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Whatever you do: DO NOT GET SICK!!

Popularity 8Viewed 5171 times 2014-4-2 18:51 |Personal category:Dos and Donts while in China|System category:Life| Whatever, against, factors, getting, natural

Ok so that may be a bit over the top a warning considering one only have so much power against getting sick plus with pollution, second hand smoke, the ever evolving H7N9 and all other usual risk factors, there’s only so much you can do unless you can afford the luxury of living in a bubble or walking around with your own oxygen tank.

I, thank God, have never gotten seriously ill while here except for the common cold and I have my own natural treatments straight-from-my-mama God bless her soul so I can avoid hospitals. This was something my roommate and I shared until just a few days ago when I found her writhing in extreme abdominal pain on the floor in our room. I was just from a short trip so I was exhausted and just planned to curl up in my bed and call it a night but fate had other plans. Another friend was with her at the time before I came in trying to figure out what to do next. There was a Chinese dude too who really helped actually…he just got on the floor where my roomie was and started poking and prodding, next thing you know my roomie (let’s call her Amani for the sake of this story) is up and rushing to the bathroom to puke. Later he explained it was some form of acupuncture and honestly it was a huge help as it decongested Amani’s tummy.

So we got a shifu (taxi-guy), that we had met previously and made friends with and now I thank heaven we did. He lives right next to us. I would actually advice every foreigner to have one of these if you don’t have a car of your own that is. I called the guy up, he arrived in 5 minutes and off we went to the nearest hospital, because that’s what you do when someone falls seriously sick right?, first aid then dash to the nearest hospital. Well apparently that doesn’t apply to foreigners here. We got to the hospital; picture four ladies; one in so much pain she could barely walk, two trying to help her walk and me armed with only one year of Chinese language, never having experienced a real rush-a-friend-to-a-Chinese-hospital saga. So you can imagine my panic when the doctor said she could not be treated there and that we should take her to another hospital that is bigger and has more specialized doctors. I thought all doctors are specialized in MEDICINE!?!?!?!So the guy explains that because of language barriers there is risk of misdiagnosis or something like that; note, I could only get the general meaning of what he was saying but I knew there was no way we were leaving that hospital without treatment. So I beg the good doctor to look at how much pain Amani was in and have mercy on us. Finally he agreed but reluctantly.

At first we thought it was food poisoning but after we did the regular blood and stool tests, they couldn’t find anything aside from a few deficiencies in the blood so he referred us to another doctor after ordering an ultrasound. Oh and you have to pay at every step so I have no idea how many trips I had to make to and from the doctor’s office and the cashier and the treatment rooms. Amani all the while complaining I was being too slow and almost punching the doctor demanding to be prescribed morphine! Reminding myself to ‘Keep Calm, She’s in pain’, and the many prayers I made that night was the only thing that kept me sane  but there were a few moments that tempers flared. They finally discovered she had gallstones. We had to spend the night in hospital as she got medication intravenously; I have never seen drips go that slow. The first doctor came to check on us a few times that night, he still had a panicked look in his eyes as if he was willing Amani to not die, not in his watch anyway. He kept suggesting we go to a bigger hospital with English speaking doctors; I kept ignoring that bit of our conversations. JMy friend was getting treatment; I could care less what hospital we were in.

I’ve never spent that much time in an emergency room aside from watching ER, Grey’s anatomy, Hawthorne on T.V from the comfort of my couch. I saw one guy coding and being revived by our doctor (suffice to say my confidence in him shot up after I watched him save a life); the outpatient ward was a choir of snoring through the night, I saw drunks who had had too much, sweet old couples taking care of their sick partners, busted heads, other people in unexplainable pain, seemingly overexerted doctors mobbed by patients and patients’ relatives yet still managing to keep calm. The nurses were really nice and helpful. As the shifts changed in the morning for the nurses and doctors we heard weeping and wailing from a room close to us. I said a little prayer for the lost soul. A very rude woman sleeping in the bed next to Amani’s kept saying in Chinese “what’s with all the crying? If the guy is dead, he’s dead, that’s it”.

Thankfully Amani was pain free by around 10am, we went back to see the doctor, he suggested she come back later for another round of treatment and that we may need to consider surgery in the very near future. I could finally breathe easy. Once my head hit the pillow that afternoon, I was gone, passed out till we had to go back to the hospital.

Amani has to go on this crazy gall-stone diet till the surgery but there’s no pain, just discomfort and exhaustion. I never want to go through that again though. Having my heart on my sleeve like that, freaked out but at the same time having someone depend on you, yet second guessing yourself because of language barriers, wondering if maybe there is something life-threatening/saving you didn’t understand and that if anything happens to your friend you’d always wonder if it was partly your fault. Sheesh, talk about being between a rock and a hard place!!!

