Today did not start off as planned. We were going to a breakfast meeting with Expats at 9.30.
I have been suffering with a persistent stomach bug for a week and last night it got worse. Rang American Express Assist this morning for advice and they sent me to The Chiang Mai RAM private hospital just outside the moat. The irony was this is a hospital I had researched for an earlier blog and recommended based on all the reports I found. Now was the moment of truth as we Tuk Tuk'd around to the Hospital!
Very efficient place with wonderful staff. At 9.45 I signed in (a fairly painless procedure) and on the recommendation of the staff member elected to wait to see a Gastro Enterology Specialist. They take a pic of you whilst sitting at the check in desk in case you get lost.
Sat for a short time and were the escorted to the 2nd floor GI Dept. On arrival there at 10am we were immediately attended to by a nurse who requested a faecal sample. She gave me a kit that included rubber gloves, sample jar etc all in a cute thick brown paper bag with my name affixed. Due to my condition obliging was no problem at all and they promptly took the sample off to the lab. Communication was good and they explained it could be an hour to get results and then the specialist would see me. Several time updates were given while we waited.
In to see Dr Jaruwat Yossomat who explained I had a severe bacterial gastro and it would be best treated by a 48 hours on a drip. I chose the medicate and rest at home option and he informed me it could be 3 or 4 days before I improve. Also gave me some strict dietary rules to aid recovery and said if no better by Monday to come back. We were then escorted down to ground level by a young man with my file and he organised the medicine and got a payment number. We waited about 10 minutes and my number was called.
The bill was a pleasant surprise! The doctor was $19.23 Australian, medication was $53.23, the lab test was $9.42 and the nursing and service charge was $3.70 for a total $85.57! If I had gone to the John Flynn Hospital on the Gold Coast using my private health cover I would have paid $250 just to step inside! Healthcare here is excellent and inexpensive and would make the decision for an over 65 to pay as you go rather than insure the smart option.
I now have a bag of 4 different medicines to take at varying times of the day and we have at last managed to work out a schedule for taking them.
We can highly recommend this hospital that is International World Class Quality Accredited to Gold Seal standard. Only 200 worldwide have achieved this. Have to say some Australian Private Hospitals we have had experience with could take a few lessons on patient handling from them! We got the distinct impression that they really cared and that nothing was too much trouble.
As we stood waiting for a Tuk Tuk home from the hospital a Taxi pulled up and disgorged a westerner who proceeded to tell us to take this taxi as the driver was such a nice man and that he uses him all the time. Who could resist so we piled in and the driver headed to our hotel. On the way he was telling us about a client he has andsaid I quote “ He is old like you”. Not what we wanted to hear but we take his point!
I think as I believe “Life is a rich learning experience” that there is a lesson to be learnt from today. Being very healthy, fit and un-medicated I have been prone to the fantasy that I am invincible. Today I learnt that I am not and that anyone can end up in hospital including me!