Don’t worry, when at a hospital in China, they don’t always wear gloves. A thermometer was taken from a plastic Tupperware container and was put under my tongue. Not the new electronic thermometer but the glass one filled with red Mercury. Not even going to sanitize your hands? Okay.. I mean you ARE the doctor here. I thought to myself.
After my temperature was taken I was asked the normal questions; such as do you drink enough hot water? Do you wear your coat at all times? Etc. after my temp was taken, and not even my ear or throat was looked at, I was sent to get my blood drawn. I walked into a big room, which resembled a waiting room, but no. This is where the deed would be done.
I walked up to a desk where a man sat and took my seat in front of him. He was wearing a blue scrub cap, thin clear gloves, and a smile that stretched from ear to ear. I know he was itching to poke the foreigner. From the looks of the place, I’d say they’ve had 10 foreigners since opening day. I put my arm forward to rest it on a dirty cloth and turned my head the other way. I don’t mind needles, as long as I don’t have to watch. The doctor giggled and a crowd began to surround me. I heard the whispers and the giggles. Everyone was so damn happy I was sick. After I felt the rubber wrap around my upper arm, the cool wet alcohol covered cotton ball wet my forearm, I felt the quick JAB and it was over seconds later. It normally takes forever in the states for them to draw even a drop of blood from my tiny butterfly veins. He handed me a cotton ball to put on and said in Chinese to hold for 30 min. Not even a bandaid. I didn’t even get a bandaid.
By this time my lymph node was throbbing, my lip is swelling, and I still can’t hear out of my ear which they neglected to look at. The nurses are cute though. Wearing little white lab coat dressed, a white or pink cap on their hair, and little white shoes. Not like the nurses and staff in America. It’s like it’s a show over here.
The doctor came over and handed me a piece of paper, obviously all in Chinese with a bunch of high numbers on it. Crossing my fingers it’s not the price. Healthcare in China is affordable right?? I waited for my translator to get back from a breakfast run.
I was told my lymph node is extremely swollen and infected and I should be hooked to an IV for a couple hours for the next few days. I was told to go to a different doctor to have my ear looked at. We headed to a different floor, taking on all the looks from the hospital staff and I was thrown into a room with an older gentleman Doctor. He was wearing a white lab coat and has one of those silver circle things on his forehead. Oh the technology. Him and my translator start by just talking about me but before I know it, Once he has a pump in my ear, they are literally yelling at each other. I’m a tough girl, but when you have air blasting inside your ear (which i guess is now filled with infection which has led to a broken tympanic membrane) and the doctor is yelling across the room, your eyes will fill to the brim with tears. Pain and fear. Not my favorite combination.
After being told I need to have a procedure done to look further into my ear and I need to be hooked to “the drip” we are instructed to head to a different hospital. I guess I’m not going to work today. I talked on the phone to the manager of my school and she asks me if I am sure I want to have these procedures done. I ask her why not and she says because most foreigners are afraid of Chinese medicine. So that was reassuring.
We entered the new hospital and are given another credit card looking thing. It’s weird how little amount of paperwork I was asked to fill out. No past history. Not even going to ask if I’m allergic to anything? Sweet. Cause I’m not. Not going to ask if I have high blood pressure or diabetes? Awesome cause I don’t.
I sat in a chair, watching the previous patients procedure be performed of course. Before I knew it, the doctor puts a (rusty) metal funnel in the young mans ear and grabs a needle. Hell no. I’m out. I will deal with permanent deafness. The doctor put the needle in the mans ear and pulled the syringe and black and yellow goop filled the syringe. Lovely. The man of course was moaning and groaning in pain, and there I was, foreigner with fear in her eyes watching the whole thing from a few feet away. Should I reach out and grab his hand? Nope. Nope. Too soon.
It was my turn for the chair and I’m nervous. Boy was I nervous. First thing I tell my translator? “No needles”. Let’s get that out in the open. After the same questions and same procedures we are sent down to the “transfusion” room for me to be put on an IV instead of the lazy American way of pills. Their words, not mine.
Sitting on the drip, in a room of coughing Chinese people, on a rusty chair, sitting in chair 87, really makes you contemplate your choice to come to China. My hand is pulsing from the 3 different pokes to get the needle in. My lip is rotting off my face. I’m hungry too, by the way. All I can think about is how worry free I am right now. I’m starting to worry why am not worrying. It’s quite the process.
After my drip was finish, I was finally able to get checked out and head home. Six hours later. Now from my understanding through terrible translation is that I have an infection in my mouth, throat, ear, and nose. So I am scheduled to head back for IV therapy for the next few days. Woooo! What an adventure.