandesh came and pick me up and the drive to the hospital the hot flashes settled so I felt quite better. Fever would for sure not be a good thing combine with those rash.
I saw the skin specialist very quickly. He requested some blood work because of the other symptoms that I had and to be honest I think it’s a good thing to rule some stuff out. I had a few vaccins before coming here but I am for sure not sure what those red itchy spots are. He said I may not be able to get the result today as the hospital was closing in 1 hour. Sandesh told him I was at Kopan monastery. He looked at me with a form of respect and said okay come back and see me after the blood work is done.
So we proceeded to the ‘blood work clinic’ that is a few steps within the spots where were. For some reason a security guard as been following us and offering me to keep my bag whenever I have to go somewhere. He seems so nice and a little shy but proud of following me around.
The doctor also wanted a urine simple so I went to the bathroom. Direction the washroom:
Since an image is worth a thousand words I will not comment. Actually yes I will comment haha. Remember I said Nepal 1 and Canada 0 for the wait time. Well after seeing the washroom I feel like saying Nepal 1 and Canada 1 ! haha
After the urine simple here comes the blood work:
Blood work done and here we are on our way to go see the skin clinic doctor for a second time. The security guard had us go in front of the people that were waiting in the waiting room to see the doctor. I asked why he was doing that and Sandesh said it is because I am at Kopan. I felt such profound respect from this culture. To accelerate the process because I was missing out on time at the monastery. I felt really touch by it.
The doctor had some results with him already. Everything was good. I did not even bother asking what they were looking at in the blood work I was trusting him. He than gave me my ‘health passport’ which I thought this was also amazing compare to Canada. All the information that he had capture was in there. I thought it made so much sense. In Canada I find sometimes we go pick up patients (because I am a paramedic back in Canada) and they have no trace of what happen at their last hospital visit. Here he was giving me everything. It makes so much sense if you want your patient to take charge of their own health give them access rapidly and easily to their own health information! Anyways that was my medical side talking there.
The doctor went to the end of my medical booklet and wrote down a number. He told me to call him if I needed anything while I was at Kopan and to come back in 3 days to see him to get more results and see what my rash looks like. In the mean time he wrote me a prescription. I was able to pick all the pills and cream at the hospital mini pharmacy:
Back on the motorbike we make our way back to Kopan. I felt reassure and already less itchy with that cream on my red spots.
Upon arriving to the Monastery a few people asked me how I was doing. Funny how quickly the news spread even in a small place where you don’t know anyone. But everyone was really nice. Most people coming to Kopan are traveller’s and a lot of them are solo traveller’s and they know that when you are sick and not at home it can be challenging. I had a great support from so many people. haha and a few people telling me wow I can’t believe you can meditate with ichy arms! haha I am gaining respect here lol ; ) Yep meditating with itchy arms is quite a challenge! Specially with a humid and hot climate but the good news is that maybe it will become quite easier once the itchyness settle.
I went up to the roof of my bedroom building to look at the city and take a few breaths. To take it all in. What a day I thought! And it’s only 2h pm!
Our health makes us all so vulnerable and fragile. Having worked for 14 years as a paramedic whatever hierachy you are in or ‘social class’ that you are part of… when you get sick it hits right through your bone and despite looking tough I think all of us have a moment of feeling expose and vulnerable. I am very grateful one more time for being surrounded by such nice people here. Here at the monastery but mostly the Nepali people. I just feel so welcome, at home and mostly not alone in all of this.