Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

My Chinese Hospital Visit Part 4 of a Multi Part Story of My Visit to a Chinese Hospital

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 2, 2010

Part 4 of this series, I will write till the saga ends.
Overview, true story. I’m in a chicom military hospital, at the emergency room, and they do close the emergency rooms down in china at lunch time. I have paid about 70U$ for a ton of meds, a ‘check up’, blood work and xrays. I have gotten part of the ‘check up’ and had blood drawn (see old posts).
I now must take my blood work to the doctor who is still in Bermudas. As of yet, I still have seen no one use antiseptic swabs nor wash their hands, haven’t even seen a sink yet.
I shuffle back to the ’emergency room’. The doctor is on the phone, assorted Chinese of all shapes and sizes now inhabit the room. The doctor is not happy nor unhappy to see me.
I wait, some old lady stares at me, I smile, she burps, I look away. The doctor beckons me, I sit, he growls at me and sends me off to the xray area.
XRAY area, the sign says. Its in funky Chinese characters and English. My English speaking ‘doctor friend’ pushes through the door and we enter.
Inside there are about 7 people in various forms of undress. Guys with t-shirts reading cartoons, two ‘doctors’ smoking (this is true.) My buddy and I stand, no one greets us. By scanning the room, I can tell how the chicoms operate, they eschew productivity for comfort. Feet are on tables, people are eating rice, all doing anything but work.
My friend, quickly negotiates with one of the ‘doctors’ who grunts, doesnt seem happy. They argue, and my doctor smiles, tells me all is well, I have my doubts.
In the other room there is something like a hyperbolic chamber, or one of those places that underwater divers go to decompress (same thing?) or maybe some crazy room for psyche experiments from the 60’s. I peer through the glass at the other side. The room is empty with the exception of what appears to be a USSR model nuclear device, I swear the thing is giving off steam and hissing.
One of the doctors is at a desk, in front of him are monitors and screens, he seems to be the guy in ‘charge’. My doctor friend convinces him that it is worth it to check me out and I am herded off to the hyperbolic chamber. Inside it looks cold and dangerous, I look back, my friend pushes me in and they slam the door behind me. I’m pissed, I have no idea what is expected of me. The ‘doctor’ behind the monitor speaks into a mic, he sound like Daffy Duck. I look at my ‘doctor’ friend, he mimes what he wants me to do. I think he wants me to get in front of the steaming nuclear device.I’m like get in here and help me, they all look smug, start to boss me around, move their arms like shooing me away, into the device.
I move towards the thing, its huge and cold. I get next to it, they complain, tell me I’m doing it wrong, from the looks of it they want me to mount it like a steed, I try, they go ape. Some guy is screeching at me in Mandarin, none of them really speak English so I tell them to suck me and dismount the thing.
I find what I assume to be the front of the device and face it. More callous Mandarin erupts from them followed my more waving of arms and such. I get pissed and yell, “if you dont like it then get in here you lazy bastards” I stare at them through the window. The guy behind the monitor is pissed.
I turn around and face away from the device, they seem calm, my buddy tells me to relax. I got a freaking nuke steaming behind me , I just want to leave.
The thing starts to groan and shake, I almost jubmped out of there, but the door is barred so my options are limited, I yell at them to step it up. The guy behind the monitor says somehting, I call him a dickhead. All of the sudden the machine is going up and down like a freaking MRI, and I’m just here for a chest x-ray. I get pissed, but being a good soldier I freeze and wait.
Then the thing stops nut high, like at my waist. The machine is whizzing making that sound and I’m sure that the guy is blasting my goodie package with noxious alpha and gamma rays. I wait. he radiates me. I scream, “Hey assholes my lungs are higher up” face red.
I hear nothing. Then the machine groans, pivots and makes me feel like its HAL from 2001 A Space Odyssey.
They tell me to leave. The guy behind the monitors does not look at me but at his screen. I steal a glance, I think the machine’s busted, the xray is shite, looks like mashed potatoes thrown on felt, i ask if thats my lungs, he smacks my hands, assures me all is well and tells me to leave. I ask for a copy of the xray, says its all digital, i can go now. As I leave I see a guy with what looks like my xrays in his hands, he’s shaking his head, tosses them in the trash.
My buddy drags me back to doctor Bermudas who is waiting. He gets a call from the guy in the xray room, leaves, comes back. Tells me all is well, or maybe he says I have developed asthma or bronchitis, emphasema or maybe black lung, I’m not sure, I dont speak Chinese and their English is marginal. He smiles, assures me all will be ok, says I need some injections. I have no idea what the cure for the above ailments is, but am pretty sure its not an ‘injection’ but figure what the hell, its China, I gotta ride this thing to the bitter end.
-to be continued

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