10 May 2005

Chicago Hope, ER & Scrubs - Ch1nese Style

"HONG KONG - MORE than 10,000 people, mostly children, suffered from flu symptoms as an outbreak hit southern China during the week-long Labour Day holiday, a Hong Kong newspaper reported...." $traits Time$ dated 10 May 2005.

So that's where the flu bug came from and I had to have the unfortunate luck to catch it just before I am about to fly home.

For a person who absolutely detest going to the hospital in Ch1na, I had no choice but to go this time. Knowing that the airports will be on high alert for passengers coming in from Ch1na/HongKong, I can't risk being a 50-50 case. As such, I lan lan had to go see doctor and get myself pumped with anti-biotics jialat jialat until high high. Take no prisoners.

Frankly, I have no qualms about the doctors there. In fact, I know some of them on a personal level. Granted that the building is in run-down condition, granted that the nurses' uniform are no longer white but yellowish grey, granted that doctors have to dip their pens in the ink wells (do you even know what an ink well is?) while writing your diagnosis/prescription, granted that it is not surprising to see flies all over and the occasional rat scuttling across, many lives were made better by this modest facility and their team of dedicated staff.

So there I was, outside the doctor's office. It was swamped with people inside leaving me no choice but to holler over the other patients' heads for the doctor's attention. In return, I have this thermometer passed along the mob to me, asking me to self-administer my own temperature-taking first. For some strange reason, it was a huge thermometer, machiam like those that you used in the chemistry labs. Without asking much, I obediently put it under my armpit. 2 minutes passed and the doctor's still not ready to see me. Feeling bored, I decided to just take out the thermometer to have a peek.

"Eh? How come no reading?" I muttered to myself, only to discovered that owing to the length of the oversized thermometer, I absent-minded placed it too far in, resulting in the thermometer bulb sticking out from the back of my armpit. Lucky never kena found out or else malu until die. So more in front of so many people.

My time with the doctor was short and brief, machiam like she has seen this a million times that day already. Then came the question about my drug allergy.

"Brufen." I replied.

"What?" asked the doctor.

"Er... Bu Lu Fen?" as I tried to make it sound Ch1nese.

"What? Fen?" asked the doctor again.

"Hong Kan" was the 2 words that immediately entered my mind. She said that it would be either one or the other as far as the medication of choice is for me and she said she is going to take a 50-50 gamble on me. At most allergic reaction only, she coolly replied. (!)

So I took her prescription to the dispensary and got myself a bottle of medicated drip to proceed to the "Drip Lounge".

The station nurse at the "drip lounge" would do the usual procedure of hanging the drips, inserting the needle, blah blah blah....

I will continue the rest of the adventure in pictorial form.

"Business" very good today as we had a full house. Weekday afternoon some more? I wonder if they have Ladies' Nite or not har?

I tell you, dim the lights and replace the flourescent with some mood lighting, pump in chillin' acid jazz and replace drip with alcohol, and voila! We have a happening night spot in our hands!

Noticed the little boy in the far end? I will talk about him later.

One thing about Ch1nese hospitals. They LURRRRRVE to administer drip to everybody for every occasion. Pneumonia --> Drip. Severed leg --> Drip. Fever --> Drip. Dehydration --> Drip. Chipped fingernail --> Drip.

Though I was prescribed only 1 bottle, I ended up with two. 1-for-1 happy hour?

Noticed the yellow tinge on the first (connected) bottle, that the one with the medication. First the entry point on my hand started to itch with redness and then the itch and redness traveled in a line up along my vein. It wasn't long (about half a bottle gone already!) that they realised that I was allergic to the medication (REALLY? I hadn't noticed!!). My right arm swelled machiam like Incredible Hulk, except that Bruce Banner's was a menacing green while mine was an embarrassing patchy red (and itchy).

See this little boy? Apparently our friend here drip halfway then kena high tide. But with the drip stuck high up on the rack, there is really nothing that he could do. It must have been really bad for him, for he finally decided to just grab the dustbin in front of him and yanked down his pants.

Alas, there were too many people watching him and our friend just couldn't "perform". Grudgingly and embarrassingly, he pulled up his pants again.

It was a pity I was slow whipping out my camera but bor pian leh with one-hand-operation, how to be fast? Furthermore, I had to be discrete. Alas, this shot was as close as I could get.

Man, I was in stitches trying hard to silence my laughter.

Then it came. Call it retribution. Call it karma. I also kena high tide. Siao Liao. Even if I was able to bring the drip along with me ala Statue Of Liberty, I can't really do much with only 1 hand, can I?

"Eh... Miss? Can't help take it out?"

"Eh... Miss? I really really need a tap tap right about now."

Dream On! Don't mess with women who have access to scalpels and other sharp metallic objects within arm's reach. Cross and Crunch it shall be, right till the end of the drip.

- Voxeros

1. a reader left...
Wednesday, 11 May 2005 11:20 am
no male nurse?
2. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 11 May 2005 10:28 pm
Yah... come to think of it, you're right. I didn't recall seeing any male nurse at all in that hospital.

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