 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report Shaykahorere 2014-4-2 19:51
oh my goodness i had the same experience with my cousin!!! she fell from the second floor of some building and was bleeding insanely, rushed her to the hospital at 2 damn in the morning only had a few months of chinese, i never knew the real meaning of the word exhaustion until those 2 weeks in and out of the hospital.
Reply Report Shaykahorere 2014-4-2 19:51
oh my goodness i had the same experience with my cousin!!! she fell from the second floor of some building and was bleeding insanely, rushed her to the hospital at 2 damn in the morning only had a few months of chinese, i never knew the real meaning of the word exhaustion until those 2 weeks in and out of the hospital.
Reply Report queensparta 2014-4-2 20:03
Shaykahorere: oh my goodness i had the same experience with my cousin!!! she fell from the second floor of some building and was bleeding insanely, rushed her to th ...
Wah! I can only imagine..I hope she's ok now..
then the doctor was getting frustrated coz he had to repeat stuff for me several times and the hospital was so crowded,then you can't sleep coz you are watching out for your cousin/friend while looking for doctors and nurses... I felt like I was going to lose it!
Reply Report Shaykahorere 2014-4-2 20:46
queensparta: Wah! I can only imagine..I hope she's ok now..
then the doctor was getting frustrated coz he had to repeat stuff for me several times and the hospital ...
life ain't easy man
Reply Report Shaykahorere 2014-4-2 20:47
queensparta: Wah! I can only imagine..I hope she's ok now..
then the doctor was getting frustrated coz he had to repeat stuff for me several times and the hospital ...
life ain't easy man
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-4-3 10:10
The comments on this are "so good you made them twice" Mezeri. Posting to comments can be a problem.    Yes needing to go to hospital can be very scary in China . I have had to take students there from time to time. It needs a lot of patience too. The IV drip is the typical response to many problems. Glad things worked out for you guys!
Reply Report angus 2014-4-3 12:32
I have experienced a rush to hospital and I was the patient with no Chinese whatsoever and the medical staff had no Englsh. But they got me on my feet. The school, WEB Changshu, I was working for would do nothing to assist in an emergency, and my line manager, Sherry said I should die for disturbing her when she was with her underaged lesbain girlfriend. It is because of that I resigned from the school. But that had nothing to do with the treatment I got. The hospital staff were fine once they knew what was wrong. Of course like everywhere in the world no one wants to take responsibility. Luckily I got help from a teacher who worked at another school, (I married her) I can say a great deal of negative things about the managers at WEB but the hospital did the job needed.

Being from the UK where health care was once free and of the same standard for everyone, the Chinese healthcare system was a culture shock, but in the end actually works better than the crumbs we have left of the NHS which is now being replaced by the far worse American healthcare system due to corruption in parliament.

Last year I had to rush my wife to hospital and this time I knew what to expect so everything went much smoother, When things are new or different we often feel resentment or wrongly compare them to our previous expectations. Let's remember China does things her way and they do work, they just do it a different way.
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-4-3 13:22
I see material here for a future book: China Unmasked - The WEB school story sounds fascinating! .
Reply Report 财神 2014-4-3 19:08
wish nobody have to go hospital and the business of hospital will be collapsed.
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-4-4 21:11
Unfortunately, even going to hospital can result in a scam. A creative one. Maybe I do a blog about it?  
Reply Report queensparta 2014-4-6 17:05
Not to sound religious but AMEN bro!!
Reply Report queensparta 2014-4-6 17:07
ColinSpeakman: Unfortunately, even going to hospital can result in a scam. A creative one. Maybe I do a blog about it?   
And I woul d definitely read that
Reply Report teamkrejados 2014-4-7 12:52
I wish Amani well; a successful treatment and never a recurrence. I wish you the fortitude to endure. Best of luck to both of you.
Reply Report queensparta 2014-4-7 23:15
ColinSpeakman: The comments on this are "so good you made them twice" Mezeri. Posting to comments can be a problem.      Yes needing to go to hospital ...
Oh I think the double comments just means the blog is just that good!haha...Patience is an understatement..but am glad it worked out, that sall that counts in the end..
Reply Report queensparta 2014-4-7 23:18
teamkrejados: I wish Amani well; a successful treatment and never a recurrence. I wish you the fortitude to endure. Best of luck to both of you.
Thank you...she's doing good..she had to go on a strict diet though..we will be going for a consult at a bigger hospital then see if we can schedule a surgery so we take care of the problem for good..it's minor thankfully so am sure she'll be ok.. am secrectly freakin out tho'..
Reply Report queensparta 2014-4-7 23:23
angus: I have experienced a rush to hospital and I was the patient with no Chinese whatsoever and the medical staff had no Englsh. But they got me on my feet ...
Oh wow!I got shivers just from reading ur story...she actually said "u should die..." talk about heartless...but yeah so long as u r on ur feet in the end, i guess the struggle to get there is worth it.. I do wish it was alot smoother tho, like maybe get more staff in the public hospitals both small and big who can speak english.. I mean at the rate of China's growth and increase in foreigners that's the least I would expect..
Reply Report mutafire 2014-4-9 02:02
Well, the title is misleading but appropriate...
Reply Report queensparta 2014-4-9 11:25
mutafire: Well, the title is misleading but appropriate...
thanks for the comment...misleading??how do u mean?
Reply Report jiewei798 2014-4-17 17:21
I've had very similar hospital experiences. So sorry that your friend needs surgery!!! I wish her a quick recovery.
Reply Report queensparta 2014-4-18 13:28
jiewei798: I've had very similar hospital experiences. So sorry that your friend needs surgery!!! I wish her a quick recovery.
thanks...we went to a bigger hospital, Beijing Chaoyang hospital and the doctor advised that surgery should be the last resort. He said coz she's young and otherwise healthy, there is a chance she may never experience that kind of pain again so he prescribed medication and now we wait n see...so it's all good.

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