Monday, September 21, 2009
Tests, Tests, and More Tests
Nine hours after landing in New Delhi and I was already on my way to the GMR Institute of Imaging & Research to do eight tests. Home in California it would take a couple weeks AT LEAST to get just one of these tests done, and we were on our way within nine hours of arriving?! How crazy is that? As soon as we walked in the door they started the tests pretty much right away. They put me on a gurney and almost immediately wheeled me into a room to start the MRI's. The first trip to the MRI machine I did an MRI on my brain, my cervical spine, my dorsal spine, and my lumbar spine. The machine was SOOO LOUD, I can't even come up with something to compare the noise too, and I live with a brother who has a garage band who plays metal music. After about five minutes of being in the machine I started coming up with words that seemed to match the sounds it was making (backpack backpack backpack, partay partay partay, blub blub blub, etc.) Once those four MRI's were done I got back on my gurney and all of a sudden I was being wheeled out into the parking lot to a back hall around the side of the building to do a E.K.G. My mom and Hope were in such shock that I was being wheeled out that we just looked at each other and started laughing and waved. They didn't get their cameras out fast enough because they weren't expecting it so Hope got a picture that looks like I'm going into a morgue. My mom and I then went in this little itty bitty room to get the E.K.G. Where I put on a gown and instead of using electrodes they used these "martian looking little suction cups" and clamped my wrists and ankles and completed the test. I was pretty much totally exposed to about five people (four men and one woman) who spoke no English while they did the test. It wasn't a big deal to them like it is to us because it's just their job and they think nothing of it, it's common. After the E.K.G. I was rolled back into the office to go take a chest X-ray which the only difference from back home is I had nothing protecting me from the radiation. When the chest X-ray was done I got back onto my gurney (again) and they had me do ANOTHER MRI on my whole back (cervical, dorsal, and lumbar) which was just as loud and I am very surprised I can even still hear. Getting back onto my gurney (yet again) I was wheeled back through the parking lot again (this time they got pictures) and Hope came with me to do an Echo cardiogram in another back little itty bitty room. The door could barely open all the way to get me inside because I was still on the gurney. Once the Echo cardiogram was finished I was rolled back inside and changed out of my gown in the X-ray room. Two and a half hours later we had completed five MRI's, a chest X-Ray, an Echo cardiogram, and an E.K.G. all of which would've taken probably around two months to get back in the states. The most amazing part of all of it (which really explains why there is so much medical tourism now a days) it cost 14,550 Rupees which is the equivalent to about $300. Each test back in California costs thousands of dollars and to get all eight of these tests done for about $300 dollars is incredible. When my mom got the receipt she turned to Hope and said "Okay, so is there anything you need to get scanned/tested?" Even though we had already done all of these tests back in the states the doctor wanted all updated ones and everything. The tests all came back normal, which wasn't a surprise, and the staff there started asking me questions like "Okay, so why are you here?" That was only one part of our first day in New Delhi, India.