I’ve had a helly half-week. I thought I was getting better – all signs pointed to it. I went out for most of the day saturday and was fine. I went out on sunday with my Special Lady to see the cherry blossoms and although it was chilly I felt no worse for it—until we got on the bus to come back. Felt thoroughly cold and started getting the shivers. It didn’t stop until I’d been balled up in bed for an hour. Felt shocking the next morning so went back to hospital.
They took an xray and lo and behold, it seemed that I had fucking pneumonia. They really did keep me there that time. In my thirty-one years, this was the first time I’d had to be in hospital for something. All up, not a pleasant experience. There was only one doctor who could speak english. The nurses were nice enough but my brain quickly began to associate them with pain – nurse bring pain. Via needles mostly, putting stuff in me, taking stuff out. All kinds of tests, which were less invasive but still not pleasant. Hospital food must be crap the world over.
I had a drip in my arm and three (count em) bags of liquid attached to the mobile hatstand draining into me. It’s an automatic thing that once your in hosptal pyjamas and are wheeling around one of those things that’s plugged into you, your walk becomes decrepit and slow.
The other world drifted closer. I saw faces in patterned surfaces everywhere. Constant bizarre half-dreams. Fragments circled continually – like the phrase and notion of “socko the smallest snowball”. Most things they’d been pumping into me were ‘only’ antibiotics, but by the time they’d discharged me on Wed. morn I’d well had enough of their merry-go-round.
Two last things – it really is user pays. Everything I’ve had done – xray, dr. consultation, needle in the bum, straight after I’ve been guided over to the front desk and out with the wallet. Australia’s medicare scheme may be under attack, or have a few problems, but it’s a fuck of a lot better than here. Also, they weren’t at all interested in keeping me clean. I had to get a friend to bring my shampoo, towel, toothbrush etc. Then I examined the shower and realised it was woeful, so decided against it. On the last night (admittedly through my own fault ie. I ate a can of peaches and piece of cheesecake—too rich considering the situation) I threw up in the toilet. That is, mostly around the toilet, some in. A nurse came just after and could see and smell the situation, but did nothing or sent no one to clean it up. This charming little event also ended my 9 years+ winning streak of me v. vomit.
The thing that got me out of there was another xray which came up alarmingly bad. In the words of the specialist I was sent to see in seoul, it was either an advanced case of pneumonia or… terbuculosis. I shouldn’t have joked about such things last week. Thankfully this doctor was old, wise and good. He asked me how I was feeling. And the truth was that compared with Monday morning when I stumbled into florence nightingale’s place-to-die, I felt heaps better, not heaps worse, as depicted in the cold white and blue of the xray.
He put me on some other antibiotics and I probably would’ve stayed there except there was no beds. That was fine with me – I wanted to go home and have a shower. Anyway, 24hrs later, one more round of antibiotics after a quick jaunt to seoul and I’m starting to feel better, intrepidly he says. I’ve been going to Asan hospital, which is Korea’s largest and one of the few places here that’s impressive by western standards. Considering that the only beds left were in $US 300 p/night rooms, or in the emergnecy ward, they could probably use another one.