Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

My Visit to the Chinese Red Army Hospital Part VII (I think)

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 27, 2010

Ok, this is part 7 I think of my visit to the Red Army hospital. Summary thus far, I got diagnosed with something, not sure of what, they took xrays, gouged my finger for blood and last time they sent me off with about 12 bottles for an ‘injection’.
The funny thing is that in China when you get an IV, they call it an injection and they prefer to give you ‘injections’ over pills because ‘injections’ they must administer and thus they make more cash on them.
So, they gave me a dozen bottles for my IV and 6 little black vials and sent me off to the injection room (pictured). Now remember, as of yet, I have seen not one wash basin nor doctors gloves, the whole thing has been sketchy, the one room had docs smoking and my ‘primary care physician’ as I like to refer to him, was wearing Bermuda shorts- wtf. but the price was right and we’re only talking about my health so what the heck..
Ok, so I lugged all of those glass jars to the ‘injection room’ see photo 2508…3594, where about 5 nurses were waiting. They were waiting, but not for me, at the site of this foreigner and all of those glass jars they scattered, slid away like mercury. One brave soul approached me and seeing that I spoke neanderthal and could grunt, so that she understood, we entered into an agreement of sorts, I gave her the stuff and she ignored me. I sat down figuring she knew her job and and she began to bang he bottle around and jot notes on a large pad.
I sat in the heart of the room, no use hiding in China when you’re 6’1″. The room was odd, it seemed like something from the 1200’s or a public gallows. On the periphery were about 15 chairs, all old, all made of wood and all reeking of ass, despair and sickness. In the center were 6 more chairs. Above each chair was a silver pole with a little hand, from which to hang the ‘injections’. The set up was nothing if not efficient.
My primary care nurse returned to my side with about 4 bottles. She pulled up one of those Jack Kervorkian assisted death carts and then swabbed me down with what was either ketchup or some type of sanitizer, I didnt ask which. She wore no gloves and I was used to this by now. She tied off my arm and looked for a good vein. I’m not as skinny as a whippet, nor am I fat and have some nice juicy veins, but this one was having a hard go of it. She poked prodded and then got a running start, screeched something in Chinese and ran at me like a world class javelin hurler and successfully jabbing a vein-(or something else that leaks blood) with the long horse needle (photo 2708…3612). Accomplishing this task, she rubbed her hands with glee, patted my head with her blood stained fingers, pointed at the three hanging bottles then at her watch and moved off.
I sat there, I had no idea what she had said, or what was in store so I began to glance around….

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