One Sick Bastard

To those who noticed, I’m very sorry for my tardiness. I’ve been unwell and when I’m unwell I’m too moody and divaish to write. I only have time to prop myself up in bed and speak fake Spanish through a raspy sickness tone of voice.

I caught a stomach bug that went a bit viral and threw a party in my lower quadrant, so once again I was back to the Chinese hospital to enjoy another uniquely Chinese medical experience. This time I went to a hospital on South Shanxxi road (a swanky part of town) so it was pretty nice, made nicer by some English words that were peppered into the nurse’s conversations with me, an enjoyable touch.

I arrived at the hospital and lined up at the front counter as usual, and using beautiful Google Translate communicated my wish to see a General Practitioner about my stomach. She gave me a charge card, I paid, then went upstairs and waited in line at my doctors cubicle.

General Practitioners (GP’s) do not have offices outside of hospitals, but in this Hospital they have an enormous room which had been divided up into many little cubicles, each cubicle sporting its own little queue line. My doctor’s number was 5, so I showed a nurse my number and she led me through the weaving and winding cubicle rows and put me in my line at number 5 behind three other people. My turn came and it was pretty straight forward. The doctor pushed my stomach around, prescribed some antibiotics and swiped my hospital charge card. I then went down to the pharmacy on the ground floor, grabbed my medicine and settled my bill.

The next morning I woke up in the worst pain I’d ever experienced in my entire life, I felt like I was in labour. I couldn’t even walk, so my close friend came over and carried me into a cab and held me up as I threw up all over the upholstery. One seriously large cab bill later I was back in the hospital and seeing another doctor. This doctor prescribed a drip treatment for me and ordered me to go to the pharmacy before going to the injection ward. Well of course I knew best and thought I’d just go to the pharmacy and pick up my drugs on the way out once my treatment was over. I went to the injection ward first despite my instructions not to, and the nurses there waved me away with frustrated confusion.

Not knowing why, I decided to follow my instructions and went to the pharmacy. Once I arrived it was painfully clear why this had been the doctors order.

The pharmacy concierge handed me 9 bags of antibiotic liquid and dozens of tiny jars of white powder in boxes to haul in my arms up to the injection ward.

Once there the nurses hooked three of the bags up to a drip stand and fed them intravenously into my hand.

I only needed three of the bags so I was expected to take the rest of the haul home, and bring them over the next two days so that the remaining 6 bags and jars of powder could be fed into my bloodstream.

Why we, the general public, are in charge of buying and storing our hospital administered medication is very foreign to me, but I’m adaptable. I used the private time alone with my meds to take photos and Google how appropriate they are to my symptoms. I’m feeling much better now, hence my willingness to write, but I’m not 100% back to normal.

So I may be buying up more of the pharmacy and bringing another armful of medicated liquid into an injection ward again sometime soon. If this is the case, I’m buying a fashionable medicine shoulder bag to better carry my drugs. I need to have something clever written on the front of it though, something like “Sick Bastard” or equivalently lame. Suggestions always appreciated.

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