Sick Memories from Vietnam

Rocking the E.R.!

Being sick sucks. It literally stinks, specially in my case. Before we continue, my dear reader, a word of caution. This post might take your mind to some nasty places. I promise not to be vulgar but I'll keep sincere. So let's move on.

I'm specially grateful for a few details in this story that were actually surprising. One of them was the power of body language. I walked in to the emergency room and a few nurses looked at me. I just hold my belly and made a painful expression and mimicked throwing up. I also looked pretty bad since I couldn't eat properly for more than 2 days and was shivering due to 39° fever. Pronto! One of them lead me to o a bed and started with the standard procedures for "another tourist got got by street food".
In hindsight, it's not surprising at all that without any questions asked, not even saying a word, they knew exactly what was going on. Probably they treat dozens of similar patients weekly. Just the shift's doctor could speak basic English, enough to set into stone my diagnosis, treatment and prescription.

Some of you, the keen ones, might have noticed an obvious omission on the last paragraph. Trust me, I didn't omit it because it never existed on the first place. Bureaucracy. Forms, document validations, liability discharges, insurance coverage checking, god damn copies to sign. None of it in between my treatment. Now that impressed me! I've never seen it in Brazil nor in the Netherlands, no matter if in public or private hospital. I remember sitting on the taxi to the hospital emotionally preparing myself to this utterly stupidity of modern life, wishing for quick waiting lines and English forms. If you never waited in line with high fever, bad diarrhea, broken arm or whatever, you don't know how great it felt. I only got a bill to pay in the end. Much like in a restaurant where you had a good service but without the tip - which I would gladly give.

So there I was, laying on the E.R.'s bed, medicine intravenously administered, my caring wife next to me ... And suddenly I burst into tears. I was briefly stuck in a very negative wave of thought, fearing a worse disease, ruining my wife's trip, having to go back to Europe and so on... It really scared me. I wouldn't call it a nervous breakdown neither a panic attack but I can't name it either. Well, it passed quickly thanks again to my "fofinha". Soon she was helping me take my medicine and we realised that some other ladies were observing us and laughing. They were all locals so all that scene must seen quite odd. I didn't bother and I joked with them.

After 4 hours or so we were back at our guesthouse with a bag full of medicines that I would have to take well past my birthday. We were in Nha Trang, a Russian's Touristic Paradise city with beautiful beaches. I was happy and sad on my day. I was feeling less than 80% recovered, no alcohol, not full of energy and no friends. For so many reasons, good and bad, I'll never forget my 30th birthday and I'll tell its tale with a very humorous tone. Not melodramatic like this post. I call it "Birthday Blues".

So that's one of my most memorable experience in Vietnam. Quite a personal journey, not the best but thankfully overcame. Diana's posts highlight other more pleasurable moments.

Have you ever been hospitalized while traveling too? Let us know.


1 comment :

  1. loving every word you two post in here. bon voyage