Chris and I always talk to each other about not letting life get boring. When we found out that we were getting the opportunity to go to India, we immediately knew that we needed to seize that chance. After nearly two months of patiently waiting to find out if we would get to go, it was finally set in stone. What a thrilling day that was!
Just days later, not ones to be short on excitement in our lives, Chris and I found out that we are going to have a baby!
My immediate thought was that our India plans might have to be changed. Maybe Chris would go alone, maybe he would simply do a super travel heavy schedule instead of a full on move, then again, maybe I could go? I needed to talk to my doctor…quick!
Lucky for me, although we live in a small town, there is a very high percentage of international residents where we live and my doctor did not even bat an eye at my question.
“My pregnant patients take extended trips to India all the time.”
“The pre-natal records from my Indian patients treated in India look extremely similar to the type of care that we provide here.”
It went on and on. He really put me at ease with going, so the decision was made. No change in plans.
Off we went!
…which brings me to today’s story. Today I paid my first visit to the Ob/Gyn in India for my third prenatal appointment.
Upon making the appointment at one of the largest hospitals in Chennai, a western hospital that is considered to be one of the top worldwide destination for medical tourism, I was a little bit nervous about how it would go. Chris was quick to remind me of a case that we read in business school about this hospital and how it had a special reception area for international patients. What a relief.
Or was it?
Bright and early this morning I made my way to the international patient desk to register. They asked to copy my passport, then turned me loose to the general registration room. The room was jam packed with people! In India it seems customary for the entire family to accompany the patient for a doctor visit.
I apologize for not supplying pictures of this experience because a photographic play-by-play would be dynamite here, but my better judgement told me not to photograph the incoming patients, especially since I already stuck out like a sore thumb.
Although it looked really intimidating, as many hospitals do, it was actually a pretty smooth process. After registration, I was given a sticker to affix to my shirt and asked to proceed to the building next door.
My pasty white skin and blonde hair must have quickly given me away as someone who was probably lost because at each wrong turn somebody would ask if I was lost and offer additional instructions.
Whew. Not bad. I made it!
The wait was pretty standard, crowded office, getting my name called, height, weight, and blood pressure taken, then beginning an endless wait for the doctor. Same as home, right?
When I finally went in to see the doctor, she invited Chris and I to sit down at her desk. We went over the records that I had brought from Indiana and talked about a care plan moving forward.
Everything that she suggested was exactly in line with what my doctor in Indiana described. The Indian doctor did offer a few additional tests that the doctor in Indiana did not mention, but those were all optional. What a relief! Things seemed to be going as planned.
There is just one aspect of her thinking that may pose a problem if she asks too many questions about it. At one point during my appointment she scolded me for sitting up too aggressively. After all, you shouldn’t make any sudden movements or engage the muscles of your torso in any way when pregnant…right?
She clearly does not want to hear that I put in at least 6 hours at the gym last week, have continued running and heavy lifting, and that joining a local gym was on my to-do list for today. I think I’m going to have to employ the don’t ask, don’t tell policy with that one. I have a strong suspicion that she will never quiz me about my exercise habits and I don’t think I should worry her with them.
Note: My Indiana doctor instructed me to listen to my body and continue with my normal routine as long as no complications arise.
Sorry for the wall of text and more importantly for not having pictures of what will probably be my most interesting post of the week.