Dr. Bose Tips from his patients
Vicky also has created a Checklist for patients going to India here India Checklist
Posted on January 20, 2010 Message #154844
Notes From Chennai -10 Days Post Op
Mike Turner RBHR Dr. Bose 11 Jan 2010
We head back State-side tomorrow after a visit just short of three weeks. Nothing earth shattering I'm sure but here are some fresh thoughts about our trip to India for my RBHR. Hopefully a SurfaceHippy or two soon headed this way will find a tidbit of the information useful.
- I carried about $50 in singles but very early on wished I'd brought $100 or even more. They are priceless for daily tipping and all of the drivers, porters, etc opted for US greenbacks when I offered them dollars or rupees. One driver stated he wanted to have a buck to show his children.
- We stayed at the Residency Hotel for the 1.5 day 2/nites prior to our
admission to Apollo, and again for two nights after checking out of the
hospital and although it is nowhere as luxurious as the RainTree hotel
where we are now, we found the location of Residency a huge benefit and
would stay there first again. There's a US style supermarket (pharmacy)
located less than a block away and huge and famous outdoor bazaar
(Pondi) only another block past that so that
souvenir, cloths, and jewelry shopping can be done while you can still walk about. (Note: sharpen those haggling skills for really solid bargains.) The supermarket stocked everything we hauled from home (snacks, noodles, feminine products, etc) plus we were also able to pick up sodas, bananas, and more snacks to keep in the room at rupee prices. Another advantage to the Residency was free Wi-Fi and/or LAN connection. I had a Cat-5 connector in my bag and enjoyed a fast 100 Mbps connection. While the amenities and food choices are far fewer at the Residency, (except for the superior breakfast buffet) the price, access to street life, people, and shopping added greatly to our India experience and to shaking the initial 1-3 day "cultural reality jolt".
- Although Mohan at Apollo furnished us a Wi-Fi connected laptop, bring your own. I was the only patient in the ward most of that week and I'm not sure what the actual policy is with a full ward of patients. Without the distraction of the Internet, it would have indeed been a LONG and isolated 6-day hospital stay. Mohan had to set up a static IP address so connections may be limited or not available at all when there are more than one or two patients. Double-check with Apollo.
- A Magic Jack USB IP phone works great and allows you to have the same phone connectivity that you enjoy at home. If you own one, be sure to bring it along. Any calls made to or from the US will work.
- If you don't have a Skype account and camera/mic…please get one. I set up my Mom (remotely) in Boston before we left the States and the daily face-to-face contact really put her mind at ease before and after the surgery,…plus she enjoyed meeting and chatting with Jonah and Dillip Komar (food services) who both always seemed to pop into the room during their shifts while I was Skyping! Can also call to US phones for dirt cheap.
- You can watch some online shows, (ABC, CNN, Daily Show, etc) but the sites I was counting on to brainlessly pass the hours (Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc) were not available due to overseas licensing restrictions. Other site specific slightly racy shows (ie. Family Guy/Simpsons) are blocked in India. I hate to advise anyone to physically carry DVD disks in this day and age, but it's still
a pretty good option especially if you don't pre-load some quality entertainment content onto your pc.
- The nurses (AKA "The Sisters") and the rest of the staff on the Platinum ward really enjoyed the 52 oz Halloween blend of individual wrapped candy we carried over in one piece of empty luggage. The Minis Mix candy ($10 at Sam's Club) which includes miniature Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Twix, and Milky Way bars were placed out a small bowel and restocked 2-3 times/day to the delight of the
staff. They weren't as enthusiastic with the 41oz bag of Life Savers but those eventually disappeared also. If you have the space, bring candy and lots of it.
- Although it's been stated again and again, I'll will restate …bring less cloths! With the price of laundry service at the hospital and Residency hotel (can't speak for Rain Tree), a carry-on bag worth of cloths would have more than fit the bill plus allowed us to bring the Apollo gang even more candy! One caution is that the Apollo laundry writes your room number on the garment. Does it come out…? We'll have to see.
-The WorldMed folks I worked with, Janet Kwan and Anna Hall, were both priceless and amazing and turned the numerous road bums (we pit-stopped in Delhi/Agra for two days prior to Chennai) we encountered from what would have been a "logistically challenging" overseas trip into a pretty good time considering the purpose of the trip. These two are really REALLY good at their jobs and good
folks to boot. Use them!
- Strengthen those arms and upper body! You'll be pulling your body on and off the bed without the benefit of legs! Also, be able to push yourself up from a lying or slightly raised position. Core train!
-Dr Bose and the rest of the Apollo medical staff (ah...The Sisters), what more can be said about them that hasn't been said a million times on this and other sites? Dr. Bose is my "new best friend" (he laughed) and indeed a "rock star" (I am not worthy…I am not worthy")! These guys are commonly what's known as a no-brainer and a sure thing in the hip resurfacing arena! If you have any doubts…don't!
So far so great! Thank you for my life back!
RBHR 11 Jan 2010
To add to this (sorry, this is very long) for the benefit of those still pending their trips to India, there is an India Surface Hippy site filled with great stories and tips from former patients that have gone and many will reply to you if you post over there.
Also here are my comments on some tips for those planning to go to India.
