As some of you know, I have spent the past 5 days in hospital, trying to find out why I was having repeated attacks of apparent food-poisoning. I'm out now, with no clear cut answers, but I do feel better.
Definitely I have no reason to complain. I was in a first class ward, in a room to myself, in a hospital that is only two years old. Believe me I have been in many a hotel room that was ten times worse. The bathroom was luxurious, with water pressure would clean the dirt off a logging truck at fifty paces. Puts my own house to shame.
The nurses were cheerful and obliging, the doctors attentive, and willing to explain what they were doing and why, without even being asked.
And I wasn’t even that sick. It was just that over the past three weeks, I’d had one bout after another, and it was obviously something that needed investigating with some urgency.
So into hospital – a government public hospital – I went.
So what am I doing complaining?
Well, it was a hospital…
A green suit of hospital clothing that would fit a sumo wrestler, with pants that had room for two. I looked like Kermit the Cane Toad with a weight problem. That was the first night. The second day they gave me a green sarong instead. But alas, for all my Asian history, I have never been able to keep a sarong tied while asleep. Can’t be done. It falls off early in the night and ends up wound round my feet like camel hobbles. And this one was actually the size of a bedouin tent. No one less than seven foot tall would have felt at home wearing this, I swear.
Then there’s the ECG with such efficient suction caps I ended up with hickies all over my chest.
A needle in the back of my hand for a drip, because I was looking like a dried up old prune, one with dehydration at that. (I didn’t tell them that was my normal appearance.) Have you ever tried to get a good night’s sleep tethered to one of those things, rather like a recalcitrant cow the farmer wants to stop wandering off?
Inevitably, some time during the night, I roll over and squash the hand that has a six inch needle stuck in it. Aargh. (Ok, it’s not six inches; it just feels like it, especially when you are lying on top of it.) And they didn’t have one of those trundle things on wheels to take it around with you when you move, so there I am off to the loo countless times (because the drip goes in, and what goes in…), holding the saline bottle up like the Statue of Liberty looking for somewhere to hang it.
And it seems like every time you get comfortable, a nurse or doctor comes around to prick your finger, stab you with a needle, take your blood pressure, stick things into your various orifices with varying degrees of discomfort.
And what’s with this early rising thingy in hospitals?? World over, they all seem to think the day begins at 4.45 a.m. And that’s after a night where someone had a really, really bad time in the room next door at 1 a.m., 2 a.m. and 3 a.m….
Food – actually, not bad in selection and taste. You have a choice of diet, and I chose Western. But hey, this is a hospital, and the food is always cold by the time it gets to the patient. Cold spaghetti, cold chicken broth, cold fish and french fries, cold beef bacon and hash browns…you get the picture. And because it is Asia, they serve with spoon and fork, no knife.
But hey, I’m not complaining, right?
…What? … I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.