Saree Not Saree: India 2013

It's funny how time and distance change you, the roads you take don't always lead you home.

Fistulas, Hemorrhoids, and Leaches, Oh My!

Mini Ayurvedic Desk

Mini Ayurvedic Desk

I would like to start this post by explaining the serious nature behind Ayurvedic medicine. The humor that follows is not meant to undermine the reality of a treatment that Ayurveda is. If you dont think you will be offended. Then read on. You wont be sorry.

I am taking a class on Indian natural medicine, Ayurveda. So far we have learned the philosophy behind the practice as well as some natural remedies for common ailments. As a part of the course, we go on a few field trips throughout the semester. Today we spent the day at an Ayurvedic hospital, much unlike any hospital I had ever seen.

We spent the morning roaming the open halls of the hospital. Being taken in to rooms to chat with patients and watch procedures. Both equally amusing and, well, shocking. Our day began as we watched a man getting a fistula removed. Twenty american students stood and watched, jaws down, as a doctor inserted a string in this man’s anus. The man writhed in pain and we just stood there too shocked and confused to move.

I kept comparing it to any other hospital experience I had ever had. Personal moments I shared with my doctors that I frankly didn’t want nurses to see, let alone tourists. I was so far out of my comfort zone, I could barely keep a confused, nervous grin off my face for more than a minute.

After discussing the power of leaches for about an hour, we moved onto patient wards where we went bed to bed talking to patients. Imagine lying in a hospital bed and having a women patrolling students around your room asking you to tell the what is wrong. Uncomfortable to say the least, especially since half of them suffered from constipation.

After choking down our lunches, none of us able to get some of the images out of our heads, we toured the attached Ayurvedic college. We went into anatomy labs, smelled jar after jar of natural remedies, and prayed to the Goddess of Ayurveda. I guess the perfect way to spend Valentines Day is to see a human heart in a jar. It just screams romance!

Overall an interesting way to spend seven hours and a perfect excuse to get henna instead of conjugating hindi words. Saree I’m not?

UPDATE: I meant to share that I was selected as the newest Marketing and Communications Intern at an Indian NGO called Voice 4 Girls. Tomorrow is my first meeting so wish me luck! Yay making a difference!


One comment on “Fistulas, Hemorrhoids, and Leaches, Oh My!

  1. alanwein45
    February 17, 2013

    This is awesome. Your adventures impress me more each day!

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This entry was posted on February 14, 2013 by .
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