I would just comment that personally I preferred staying at a beach resort after my surgery and away from the hustle bustle of the extremely crowded city. I arrived two days prior to my surgery and got my souvenir shopping, and fitting for outfits to be hand tailored prior to my surgery and just went back to the shop to pick them up after my final check up. The beach resort I stayed at was Fisherman's Cove, it is a five star resort, absolutely gorgeous and relaxing and
the food was phenomenal not to mention the incredible staff that ran to the elevator just to push the button for us and walked around with us to get our food at the breakfast buffet and brought it to the table for us while those of us that just had surgery were hobbling around on our crutches following them and pointing to what we wanted on our plates. They also have a patient coordinator there that has Mohan and Dr. Bose on speed dial on his cell phone, so if you
ever need anything, it is just a matter of finding or asking for Patrick. He was the best. I agree on the tipping. The hospital does not allow it, so bringing cookies or candy is a great idea. But the drivers, and the hotel staff all do accept tipping. I brought 1's, 5's and some 10's. I tipped Patrick $20 when I left and I just saw his jaw drop and then his face completely lit up. Once I had a waiter that did not look a day over 14 deliver some bottled water
to my room at Ideal beach (by the way, FC gives you tons of Aquafina for your room at no charge) and when I tipped him $3, he could not stop saying thank you to me. Believe it or not, that $3 is about one months pay for him or could even be what more. Amazing how poor that country is, such a shame. It felt good to make people smile there.
I did not like when I came back for my final check up trying to go back to the shop and having all the beggars almost push me down on my crutches. Mike was much braver than I, but then again, I am only 5'3" so for a tall American guy, they probably were not as aggressive as they were with me. The crutches did not seem to register at all with them, they still ran up to me and kept tapping me on the shoulder, almost shoving (the adults) or pulling on my shirt (the little
kids). I was told to not even make eye contact with them otherwise you would get bombarded by a ton of them if they saw you give money to even one. They even will try to open your car door when you are in a car, so keep your doors locked. something completely avoided if you stay at the beach resorts except for the day or two prior to surgery.
But overall, I think whatever hotel someone chooses, they usually don't know what the others are like and therefore they make it work. I just know that I stayed at two different hotels downtown and I stayed both at the Fisherman's Cove and the Ideal Beach resort (two different trips, one nothing to do with hips) and when I do go back for my other hip, I will stay again only at the Fisherman's Cove after the surgery. Little things down to how soft their toilet
paper was (the other places the TP can feel the consistency of newspaper almost) and the convenient walk-in showers rather than step over tubs (Ideal beach has tubs). Also the FC had a nicely air conditioned restaurant where the Ideal Beach did not. The grounds at Ideal were beautiful but the room not as nice as FC, as a matter of fact, like day and night. Huge difference in price though so if you
are on a budget, the Ideal is the lowest price for a great beach resort.
For me, this was the one time I was splurging for ME, plus I saved a fortune not staying in the U.S. Since my surgery was prior to FDA approval, back then insurance companies could get away with refusing to pay due to it being experimental. So it was around $24,000 U.S. out of pocket to go to Amstutz in L.A. or $10k - #12k to go to India and Dr. Bose. It was definitely the best decision I ever made in my life for myself.
To pass the time, I would highly recommend renting a couple of seasons of a great TV show that you have always wanted to watch but never got around to, or even buying them, DVD's seem to be cheap enough now. I had never watched 24 and rented the first few seasons of that, other shows to consider, Grey's Anatomy, Sopranos, Brother and sisters, a lot of great shows out there. I liked it better than watching a movie because it kept me intrigued to see what would
happen in the next episode. I invested in some decent head phones, not top of the line, but somewhht noise reduction so I could kick back in my hospital bed and watch without any noise, even though you are in a private room. You can either run it on a laptop or bring a portable DVD player.
I was not at all aware of the local grocery store, that would have been really nice. To get a power adaptor that works, I suggest this site, I got the 5G grounded plug.
It also does not hurt to bring the converter, which is a bit more costly, but I burned out my blow dryer in India as well as my electric toothbrush while I was in Belgium when I did not use the power converter instead.
It is still nice to bring some snacks from home that are your favorites, you won't believe how comforting some familiar food can be. I would also highly recommend that you order the "FRESH" apple juice in the hospital, it is amazing. very thick and like drinking an apple.
It is quite the experience, many have called it a very healing experience. No wonder people go to India to meditate and do yoga. i call it almost magical. When you go to India and Dr. Bose for surgery, it really changes you, changes your perception of the world and what people should be all about. They are one of the poorest cultures in the world and yet appear to be the happiest. Everyone is always smiling and bobbing their heads and they are just the nicest
people you will ever encounter.
I also have a checklist that I used click here
And like Mike said, I can't say enough good things about Worldmed Assist
I have recommended a lot of patients to them and all of them have just raved about the service AND it does not cost you one dime. They get a kick back from the hospital, no inflated pricing either. They also will help those planning to go to Belgium, and for some even to Dr. Su in NYC. So everyone keep that in mind. While I was in Belgium last June for the Advanced resurfacing course, I stayed at the Villa and visited a patient in his room after he just had surgery. While his wife and I were talking, the phone rang and it was Janet from WorldMed Assist asking Jerry if everything was ok and if there was anything she could do for him. Now, that's service!
Sorry this was so long, but should be very helpful for those planning on going to India.
LBHR Dr. Bose Dec 01 05