19th July 2007 Yilan
I slept terrible. Fever dreams again but fortunately no overjoyed Ronaldinho. I dropped trying to sleep at 4.00am. I felt that bad. I was very warm, but couldn’t sweat. My head was spinning and I had an enormous headache. Now I had done my part to get some rest, and had finally had an opportunity to do so, but I felt the same. Now I was ready to go see a doctor. I woke C up at 4.40am and told her the “good news”. Did a quick tooth brushing and went down to the street and found a taxi.
At the hospital it was graveyard silent. I started wondering if it was abandoned. C followed some Chinese signs and ended up at a room which also didn’t have any people inside. Instead there was a tiny desk, 4 chairs and a bunk.
At the back of the room there was yet a door. C went to it and knocked politely on it (not like most Chinese do, which basically is very eager and impatient). After a second round of knocking some noise from inside the room was heard. After a short time the door was opened and out came what looked like a grumpy guy in blue uniform. C told him that I needed a doctor to look at me (I guessed, but really never know what is going on). The dude in blue then slowly strolled back to the room mumbling something. He was obviously annoyed at being woken up. How dared we ruin his scheduled sleep on the job.
He then reappeared wearing a long white doctor’s uniform. He sat down and gestured to me to do the same. He pulled out a thermometer and mimed that I should put it under my armpit. After 5 minutes I had spotted the doctor dosing of again, some dirty paper napkin laying in the corner and of course the ever expected semi-dried out bloodstain in front of my feet. You can say much about Danish hospitals, but at that time I would be happy to be in one instead.
My temperature was now a bit higher and at 39celcius. Not a god sign. Sleepy Doctor checked out my throat which felt fine and also checked out if my eyes could look out the window (not sure what that was all about). The diagnosis was ready. I was over-exhausted and needed rest and medicine. Exactly the conclusion I had reached myself.
It’s a bit strange. If I was back in Denmark I would have had my blood pressure checked out, but also had a blood sample collected for analysis. Here a look down the throat and a swift gaze at the patient’s eyes is enough to accompany a temperature test to get a diagnosis. I can’t help but wonder if it is difficult to become a doctor in China?
Sleepy Doctor wanted to start of my medication with a boost, so we were dragged to 3 different windows/doors, where sleepy doctor woke up all the dwellers behind them. The first thing he needed was a signed and stamped receipt for the medication. The next gave the doc a syringe and the last was to a room I was let into. Inside was a nurse who was about to give me the boost of health. I was gestured to lay down on my front. The nurse yanked down my pants a bit and gave me the sting before I could say “ready”. That’s a way to get rid of the “when is it coming thoughts”. I managed to hand C the camera before the injection, so she got a shot.
We went across the street and bought some medicine. Ridiculous cheap at 12rmb, so no need to involve my medical insurance back home. Then it was back home to the apartment and hopefully catch some sleep.
It was impossible. The bed was alright and the temperature in the room okay, but I just couldn’t catch a wink. It didn’t help when plenty of 8-12 years old students started dropping in at the apartment to learn from C’s sister how to draw. There was a door between them and me, but it was no need. The little bastards made too much noise. Mid day and I was still feeling the same. The shot in the ass may as well have been a placebo for what I know. C went back to the pharmacy and got some different medicine. This one was better. After 3 or 4 hours my fever stopped. I also managed to get a healthy sweat going a bit. I hadn’t been able to do that since I got ill.
My fever actually seemed to have gone, but I was still dizzy as hell. I had no appetite whatsoever which was not helpful. I had munched down most of a small bowl of rice for lunch. It took me about 30 minutes. For dinner I ate 2 bowls, so it was going the right way. C went to her parents to eat some fish. I was happy, since I then didn’t have to discuss the right way to be feeling, eating and doing when you are ill. In that regard China and Denmark are worlds apart. No need to say that she believes in stuffing your head full with plenty of medicine and doing things as Chinese as possible, while I like to base my handling of illness on facts and studies. You could also call this the Danish/western way. These things are so hard to discuss and when you’re ill it is never a good time for those conversations on faith. Unfortunately I couldn’t sleep, but at least there was some peace and quiet.
C returned with her father, who was worried that it was serious now that I’d been ill for 3 days. I was not, since I normally need about 1 week to get healthy every time I catch the flu back in Denmark. You could say that I’ an expert in having the flu. I always get it every darn year and it always lasts for about 1 week. C’s father brought some juice, some nuts and some canned fruits for me. Good stuff. Fortunately my appetite was slowly returning, so I ate and drank some. After a few minutes he was pushed out the door again by C and I went back to bed to sleep through the night.