I have been struck down by viral infection of the snotty kind, which crept up on me while I was on anti-biotics for a violent urinary tract infection. This is why I don’t believe in doctors. I don’t like doctors. I don’t go to doctors.
I like instead to self-medicate by eating the right kind of foods, do jal neti, rest and shout a few encouraging words to my body while it fights the infection. I also depend on pani puri ka paani which can cure everything, including cancer. In that respect, it is superior to chocolate.
Whining is my preferred road to recuperation. I like to walk around the house moaning, “I’m dying. I’m dying” like a ghoul. Tushar escapes to work. “I’m dying of UTI,” I call him to say, “Will you miss me?”
Usually, I’m left to the dog, that selfish, demanding piece of tar who is as sticky as he looks. Whatever you read about dogs sensing you are ill and comforting you is a lie. Tell a dog you’re dying and he looks at you expectantly. Tell him again and he wags his tail. “Are we going for a WALK? TO THE DOWNSTAIRS?” Your dead body is as good for cuddling as a live one, albeit a bit colder.
Tushar’s mother, who lives with us, keeps saying things like, “Doctor ke paas chali jao” or “Paracetamol lo”. She means well, bless her soul, but she’s no expert in wasting illnesses. I try to break it to her gently that there’s no use in trying to deal with the dying, but she doesn’t believe in rhyme.
Unless it’s pretty drastic, I put off telling my own mother. But with Tushar at work, the dog trying to crawl back into my womb and mother-in-law more interested in scientific reasoning, I have no choice.
Besides, my mother smothers illnesses with her love. The last time she took me home, this happened.
1. Took me to her doctor and told him how hard I work and how I don’t get enough rest, or eat the right food and asked for a supplement to make me stronger. I won’t say I don’t enjoy this.
2. Make me ALL my favourite food. It gets better if I say I don’t feel like eating. Then she brings the tray UP to my old room and FEEDS me while I lie in bed. I also get my choice of breakfast, but the best thing about having a mother is that you don’t have to tell her what you want; you just tick one of the multiple choices offered.
3. Ask if there’s been trouble between me and Tushar. Frankly, I think my mother’s disappointed that I haven’t banged the door on Tushar’s face and come home to wage a cold war for a few days.
4. Insist that I get a full medical check up.
5. Offer to support me financially I want to quit my job and stay home.
And all I had was a sinus infection.