Hospital. Just the word can make a chill crawl down the spine of the most brave warrior. Still, what would the world be without modern medicine?
After breakfast we pack up for a few shipments, get on the bike and ride to Phuket International Hospital. We have high hopes towards the standard, as I wrote in yesterday’s post, but we’re nonetheless blown away by professionalism and quality.
From the reception and registrations we’re taken over to wait for our call. We didn’t wait long before we were called and got to meet the doctor. An elderly man that spoke good English and had a very serious, but positive character.
Katja was placed face down on a bed and I stood in the corner next to her. The nurses wanted me initially to leave, but Katja can be quite firm when she want to. I remained in the corner next to the bed.
After a quick check on the problem the doctor exclaimed:”We need to cut this open to remove the puss.” We were prepared for such an answer as it was consistent with Dr. Google’s findings from yesterday. If it doesn’t turn green and can be popped like a pimple it might need cutting and draining.
I will try to keep Katja’s reputation and honour intact while telling the rest of this story.
First of it’s off with the underpants and preparation for cutting. She get’s iodine wash on the”pimple” and then a hospital-green cover where there is a hole to work though. Then the doctor brings out the syringe. He will do a local anaesthetic before cutting. That sounds good, but I cringe when I see it. The spot on Katja’s bum is swollen and inflamed and looks like a volcano waiting to erupt. The pressure that’s already built up in there is immense and pressing in more fluid is gonna hurt.
It does. Badly. To cover the area the doctor need to inject three different angles and every time he injects the serum it hurts like hell. I feel like a husband next to a woman giving birth reminding her to breath to conquer the pain. She does and damn, that was one for the memory books.
The doctor waists no time and start cutting. The first cut is felt, but I think the relief of the pressure being lifted is somewhat good. I do my best not to see the details of his work. It’s rather large equipment being used and I don’t need to see how he apply them. After use of three different tools, where one is a kind of scissor you see them use to remove bullets in movies, he pronounce victory over the volcano. He’s work is so fine that there is no need for stitches, which surprise me. Our little, chubby, comb-over doctor, with the serious face, did great work. Still, what he said next was not expected, nor wanted.
There is a bacteria in the colon that has infected a gland and the “volcano” is a symptom of this. So even though we’ve now cut open and removed the puss it’s just symptom treatment, not a cure. In our good doctors opinion this will return, but he could not predict when. From a week to a year, but when it does the cure is to get surgery to handle the gland that’s the real trouble.
So here we are. One cut later, tears and joy in close embrace and with a bag filled with pills, cleaning equipment, ointments and bandages. I guess I’m now going to get upgraded from Mr. Handsome to Dr. Handsome. Maybe even Dr. Dreamy?
Katja is one tough chick and went straight from the hospital to the post office. There we sent a couple of packages before sitting down to get coffee. Not at the post office, of course, but our favorite Coffee place in Phuket – The Circle. Oh, and all the moving around today is done on a motorbike.
It’s a bit scary to think about the need for surgery, but we try to focus on the positive elements. We did see a doctor instead of thinking it would pass. The hospital was clean, nice professional, not expensive and an overall very good experience. There is less pressure in the former volcano and it’s easier to sit and move. It’s OK to do training, though we don’t know about swimming yet.
And on that note we start compiling a list of questions that we probably should have asked already.
From the coffee place to the mall to buy wrist support and a bikini pant that covers the whole bum. In addition to this we looked for paracord as Katja want to try making bracelets. We drive between different places and get it all. Well, not quite the paracord, but something close enough to practice with.
On the last stop before our hotel we bought baguettes, ham, cheese, vegetables and fruit. It turned out we over-bought so it ended as both lunch and dinner.
We packed our bags between watching an episode on the telly and then it was cleaning time. Dr. Handsome went to work and removed old bandages, cleaned the wound, applied ointment and re-bandaged. All in an afternoon work.
We have an appointment tomorrow at the hospital for a clean and dressing of the wound. We have arranged for the taxi to take us there on the way to the bus station. Tomorrow we leave for Krabi and Mandirigma camp.
“The world is come upon me, I used to keep it a long way off, But now I have been run over and I am in the hands of the hospital staff.”
― Stevie Smith, Selected Poems