Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"It's only a flesh wound"

So I'm a relatively "safe" person; I've never broken any bones, had my first surgery when I was 17 and usually luck out in terms of being healthy. (Except for that one time I woke up at 3 in the morning with a huge purple swollen eye and had to go to the hospital to discover I'm allergic to soy.)

So wouldn't it figure that the one time I actually need to go to a hospital, I happen to be in China?

I was playing gaelic football last night at Olympic Square; they meet once a week so I had been looking forward to it all day. We start warming up with the ball, and someone kicks it to my left. I chase after it, only the turf goes into a depression where the seats are at the edge of the field. I completely trip over that depression and hear a crack and had to grab a taxi home after being there all of like 15 minutes. (Not to mention paying a 10 kuai field fee.)

So when I woke up it wasn't any better so I called up my director, who took me to the Zhongshan Hospital of Dalian University. They have this really nice foreigner wing and examined me the minute I walked through the door, which is better than the US hospitals.

They took me to get an x-ray in this really outdated-looking room where the machine kept making a weird whirring noise and the positioning posters on the wall were black and white and looked like they were produced in the 80s.

So 20 minutes later the x-rays were developed and even though my ankle was ridiculously swollen, they said there was no break and just prescribed a boatload of drugs.

Overall, the bill came came to 6 yuan for the consultation -that's like 86 cents, kids-, 16 for the "western medicine" (ibuprofen that I already have a stockpile of in my room), 110 for the x-ray, 16 for them to put this black paste and gauze on my ankle, and....126 for "Chinese medicine."

Which turns out to be four boxes of this anti-inflammatory pill I'm supposed to take three times a day, three pills each time, and some weird gauzy things. 18 USD for that? Ridiculous. At least I have money; the Chinese hospital system is pay-as-you-go so if you don't have money, you're SOL. So much for communism.

Anyway, so now I'm on crutches... and I live on the fifth floor of my building, which is on a HILL, which has only squatting toilets, and has showers only in the basement.

But the weather's really getting nicer! :)

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