Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mr. Tummy

I really like eel. A bit too much it seems. We ordered some in our favorite restaurant the other night, and got an entire eel. Nobody else wanted much, so I made a pig of myself and ate half. I finished the other half the next day. Monday I felt less than perfect. Tired, dizzy, but I taught all day, with a 2 hour nap at lunch. Didn't eat much. That night it struck.

I suddenly really liked my new western toilet. I cursed the vile eel. The next morning it was off to the local clinic. The neighborhood clinic is a cozy place with a doctor, some nurses, a pharmacy and a bunch of chairs downstairs and beds upstairs, all with IV holders. They like to give their drugs with IV drips. A doctor checked me out. I had fever, swollen belly, headache, etc. He prescribed a triple dose of something to be administered in an IV, some electrolyte powder, and some stomach stuff. While we waited for the drugs, I watched two pharmacists mixing lots of traditional remedies, generally to be made into teas. We've had these for colds and they are very effective.

I opted for the bed over the chair IV places. There were about 20 or so beds upstairs, and I got one by the window. The nurse got my treatment going, which takes about 2 hours, and I laid down to try to sleep. It seemed a little hard, even for a chinese bed, and a cursory inspection revealed a paper thin straw mat on top of plywood. Nice!

I managed to doze some in spite of the noisy old bag who was there with her mother who felt like she needed to talk nonstop as loudly as possible in spite of the fact that there were a bunch of sick people up there trying to rest with IV's in their hands.

The treatment seemed to work, in that I didn't need the throne three times an hour any more. Only every 2 or 3 hours. However, after another day of this it was time for a higher level of medical care. We went to the central hospital which took care of my medical emergency last year (another story). They have comfy beds!

I saw a doctor who put me on some serious meds, didn't need an IV (or comfy bed) and now I've finally got my poop in a group! Back to work tomorrow.

Although dispensed in a little more utilitarian manner than in the States, the medical care I have received here has always been good, and an awful lot cheaper than ours. I think that even though we have outstanding medical care for those who can afford it, our system has way too many bells and whistles sometimes and not enough basic treatment.

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