Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dengue Fever?!

So we have had an interesting stay in Delhi in past 2-3 weeks, which is coming to an end. At times it feels like we have been to hell and back!  :) String of our recent misfortunes continued. As my partner was recovering from his cold, I started having fever and headache, and shortly after he started showing the same symptoms. I was convinced our emotional and physical stress was taking its toll out of our bodies! After a visit to Phoenix hospital and some tests, it turned out we both had Dengue Fever. It was frightening at first not knowing how bad things will get. We knew it is not contagious for the babies, as only a mosquito can transfer the virus from an infected person to another.

We checked our platelet counts every other day at ISIS clinic under Dr Shivani's supervision, and our numbers went as low as 50,000 (normal range being above 150,000). The main advice that doctors gave us was to rest for a few days, drink plenty of fluid (including the juice from Papaya leaves), and we managed to get nurses to take care of the babies while we were recovering. Thankfully our platelet counts improved and I want to say everything is back to normal this week.

Last Tuesday, we went to the US embassy for both DNA test and ACS interviews. Everything went smoothly. Although the counselor gave me a little bit of difficult time for wanting to hyphenate the babies last names mainly because Indian birth certificates don't allow hyphens. Anyway with some back and forth, they did approve "Mazidi-Pillai" for their last names!

Meanwhile we haven't been happy with our apartment, Tulip House (B-40 GK1), from the day we moved in. We originally had reserved apartment E-253, but since the babies showed up early that apartment was not available and we had to settle down with B-40. The apartment was not very clean. The staff were helpful but there was always a communication gap. There was also a rat and a small mouse in the kitchen that prompted us to leave. Also still not sure where we got the Dengue Fever. We do not want to blame the apartment for that, but we have seen Mosquitos in the apartment. Anyway my intention for this post is not to bash Tulip House. I am sure their other apartments would have been better options for us but they were not available when we arrived in Delhi. Sandeep in fact was very sympathetic to our problems and offered to let us leave to take care of our health and the babies.

So last Sunday we moved to Apartment 18 (GK1 Enclave), and we have been very happy here. We missed the cook we had at Tulip House, but in so many other ways, this place feels like home.

This week there are many holidays here. Monday was Columbus day and the US embassy was closed. And then Wednesday and Friday is Indian holiday and the FRRO is closed. So I was hoping we can get the babies US passports from the embassy on Tuesday and go to FRRO the same day, but the passports were not ready until 4pm. So this morning we took the babies to FRRO at 9am. It was a crazy place the exact way other bloggers had described it in their blogs. Happy to report by noon, we were able to get our exit visas and leave. It was very straight forward for us. No major question or headache. I was elated once we had the exit visas in our hands!

Technically we could leave tonight if we wanted to, but we decided not to rush and try to enjoy our last few days in Delhi and also to avoid the crowded flights over the weekend. So we have bought our direct ticket from Delhi to Newark leaving Delhi Sunday night.

We used Poonam Jain for all the paperwork, and I highly recommend her. Although I must admit if you have the time and your babies don't show up early, you can do the paperwork yourself, but Poonam and her team definitely took the headache out of the whole process and we are thankful for that.

Despite being sick, we have managed to meet up with Magnus, David (from Australia) multiple times and Lynn and Raja last night. It has been a pleasure knowing these folks and sharing our journey with them.

The babies are doing well and growing well. We will take them to the pediatrician, Dr Anuj, one last time on Saturday before we leave. My next blog should be from Brooklyn! Wishing the best for other IPs getting ready for their turn. My advice: pack mosquito repellent (like OFF) with you. There is definitely a pandemic of this virus in the tropical countries, and you don't want to be the next victim!

Our babies have been growing despite the parents not being well!