My friend Susan is a warm hearted and gentle person. She has somehow endeared herself to my family. Recently, Ranjan had attended a barbecue party at her residence where her colleagues asked her how she knew Ranjan to which she said that the three generations of Rajgopauls have adopted her into their family as has she adopted them, leaving them no wiser! She teaches in one of our reputed schools offering International Baccalaureate diplomas. She specialises in teaching students with special needs (High IQ). Susan herself is an office-bearer/member of the Boston Mensa, which is enough said about her qualification for the work that she does here.
I had posted about her great neighbourliness earlier and had promised to post a photograph of hers at an appropriate time. I now fulfill the promise with three!
She recently wrote a mail to all her friends about her adventures in India, on receipt of which, I requested her to allow me to post it here as a guest post. Her response was typical of her- “Certainly! I think more should know about the excellent medical care here. While I have insurance (2) in the States. care here is much better.”
Here is her letter without any changes to it.
Thirty years I had a ski accident in Austria, shattering my left ankle. It took months to heal and it was never comfortable. As the years passed, I continued running, dancing, biking, took up downhill ski racing and even did a few triathlons. I tried every treatment recommended, artificial cartilage made from cock’s comb, Synvisc, another cast, two operations to remove cartilage that had broken off and wedged into the joint, removal of bone spurs and bumps, had the bones shaved surgically to make the joint more smooth, and took so many pain meds that I gave myself three bleeding ulcers.
Finally a surgeon here in Pune, India told me it had to be done now. I had hoped for an ankle replacement but they’ve been out only since 2008 and the track record proves the ankle joint replacement is not long lasting. That left only fusion where the bones in my ankle would be screwed together, my leg and ankle in a cast, and I would not be able to put any weight on that foot for three months.
The surgeon used a hospital named Oyster and Pearl and it was a modern, spacious facility, a joy to behold in white and chrome. The nurses dressed me appropriately for the event.
I had a private room, daily massages, and excellent care for my five-day stay for less than $1600 US which my school insurance covered. When it was time to leave the Director of my school and his wife, Michael and May, took me into their home so I wouldn’t be alone at home. The offer was very generous and kind. This photo was taken at a restaurant without stairs and was my first outing. May loaned me her Ethiopian dress so I didn’t have to be seen in a dressing gown.
Nine days later I was well enough to be on my own so returned to my flat and to work two days later. I have a maid at home that cleans, does laundry, and prepares some food. At school my meals are brought to my new space, one without stairs. I hired a car and driver to take me to and from school with my wheelchair. It’s an effective arrangement.
Co-workers come to visit on weekends attracted by the variety of animal hats that I purchased in Nepal.
Mark is wearing an elephant, Robert a beaver, Kiran a monkey, while I doned an owl.
I’ll be able to walk the first week in June but if you have the time, come now to visit. Yes, it’s summer and hot but in June the monsoons begin. I anticipate returning mid July and plan a pool party in Salem. Will I see you then?