Health and Festivals

My stomach longs for Europe.

I’ve been quite sick recently and I’ve had to take some time off work due to not being able to keep any food down and everything that comes with that. It gave me an interesting insight into Chinese healthcare. To be honest it was a bit grim, and I hope I don’t have to go back.

The upside was how quickly I was seen and the overall treatment worked (for a few days at least.) We went on a Sunday after I’d been ill since the previous Wednesday night and I was pretty dehydrated, I was told to wear warm comfortable clothes because the hospital might be cold and dirty and also that because it was a Sunday most of the hospital departments wouldn’t be functioning.

We arrived at A&E and it was pretty busy with people attached to drips lying on beds in corridors. After paying upfront I was seen by a specialist in a room which two doctors were working out of and there didn’t seem to be much of a queue or order of people so much as how many people could fit into the box room at once and the person who pushed to the front was seen first. At one point a woman was being sick into a carrier bag and another was crying in the corner… as I said, a bit grim.

After this I had some blood work done which was quick and efficient with a 30min wait for results. I looked at the paper covered in Mandarin symbols and there were red and blue arrows everywhere indicating that they had found lots of things. After another consultation in the box room and some more cash we were told I needed a drip to re-hydrate and also this was to be the delivery method for some other medicines I wasn’t made privy too. I managed to get a diagnosis at least of Acute Gastritis (basically sudden inflammation of the stomach lining) in effect a problem I had in the UK has got worse unsurprisingly from eating Asian food and the poor hygiene standards… everywhere.

As a result Jack decided now would be a good time to take some horrendous photos of me looking like death warmed up that I refuse to post here but you can see the drip bags below… four of them and because I hadn’t eaten they put me on a slow drip so I was there for five hours!! It was annoying until it was excruciatingly painful when the last bag had potassium or something in it that makes your arm feel like someone’s slowly sawing it length-ways. We told them to turn up the drip to make it go faster and thankfully that helped.

Overall, the hospital in Bangkok where we had our visa medicals done was much better and I’ve been told that if it gets any worse I might want to consider a flight to Bangkok to get it properly checked out as this is the nearest world class hospital. Hopefully it won’t come to that but Chinese food is not my friend at the moment but some antibiotics, pro-biotic’s, live yoghurt and a change in diet have been helping in the past couple days so fingers crossed!

In lighter news…

Qixi Festival – Chinese Valentine’s Day.

Today is the Qixi festival otherwise known as Chinese Valentine’s day. The general tale is a love story and courtesy of Wikipedia here is the short version:

“…a love story between Zhinu (the weaver girl, symbolizing Vega) and Niulang (the cowherd, symbolizing Altair). Their love was not allowed, thus they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River (symbolizing the Milky Way). Once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day. There are many variations of the story.”

I was wondering why Carrefour had love hearts and chocolates on display and now I know why. The school isn’t doing anything special as far as I’m aware (unlike Mother’s day which they went a bit OTT for by having activities and competitions unlike Father’s day that didn’t get a mention.)

I also found this article on the Daily Mail about how one person is cashing in on the festival.

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