Courtney. August 29, 2010 @ 10:53
If you're eating right now or planning on eating in the next hour - read this blog later.
I'm here a SOS International Hospital, Hanoi with Danielle.We were here two days ago and now we're back.
Two days ago, after a week of walking around one of the dirtiest cities in the world (maybe not, but looks and smells like it) - I realized that what I thought was a healed toe infection, was actually my toe healing over a massive infection.(Danielle has named this specific phalange 'Piggy.') When I went to clean Piggy with iodine, which is not was I was supposed to be using, Piggy's nail and part of my piggy came off into the gauze pad I was using, I realized it might be a little more serious than I had thought.
I do not wish to discuss how the original injury occurred because all I know is that I woke up with what I thought was a broken piggy and a toenail shoved into broken Piggy.According to Dr. Saved-A-Piggy, what caused the infection, were the germs that were shoved into Piggy via the nail that was stubbed on something.Thanks, Kentucky, for not remembering either - you now what I'm talking about.
I did not want to go to the doctor because hospitals scare me and my mom isn't here to shove M&Ms in my mouth when they give me a shot and I start to cry.Danielle did offer to do it for me, but when I saw how hot these SOS International doctors are, I opted out.Point being - I was not planning on going to the doctor.But Danielle made me call my dad.My father is a medical mal-practice defense attorney, and therefore believes that he is a doctor, as well.When I called and had my brother wake him up and Skype with me (and for some reason he felt that it was okay to Skype with me in his short-ass PJs), he asked me take the bandage off so that he could see Piggy.I explained to him that I could not because if I undressed Piggy, Piggy would come off with her bandage.But when I sent him the photo that I had taken 2 days earlier, when Piggy looked much better than she did at the moment, he said, "Go to the doctor right now, I'll pay."Between the "I'll pay," and Danielle's, "get your ass in the cab right now," the situation ended with me at SOS International Hospital.In order to make the 9-hour trek short in the blog version, I'll just give you the quick version.
When the nurse and doctor took the bandage off of Piggy, their expressions and whatever they were saying in Vietnamese made me scared and made me eat an M&M.After they stopped speaking a language that I do not, they turned to me and said in English that, had I not gone to see them, I would have gotten very ill in the next few days because the infection was getting into my bloodstream.When I told them that I had a motorcycle rented for Sunday and was driving down the entire country of Vietnam (a 2 to 4 week trip), they informed me that Piggy would have gotten worse on the trip, there is no 'real' medical care mid-country, and that when I arrived to SOS Internal, Ho Chi Minh - they would have had to removed Piggy (my favorite toe) from the rest of my body.So they gave Piggy a proper bath and gave me an economy size supply of saline, dressing, gauze, etc for Piggy, and a $250 bill.Thanks dad.I wouldn't have gone if it weren't for the "I'll pay" sentence you said at the end of our Skype convo.Piggy would like to thank you as well.And I've become quit attached to Piggy (literally?).Had they unattached her from me, I would have had to buy new wakeboard bindings.
It is now 2 days after the Piggy incident and I am back here at SOS International. Partially because I was hoping the hot international doctors would be here and don't mind that I'm a dirty backpacker who hasn't showered in 2 days and has dreadlocks.But more importantly, Walker's fever that has been intermittent for a week now, was 104 degrees (40 degrees Celsius?) when she woke up this morning.Again, I called Dr. Dad, he asked for the symptoms (sore throat, a swollen lymphoid or 2, neck pain, chest pain, cough, sever headache, and disorientation - pretty badly disoriented).Dr. Dad said get her ass to the hospital you stubborn b****es (not verbatim).Walker's brother, who happens to be a scientist of some sort, informed us that the brain cells begin their journey to the afterlife at 104.3 and I remember a teacher from high school telling me that when he had a temperature of 105, the hospital made him take a bath in ice so that his brain didn't boil which, according to Mr. Maroon, is at 106.
So right now I am writing from the waiting room to go into the waiting room to go into the other waiting room.If you're from the states you know what I'm talking about, but if you're not then that might just sound stupid.I'm going to write an update each time they move us to a new room.
