Four weeks have melted away in the heat since we boarded our flight from England to India and began our indefinite world travels. During this time I have kind of felt like a migratory bird in training, a little wobbly on my feet, but determined to spread my wings and take flight.
Except it hasn’t quite worked out like that. As it turns out, this bird is more of a nest builder than a graceful glider. It’s been so nice and comfortable in our little house here in Goa that I haven’t really left. I’ve basically just sat on my butt all day reading, writing and working on several graphic design projects. And it’s been wonderful, if a little short on creative inspiration.
Sure, we’ve done things. I mean, we’ve grocery shopped, tackled ant infestations, swept and mopped daily, perfected the art of sleeping in a hammock and caught up on The X Factor UK and Homeland. We’ve basically done all the things we would have back home in England, save for the hammock part and battling with insects as omnipresent as the Kardashions. But apart from the fact that we are in India, we haven’t really been doing much in the way of travel.
After our slow but sweet start, what we needed was a good kick up the butt.
Or maybe a lump.
Yup, a lump up the butt should definitely do it.
Over the past couple of weeks I have felt an increasing discomfort every time I sat down. The pain was steadily growing more and more severe, and I could feel a large round lump at the very end of my tailbone. I kept hoping it would just go away, and was simply caused by the huge stress relief of finally being on the road, but the pain and the lump continued to grow.
I’m a bit of a hypochondriac at the best of times, but this situation was amplified by a recent health scare I had just before we left home. Following a routine smear test my results showed abnormalities to the cells in my cervix, and I was sent to the hospital for a minor, but very painful procedure. I then had to wait six weeks for my results, and was told I had a 70% chance of needing further treatment.
This was three weeks before we left for India. We discussed delaying our flights while we waited for the results, but in the end decided to carry on as normal, and if I needed further treatment I would simply have to fly back home again.
It was an incredibly worrying six weeks, but as you can probably guess from the fact that I’m still here, my results recently came back clear. It was one major pain in the ass over with, now all I had to do was deal with the actual pain in my ass.
We asked around for recommendations of a good doctor, but were met with little more than blank faces. In a place where most people turn to religion and spiritual symbolism to heal their various ailments, a trip to the local GP is not something they were too familiar with.
In the end we decided to go to the hospital. Well, actually Lee decided. I was too busy freaking out and thinking the worst, so he ordered me to get dressed and get my troublesome ass in gear.
We drove to the nearby Dhavalikar Hospital, a building in a standard state of disrepair for the area, but immaculately clean inside and filled with neatly dressed staff whose English far exceeded my Hindi.
We were shown into a small room where a nurse took my blood pressure then told us to wait for the doctor, giving Lee ample time to torture me by taking photos and writing mock prescription notes using the official pad the doctor had left on his desk.
This is my ‘When my ass gets better I’m gonna kick yours to kingdom come’ face.
When the doctor arrived he introduced himself with a warm, reassuring smile, then proceeded to get familiar with my newly exposed bottom. “Ah, dis is perfectly normal” he half laughed. “You have some swelling but it is fine. It is just inflammation of the coccyx, caused by too much sitting down.”
I felt myself die a little on the bed. Too much sitting down?!
Lee suppressed his laughter while I regained my modesty and the doctor turned to write out a prescription for anti-inflammatories. These needed to be combined with plenty of exercise and as little time spent sitting down as possible. He also advised that we procure a rubber ring for me to use when sitting was unavoidable.
Humiliating, but surprisingly comfortable.
Since then I have been taking my pills and swimming in the sea every day, and falling readily into a more active lifestyle, far more suited to that of the adventurous travel blogger I set out to be.
Part of me feels embarrassed that I didn’t just jump right in and start charging around India when we first arrived, but that part decreases daily along with my physical pain, and the bottom line is that I needed this time to be still.
And now I am ready to fly.
Yesterday we took a road trip on our trusty moped to explore more of Goa and finally do some of the travelling we came here to do. It was wonderful to wind our way along roads that cut through the jungle like a river, and feel sweet relief from the heat as we sped through the dappled shade. The dust of adventure stuck to our sweat-dampened skin and matted my hair as it whipped across my shoulders. I closed my eyes and smiled as I breathed it all in, and stretched out my hands like wings, feeling the air begin to lift me up.
After four long hours on the bumpy, pothole-ridden roads we arrived home weary from the journey but refreshed by the experience.
And we both had really sore asses.