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ChTTay

Hospital stories

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ChTTay

A recent thread about prescriptions in China got me thinking about when I first arrived here and some of the hospital experiences I had. Thought it might be interesting and/or amusing to share a few. 

 

My first ever hospital experience was down to food poisoning. My “minder” waded into a packed doctors office telling everyone she had a sick foreigner and to make way. The people parted to let us through and we cut right in. Embarrassing enough to start with without then having to have someone translate your bowel movement information to a doctor while everyone listens. This was my first time being hands a small tray to collect a sample too. At that time I was running on empty luckily. 

 

I had a small procedure in Beijing and caused the laser technician to have a bit of a panic after I fainted. He kept asking if I was “ok” and I kept saying “no!” Haha In the end he gave me a free sports drink and told me I should have eaten breakfast.  

 

Anyone else have any stories from hospital visits? 

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Lu

Mine's not so spectacular. I had just moved to Taiwan and they had to take a blood sample to check whatever medical things. I faint when someone takes my blood, so I always warn the person involved so they can put me on a bed and I don't keel over. This time, when I duly warned the person involved, they scoffed and wanted me to just put my arm on the desk already. No, I said, I'll faint. I'll fall on the floor and you'll have to pick me up. They reluctantly put me on a bed in some dim room. The rest went well enough.

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somethingfunny

I went to a hospital with a coworker who wanted to get the cure-all Chinese IV drip for some bit of flu they had.

 

So we’re sat in the main waiting room with my coworker hooked up and basically all kinds of stuff happening around us. There’s people waiting for appointments, people abandoned in beds looking pretty rough, and people in the stairwell smoking. I went to the toilet and it was the standard level of grim as all other public toilets.

 

Just across from us is someone in a bed with a couple of friends or family members around them and the occasional doctor coming over.  This person does not look in a good way. After a while they pull the curtain around the bed so we can’t see what’s happening.  Then after another little while, and some commotion, a doctor leaves.  Then after yet another little while he returns with two men carrying what I can only describe as a “temporary coffin.”

 

Turns out I am willing to pay a lot of money for medical care.

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Flickserve

Not a China oldhand but I heard about having to queue early for a numbered ticket to be seen at the hospital. On my first visit to Beijing, walked past a big hospital a few times in the afternoon. I was wondering what the old men loitering outside on the pavement whispering furtive words to me were doing. On the third time passing them, I realised they were saying "挂号"trying to make a quick yuan scalping that day's tickets for an appointment. Although I didn't need a ticket, I felt my listening skills had jumped up a bit. 

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anonymoose

So I was working at a hospital in Shanghai. This guy comes in because of blood in his stool. I inserted a speculum into his back passage and had a good look. He was so excited to have a foreigner examine him that he wanted to take a selfie with me afterwards. I'm not sure how he described the experience in his Weibo post.

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歐博思

Jeeeesus you guys have had some doosies. Mine is pretty tame.

 

I'm at at hospital in Hangzhou for a sore throat, not in the exam room yet but as a foreigner I'm already being examined by everyone nearby, when my name comes over the PA to cue me in:

 

English Letter-Letter-Letter-Letter-Letter-Letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter…

 

So I did what any sensible sick person would have done: curse to myself at them not using my 3 character long Chinese name, pull my hoodie up, slink over and go in.

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Flickserve
7 hours ago, Tomsima said:

My time to shine

 

I put a 'helpful'  on your post as a 'like' was just not enough. 

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somethingfunny
8 hours ago, 歐博思 said:

English Letter-Letter-Letter-Letter-Letter-Letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-middle name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter-last name letter…

 

Ah yes, how could I forget...

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roddy

You guys are almost making me wish I'd actually got ill in China so I'd be able to join in. May have wept in sympathy / amusement at @Tomsima's tale.

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Tomsima

Thanks for all the support guys :')

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roddy

Support? I'm hoping you grow another appendix...

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LuDaibola
On 4/11/2018 at 2:22 PM, Tomsima said:

The following week of recovery I wasn't allowed to eat food until I had broken wind. Every day people would come to ask me 'foreign friend, have you farted yet? No? Its a pity you cant eat lovely Chinese food for another day! I hope you fart tomorrow, maybe you can try our local dishes then!'

 

Hilarious and I'm glad to hear you made it through your ordeal.  I'm a fan of Asian dramas and being confined to the hospital until you fart is a common plot device.  I always wondered if that was real and now I know.  I guess this demonstrates that one's alimentary system is working though I've never heard of hospitals in the US employing this method.  Maybe they do but we never hear about it because, in the West, we don't talk about bodily functions.  My brother had his appendix removed in 彰化市 Taiwan back in the 60's and I remember he came home after a couple of days.  The surgeon was either British or American though.  I can't remember who it was.  Anyway, I'm rambling.  If I have time, I'll write up an experience my father had in China when he got a hematoma back in 1987.  Fun thread.

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LuDaibola

I was going to write up the story of my father's experience of being escorted from, I believe Guangzhou, in a vehicle with blackened windows to a hospital in Shanghai for treatment of a hematoma but the part of the story I thought was most interesting was how they restricted his ability to see or hear anything that they didn't want him to see or hear.  Then I stumbled across the thread about foreigners staying in hotels and realized that this may not be so unusual even today.  His hematoma was treated with acupuncture and he came back from China absolutely sold on it.  My father died at the age of 90, nine years ago.  He spoke Mandarin at a native level and, during 2 trips to China (in '87 and '90) , he spent way too much arguing with officials that he should be treated the same as everyone else...why should he have to pay for the more expensive class of ticket when he was willing to ride on the hard seats, etc., etc.  He was never able to change their minds.  I think of him often now, remembering how I hid under the table to listen to his Chinese teacher when I was 4-years-old (because she was so beautiful and elegant), his little character cards which he studied obsessively, and after our return to the US his rude accosting of anyone who looked like they might be Chinese and how embarrassed I felt, etc.  I wasn't interested in learning Mandarin when he was alive...too bad.

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abcdefg
11 hours ago, LuDaibola said:

I always wondered if that was real and now I know.  I guess this demonstrates that one's alimentary system is working though I've never heard of hospitals in the US employing this method. 

 

Used in the US too. 

 

It's a venerable and common postoperative recovery milestones, enshrined in nursing notes all across the world: "Patient is ambulating, taking nourishment, and passing gas." 

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LuDaibola

Thanks for enlightening me abcdefg.

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