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Irene's Adventures

India - Siliguri

INDIA | Thursday, 23 September 2010 | Views [490]

It had been raining the entire time we were in Pelling. The washed out road situation did not improve. In fact, the roads were the worst any of us had ever experienced not only in India, but anywhere. My sore arm and elbow really took a beating. By the time we got to Siliguri five hours later I was more than ready to find that doctor! We looked in the Lonely Planet and went searching for the hospital listed there.

There was a 2 rupee fee to see the doctor, and I pretty much got my money's worth. After he twisted and prodded my elbow, bringing me to my knees in pain, he then proceeds to tell me I needed an x-ray but that the x-ray was closed for the day. Come back tomorrow and he may have time for me. He did manage to give me a prescription for pain and swelling, though, 220 rupees.

This was rubbish and we decided there had to be some other facility who was open to do an x-ray at 11:00 am. Incredible !ndia did not disappoint us. There on the street was an x-ray shop. Why not? They pull teeth on the street in Varanasi, why not x-rays in Siliguri?

It was a tiny, grubby place with an x-ray machine that looked like it survived the Korean war. We wondered aloud about the radiation but I needed an x-ray and figured with the two previous experiences I'd had with medical facilities, this is probably as good as it gets anyway. (I went to the hospital in Darjeeling for my Delhi-belly, and shutter at the grime. The word 'unsanitary' is not even relevant. The toilet – in the hospital – was the worst I had seen in all India. So I got the x-ray – 90 rupees.

Then off we go in search of this private hospital with the brother doctor. This hospital was much cleaner, but the doctor not gentler. After he looked at the x-ray and determined that my radial head (the knobby part of one of the lower arm bones situated by the elbow) was fractured, he continued to twist and prod my elbow, again bringing me to my knees in pain. He said I needed a plaster, 1200 rupees + 200 for doctor fees. About an hour later, I was good to go.


I figured I had been travelling for 2 weeks with a broken arm and had been doing OK, so I should be able to continue now that it was casted and I had pain killers. So that very evening we boarded a train for Kolkata.


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