Missy, Health, Hospitals and Puppies

3 09 2009

Again, my apologies for the un-daily blogs. I really need to make a habit of brushing my teeth then jotting you kids a note.

So, I got my Chinese physical yesterday. I got to go to a real-life Chinese hospital. Mops hanging out the windows to dry, dirt and hair in the white stairwells, old women carrying puppies, etc. etc. I make it sound worse than it was but there were certainly practices that were new to me. It reminded me of war hospitals or 1940s hospitals you see in movies where the large main room is open with lines to many door around the edges. People in white coats and snazzy nurses caps had different specialties in each of these rooms or at the windows. When there was no one in line, the health professionals would light up a cigarette to pass the time. After watching the crowd for 45 minutes, I actually felt like I got the hang of it and wouldn’t have minded getting checked out here. Unfortunately, there was a wire-
crossage and this hospital couldn’t get the paperwork my school required so off I was taken to the travel hospital.

The physical I got here was the same one that all Chinese people have to get before they’re allowed to leave the country. An interesting idea, huh? (Keep your healthy close and your sickies closer?) Forgive me while I go on another ‘affordable healthcare’ rant- for about $50 I got a blood test, a basic node massage and belly check, a chest x-ray, an ultrasound, and EKG and an eye/nose/throat check! Sheesh! An ultrasound?! My pancreas is China-ready. (The less than $50 EKG really hits me where it hurts as many of you know, but I’ll just hope that we return to a reformed health care system that forgives all previous medical debt. Cross your fingers with me, folks.)

In other overly personal health news, I’ve also discovered that I have my first drug allergy! My dermatologist in the US gave me a generic for my splotchy, teenaged face. Starting Sunday night I took exactly three doses, night/morning/night, and woke up on Tuesday to enormous, itchy hives in the shape of a huge heart on my back. We’d also bought new bedding at the IKEA (which some of you heard about on Facebook) and I was too eager to decorate before washing it so I wasn’t sure what might have caused the breakout. We braved the washer (think about how complicated a washing machine would be if all of the settings were in Chinese….. it’s worse than that) and thought it had dissipated by the end of the day. I woke up in the middle of the Tuesday night with new ones on my wrists, legs and feet, and Jeremiah was ready to pack us up for the hospital, but I knew the next day I was getting my physical and figured I could hold off until I had a translator. Luckily, it slowly went away throughout the day and I was completely fine today. I know that was a bit of a boring paragraph but perhaps now you’ll understand and forgive why I haven’t blogged for the past three days! Believe it or not, there were other related stories involving Liz the former roommate/video chat diagnoser/drug translator, Jeremiah pantomiming hives at the pharmacist and me behaving like a child with the chicken pox so, in a way, I actually SAVING you time.

I promise another blog super soon. Like maybe tonight because I forget things if I wait too long.

love, Missy