I woke up sweating one morning to find that the air conditioning was turned off (It’s still hot in Delhi--in the 90’s on most days, so AC is a must, especially at night).
I wandered into our living room to find Ben sitting on the couch wearing sweatpants, a thermal shirt, sweatshirt, socks and winter ski hat, all bundled under a thick blanket rubbing his hands together.
“It’s freezing in here!” he exclaimed through chattering teeth.
That’s when we discovered Ben has malaria.
Okay, well not really. But he’s been showing symptoms all week: fever, vomit, chills, cough, headache, and orthostatic hypotension. We don’t know what that is, but we’re sure he has it. Luckily, I’m not working this week, and Ben was able to take the whole week off to recuperate, which means I got to play nurse.
We quickly ran out of the American medicine we brought with us. After scrounging around in our medicine cabinet for a stray Airborne, Advil, Day/Nyquil, or Motrin pill, I knew I’d have to make a visit to the pharmacist (which they call chemists). I walked across the street and downstairs to the small dark store to describe Ben’s symptoms to the chemist. “Coughing” <
She said something in Hindi, and a man went scrounging through several boxes until he found the one he was looking for. He took a paper towel to rub dust off the box, and cut off a strip of medicine containing 6 tablets. “Take one morning. One night,” he said. “Sixteen rupees.” Only 43 cents. I asked for some other options and went home with four strips of medicine.
Upon returning home, we googled the name of the medicines to see which ones would best fit Ben’s symptoms. All of the medicine required prescriptions from a doctor, but not in
We’ve spent the week watching old movies like Sneakers and reruns of TV shows like Seinfeld, Full House and Who’s the Boss. There’s no such thing as chicken noodle soup, so we’ve been living off of hot and sour soup from an Indo-Chinese restaurant that happens to deliver. We’ve also been drinking a lot of orange juice, sprite and tea.
We’ve been making progress. The AC was on when I woke up this morning, and Ben made two eggs for himself for breakfast. I know we’ll be all better by the time he’s eating four.