Friday, November 11, 2011

W T F???

A couple of days ago, I told you that it was dangerous to let the young, rowdy, Indians drive the Rickshaws.  Today, I am bringing that point to a more serious measure.  Let me just say, I am lucky to be alive.  Today, 11-11-11, was the day of the rickshaw flip.

In the morning, we were calm and ready for a regular day.  We got in the rickshaws with no idea what lay ahead.  The engines started.  In our rickshaw was Ivan, my parents, and I.  Behind us was the rickshaw driven by Chethan, one of the young Indian medical students.  The passengers in Chethan’s rig were Rob and Kate.  Chethan started to speed up and pass us.  He was not paying attention or looking at the road  BAM.  He swerved into us and flipped both rickshaws off the road. 

The next thing I remember, I was crammed on my side under Mom in the rickshaw with my head next to the roof of the vehicle.  All the muscles in my body were cramping.  I heard a voice in the distance.  “Get every body out of the rickshaws.”  I remember Mom pulling me out of the rickshaw and me limping away from the scene.  Dad was surrounded by three people.  He had been driving the rickshaw.  I saw a shirt soaked in blood and a huge cut on his head.  I laid down by a tree, thankfully not too injured.

I checked in with Dad.  He was ok, but we needed to drive back to the clinic spot where we had spent the night.   There, our doctors would examine the injured.  We discovered that Mom had pain over her left belly and Dad was afraid she was internally bleeding.  We took her into the nearest room in the complex and Kate and Adam started checking blood pressure and decided to give my Mom I.V. fluids.  This keeps the blood pressure from getting too low.  This whole time, Ivan was experiencing severe shoulder and chest pain.  We finally made up our minds on how to get out of this mess.

The plan was for Ivan, Rob, Vic (and Indian dentist who would translate for us), me, and my parents to ride in an ambulance back to Jodhpur.  The rest of the gang was to ride in the support vehicle to our original destination for the day, Lamba.  The ambulance showed up and mom was rolled in by a stretcher.  We knew it was going to be a hard afternoon when we saw the ambulance.  It was basically a mini van with a place for a stretcher inside.  We had a long bumpy ride and Ivan was hurting more and more. 

The “ambulance” pulled into the drive way of the Goyal Hospital and Research Centre where we unpacked our bags and moved into the hospital.  Our first priority was to get Mom looked at.  She was rolled immediately into the Emergency Ward.  It looked like a Western emergency room with monitors, modern hospital beds, and western dressed doctors.  There were a couple things that gave away that we were in India.  The sheets of the hospital beds were dirty and patients wearing traditional clothing looking skinny and very sick.  The doctor briefly checked to see where she was hurting and ordered a chest x-ray and a C.T. scan of her abdomen.  She, thankfully, had no cracks our fractures in her ribs and she was not internally bleeding.  Ivan had an x-ray taken of his upper chest and there were two minor rib fractures.  Wow, it was really Ivan who we should have worried about! 

The hospital was an added annoyance to the destructive day.  The hospital was small.   Before getting every medication, x-ray, dressing, or procedure you had to wander the hospital for a pay desk, pay and bring the receipt back to the doctor.  Our luggage came with us in the ambulance so we had to keep our gear at the entrance to the hospital while some one watched it.  Our group was spread through out the hospital, getting scans, paying for things and always one person had to wait with the luggage.  The power was going on and off so every once in a while we had to wait in the dark until the power came back. 

Before we left, we had to get one more operation.  My dad’s cut on his head needed stitches.  I was not there, but Dad said the guy did a horrible job.  First he used the numbing injection poorly so Dad actually felt the needle go into his head.  Before they stitched him, they shaved his head around the cut.  The stitches were done very large, irregular, and very tight.  Each stitch was about five millimeters apart I think it looks like Frankenstein.  Ouch!  Lets just say, I hope this does not happen again!  

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!


  1. what? i am commenting 1st on this gigantic ordeal you all just survived?? OMG WTF!
    I am so relieved to know in the same story that all are fine..along with some interesting wounds to bring on the road.. i am surprised your dad did not do his own stitches or assist!
    whew! now what?
    i do recall..with humor now.. my several traveling illnesses, toothaches at the barefoot dentist in Indonesia, the perfume rubbed on my fainting head in Sri Lanka .. what a journey ! rickshaws in future what???

  2. I am so glad to know you guys made it out of the mess.. take care and see you in delhi soldiers !

  3. What a scary and upsetting day you all had! Thank goodness the physical damage was no worse.
    Emotional wounds? Talking and writing about the experience and your feelings will help with that. Would you believe that there is a professor here at UT who built his whole career studying how journaling helps people recover emotionally from bad experiences?
    Good job, Rohan, writing about it all.
    I am thankful you all are alive and able to talk and write about the day. I hope there will be no more days like this for you - at least not very soon!
    Love, Grandma Doris

  4. Wow!, Ya it was really scary. It felt weird to get back in a rickshaw on the way to the hotel in Jodhpur. Dad could not do his own stitches because they were on top of his head:)!!!!

  5. Thank god you were all wearing helmets and seat belts or it could have been much, much worse! Glad everyone is basically ok. zoikes.

  6. Helmets? Seatbelts? Are there even words for those tings in Hindi or Rajisthani?

  7. ( this is Ivan posting under cats account. )Rohan did a great job describing the events of the accident. i want to make sure everyone knows how well he handled the situation. he and i were face to face in the over turned rickshaw. i assured him it would be OK and he never panicked or got hysterical. he did a great job helping on the ambulance ride and at the hospital. i am proud to be his friend.

  8. Battered but unbowed, you three have weathered a nasty spill and less-than-ideal medical care. I saw with genuine distress the careless-appearing sutures holding the skin of Tim's scalp in place. I hope the healing moves right along, and that Cat's injuries also heal slowly but surely. Love to all three mangled migrators. Dad/Morgan/Grandpa Morgan

  9. Grandpa,

    Thanks for the piece of inspirational thought. We are healing slowly and surely.


  10. Rohan, Your Mom just related the story tonight over dinner and a few glasses of wine but your writing made it come alive! Keep writing. You have a gift. Oh, the picture of your Dad's scar is pretty gruesome yet cool.