Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

Tuesday, May 6, 2008–Stem Cells for Dessert!

Per usual, the Snow God Ullr presented me with a blizzarding send off at DIA!  Even with a sketchy four-hour drive to Denver and delayed flights all the way, I MADE IT to Delhi!

As hard as it might be for some of you to believe, I am awake and typing away on my computer at 5:30 am.  I have a fresh cup o’ Peet’s French Roast by my side, a candle burns casting a soft golden glow on my keyboard, jasmine incense fill the air, and as much as I’d like to describe a lovely pink hue on the horizon, Delhi is displaying its best gray!  Upon a second look, there are different shades of gray, and if I really use my imagination with my watercolorist’s eye, there might even be a touch of lavender here and there.  If my memory serves me correctly, Delhi can actually produce some quite spectacular sunrises and sunsets because (yes, you guessed it) smog has the propensity to bring out gorgeous dusty oranges and crimson reds (but not this morning!). 

My laptop (and faithful connection to the outside world) rests against my bed.  My comfy orange and pink patterned pajama top is all I have on as I sit in the cool of the air conditioner. My hair is pulled back in a ponytail and I have the A/C set to 17°C (the coolest it will go and one degree off from the expected high of 18°C or 65°F for home in Basalt, Colorado).  Delhi will reach a ripping 41°C (105.8°F), which is two degrees cooler than yesterday’s whopping 43°C (109.4°F) high for the season so far.  The Times of India encourages people to stay indoors during this little heat wave, as even the tar on the pavement softens underfoot.  The heat depletes my energy and causes me to catch my breath.  My skin has already broken out in a prickly heat rash with red splotches.  I inhale Delhi’s stench in short bursts.  As soon as I exited the airplane’s door last Friday night into the jet-way tunnel after a two-day journey across the miles, I smelled that all-too-familiar waft of sweaty armpits as fifty Indian men gazed down on my blonde wearisome head.  Jet-lagged and bedraggled, I was still a sight for Indian eyes unafraid to hold a glare at my tangled blonde strands of hair.  Indian’s body odor is unique and unforgettable.

At 1 am I woke with a racing heartbeat to a loud catfight that pieced the still of the night.  Just a few horn honks were barely audible over the constant drone of the air con.  There was actually a sprinkle of rain last evening—literally a few droplets are a rarity for the month of May.  I am back in this hotter-than-one-can-begin-to-conceive city with a metropolitan population stretching to 22 million just beyond my windows.  Each morning I witness the same Indian guy with messed-up jet-black hair and a white singlet covering his chest who brushes his teeth on the roof atop the neighboring building.  As he peers at me, I stare back trusting that my windows are tinted in a reflective coating to deflect penetrating eyes from unsuspecting neighbors.  I choose to give him the benefit of the doubt that his behavior isn’t voyeuristic.  There is a more-than-likely possibility that he might catch me stark naked from his secret vantage point, but instead I accept that his gaze is an innocent act of peering out yonder while performing his morning ritual. 

For two-and-a-half days I have caved up in Room 208’s cocoon at Nu Tech Mediworld.  I am by myself and while I am alone, I embrace this space and time to enter back into the hospital’s womb.  Like a caterpillar encased in its silken armor, I am protected from the chaos that bellows outside the hospital’s walls, as I gestate in my newly pregnant embryonic stem cell body.  So far, I have had six stem cell injections and one intravenous shot of a gazillion stem cells. I have also had blood drawn to check my prolactin levels, and an ultrasound check on my abdomen.  On Wednesday, May 7th I will have my first caudal procedure in the operating theater at the older hospital located at Gataum Nagar.   



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