11:29 - We're in the Dr.'s office.Danielle just asked him if he wanted her to take her "layers off," as she removed her scarf (it was 1,000 degrees in our room this morning and she was wearing socks, a sweatshirt, pants, a scarf, and towel wrapped around her head).He gave her the "you Americans are so f***ing weird" look and said, "No, you don't need to take your clothes off for this."She responded with, "Ok.I was just trying to make it easier for you," and I think they had a lost in translation moment.
11:46 - The doctor seems a little concerned.And by little I mean he said, "It is very necessary to have blood tests, you might have Dengue Fever."If I remember correctly, Kaiser Permanente (my healthcare in Cali) told me there is no vaccination and no cure for this disease).Danielle is stubborn and will not pay $400 for the blood test.I just went and called the warden of Folsom Prison (Walker's father) and told him she was being a stubborn b**** and he said exactly what my dad said: "I'll pay."Now we are being moved to a room where she can lie down.
11:49 - I might be getting malaria from the guy next to me because he is pointing his coughs directly at me.I think he hates the sound of my typing.
11:52 - Danielle is falling asleep.Dengue can make you go into a coma so I am sitting an inch from her, keeping her awake.I really only need to be in the same building as her because she snores so loud that if she falls asleep the entire hospital will know.But I guess you don't snore in comas.
11:59 - Dr. Hottie Pants just took a blood sample.
12:26 - Dr Hottie pants came back.Walker's white blood cells are at 20 and should be between 4 and 9.The proteins that react to inflammation are increased, as well.She has a "sever infection, but only moderate to severe dehydration."She has just been diagnosed with Phingitis (he spelled it out for me but I think he means Pharyngitis - maybe I should be the doctor).Apparently it WAS a viral infection and now it's a bacterial infection.I've never heard of that before.The oral meds wouldn't take care of it in time, and she would "develop and abscess in her throat, ammonia, and a systemic infection."So Dr. Hot wants her in her for 3 days to take the meds intravenously (LUCKY!).So she's going to be okay!!!And the doctor thinks I am WEIRD for typing while he's diagnosing my friend with a severe disease.Dr. is checking on prices of her intravenous cocktail and will be getting back to us momentarily.
12:32 - Dr. Sexy came back and forgot the price list.I know the Walker family does not give a s*** about how much this is going to cost so I'm going to call them again and give them the latest.But before I call I need to tell you that I saw the diagnosis written in English on paper and it is Pharyngitis.I SHOULD be a doctor.
12:36 - The Walker's do not give a s*** how much it costs and do not want to hear another word out of my mouth about money.I just walked over and told the doctor to give her everything she needs right now.He listened to me because I had to tell him I was her sister so that I could call her parents.(Apparently you have to be a family member to call on behalf of a patient at SOS.)
13:02 - Danielle is peeing.She's about to get a hydration drip and she figures if she doesn't pee now, she'll have to drag her drip into the bathroom with her during the procedure.
13:19 - A hot little Vietnamese man-nurse is trying to find a vein in Danielle's left arm.I put an M&M in her mouth.
13:23 - He poked her 5x and then finally got it in (there's got to be a better way to say that).It's in her hand and it looks disgusting.It's sodium chloride.I don't know why he's putting chlorine and salt in Danielle's bloodstream, but if I was her I would chose to take the oral dosage and risk having prognosis period extended.But apparently that's "not an option." Dr.'s orders. I just opened another bag of M&Ms.
13:25 - Danielle just asked the man-nurse to "please read her a story" while the drip is doing it thing.He laughed at her and moved on with his life.I think I just heard a bedpan being used by someone with dysentery.
13:55 - A UK doctor just came over and told Walker that she might want to keep her overnight to monitor her white blood cell count, OR - if she wanted to be cheap, she could do the intravenous procedure today and do the oral antibiotics after. She chose cheap. Jim's going to be pissed.
14:35 - Walker just fell asleep and is snoring like a pig.
15:17 - Hot nurse-man came to take Walker's IV out and my foot was near it so he slapped it off of her hand and laughed.I think I'm in love.
The irony of this SOS hospital excursion that Walker and I have been doing for the last few days is that neither of us would have gone if the other hadn't forced the other to go (the "I'll pay" thing helped, too).Had we not done that to each other, Piggy would have been left behind in Ho Chi Minh, Danielle would have had an abscess in her throat, and we both would have developed systemic infections.I would say that we would have had to go back to the US (our dads would have said that, too) - but…. We wouldn't.Moral of the story, travelers: if you think you need to see a doc - see a doc.