Tuesday, September 14, 2004

When I die I'm gonna go to Heaven, 'cause I've aleady been through Hell. (almost)

I just spent a week in a hospital as a companion to my friend Mary. It's funny, the first thing staff and other patient-companions would ask you there is, "Which one of you is the patient?" We would each laugh and point to the other.

For those 1st world bloggers who are unaware of the practice of each patient bringing his/her own live-in companion, that's how it's done here. Basically there are very few medical staffers, and the rooms had no phone or nurse call button, so each patient brings a friend or family member to act as private duty nurse. When there is an emergency the companion runs to find the medical staff. (good luck)

Mary and I had a great time. We were sitting in the canteen watching an Indian movie, the heroine runs to the prision to save the convicted hero before he is to be hung. As she was running down the long, clean white halls of the movie prision, I leaned over and wispered into Mary's ear, "That jail is cleaner than this hospital." We laughed.

We reckoned the canteen owner got a kick-back on new patients admitted after eating his cooking. The food was so salty and greasy that one more day there and I would have been admitted for hypertension and hardening of the arteries. Wow, I bearely escaped with my life. Since Mary wasn't in too bad shape, we would walk up-hill (Mansehra is a hillside town and everything is up-hill) to the only proper hotel in town and order an occassional lunch or dinner, like real ladies of leisure.

I've spent lots of time in Pakistani hospitals both as patient and companion, but the other times were in the "Five Star" hospitals of Aga Khan, Karachi and Shifa, Isbd. This was my first experience in a "One Star" hospital. We had daily blackouts and reoccuring water shortages to contend with. Mary's session time with the doctor was 5 minutes with her, then 20 minutes waiting while the doctor was seeing other patients in the clinic, then back to Mary for 5 minutes more, then back to the clinic and so forth for 1 1/2 hours. Personally, I found such a "session" more depressing than curing.

The next rating is a government "No Star" hospital. If and when I can endure that situation, then I know I've really been to Hell and back.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Owl here. Momma is up, up and away in the north these days, which is why there has been no update in ever so long. I think I’ll guest post for her, unasked. I’m nice like that ;)

Lets seeeeeeee, If mom was here she’d maybe write about the weather. It’s hot. Yucky hot. The kinda hot that all sofas and beds seem to absorb and reflect back at you. Times like this I’m thankful to God that I don’t have to be out laboring in this weather, and that I have a car to travel via, and fans in every room of the house. Praise be to God! (notice the secular version of Subhanallah here).

Our oven is still broken and without it we’re lost in the wilderness. We’re always having people over, or going over to teas and pitchins, and it feels like cheating to take something you didn’t make yourself. That doesn’t stop us though. We just pick up something from the local bakery and then complain roundly about how substandard it is. We know where our loyalties lie – with ourselves. Muwhahaha. :)

The *cough* grass they’ve planted in the backyard my mom has been hankering after for eons is finally turning from brownery to greenery. It’s not proper grass, but we’re going to ignore that. Funny how something that would be viciously attacked with herbicide and stuff in the States would be purposely cultivated here. We have curly green carpet of crabgrass in the backyard, and you know what, it’s lovely!

Well, that’s all the momma-inspired blogging I can manage. I don’t want to write anymore, lest I damage her readership with my brand of weirdness. In the mean time, you’re assignment, should you choose to accept, is to write momma a nice letter in her comment box. I’m sure she’ll appreciate them when she returns.