Patient Name :- Andrea Angelique

A HOSPITAL ROOM IN NEW DELHI FOR STEM-CELL TREATMENT
I arrive at 2 am Bali time and immigration takes forever, while I drag my shabby bags through the queues, frantically scrabbling around in my
traveler’s fanny pack for ticket stubs and the medical visa.

I have been requested to meet Dr. Suheb Chaudhry at Exit Gate 5 and between poles 14 and 15. Fearful that I’ve been left behind because it’s taken me two hours from the time of arrival to get out of the airport, a tall, young, dark man nevertheless appears calling my name. He thoughtfully asks if I’m hungry and buys me a milkshake and fruit at the mini-market. Then we take off, miles and miles to the city where the hospital is.

I am so tired, it’s my 4 am, a
horrible dehumanizing trip on Air Asia, during which I try to be pleasant to strangers who are pushed up against me in my tiny straight-jacketed seat.

My specialist doctor is still waiting to meet me at the hospital where I’ll be
receiving the stem cell therapy for my poor old osteoarthritic knees.
A chorus of nursing “sisters” welcome me with smiles and hugs. My room is hospital grade with white tiled walls,
a narrow bed with an old wind-up reclining mattress and blue parachute privacy curtain. It’s not bad but I am a spoiled
princess and everyone knows it.

I desperately need a shower but can’t figure how to get the hot water on; it is only luke-warm and it’s a cold winter’s day in Delhi. I am exhausted and a nervous wreck. I call a nurse for help, standing there bare-assed and freaked out. She turns the water on and off, trying to regulate the temperature and I finally fill a bucket and pour it over me. The staff drops in at intervals and speak to me in Hindi, stand around and smile, and I play the antic fool. They dote on me and I attempt being gracious.

My doctor sees that
I get the full physical: a day’s whammy of tests: blood, urine, chest, heart, electro- cardiogram, EKG,X-rays of my lungs,
legs and knees.

I had planned to diet while on this sojourn but the hospital has others plans for me.
I ask for an egg for breakfast and get two spicy omelettes on four slices of toast. For lunch
I request a salad and get a full luncheon of chapatti and four dishes of spicy preparations with
mutton, chickpea, soup, and some yummy dish that seems a mix of lemon and coconut milk. The beverage
of choice here is milk: but warmed and sweetened and that makes me understand why babies don’t want to be weaned from mother’s milk.

Soon: The Stem-Cell Therapy