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ER Visit

Around the world travel, Backpacking, Bangkok, Cipro, ER Visit, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Travel

Welcome to Thailand, Where’s the closest hospital?

We wake up early on Thursday to head to Bangkok. I am in a world of pain. It now hurts to breathe. I feel like I have a stitch that is occupying every muscle and crevasse in my stomach. My chest feels tight and the more I think about it, the more worried I become, and the more my chest hurts. I now know this is not residuals from whatever I had picked up in India. Fortunately, I’m travelling with my friend Amanda, who is a nurse in Atlanta, so she is poking and prodding my stomach, making sure it’s not my appendix. God, please don’t let it be my appendix, but if it is, get that thing out of my body now so this pain will go away. Unfortunately, today is a travel day. We have a three hour flight to Bangkok. I try to eat, I try to go to the bathroom, I try to drink water. Anything to make this thing leave my system. Then the pain shift, The pain leaves the right side of my stomach and moves to the left. At this point I feel like something is literally gnawing at my insides. Somehow, I manage to get to the airport, get my bags checked in and get on the plane. I pray that I’m not that girl that needs “medical assistance” during the flight. 
I know I have to hang on until Bangkok, where I have heard hospitals are clean, numerous and the doctors speak English well. We board the plane, and the pilot announces the flying time is four hours. I curse the one-hour time difference. As we fly, with each breath I take, I feel a pinch. We land in Bangkok, and I tell Amanda I want to go straight to a hospital. We walk through the medical check, which is being recorded by video camera because of the H1N1 epidemic, and I try to look as healthy as possible (although it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if I got sent back to Bali).
We decide to find accommodation first and then find a doctor. We get a room for about $6 per person just off of Koh San Road, and fortunately there is an international medical clinic just around the corner. We hightail it here, and I’m just relieved to be somewhere where someone might be able to help. I speak to a doctor and she diagnoses me with a kidney infection and a fever. She tells me I need a course of Cipro (antibiotics), and bless Dr. Saha in NY for sending me away with this as a “precautionary measure.” I am told to go back the next morning to get the results of the tests and make sure it is nothing more serious. In the meantime, I take the Cipro, Tylenol, and drink liters and liters of water. 
The following morning, I feel like a new woman. Well, I can breathe without pain and have a much better range of motion… I think of the other way this scenario could have played out… I thank the Cipro, the English-speaking doc, the clean clinic and my very patient travel partner. We venture out, slowly, to see some of Bangkok.