March 8th, 2016.
It’s overwhelming in this hospital. Shitloads of activity. I’m #187 at the “pharmacy” window, and I’m just waiting for my number to be called. The LCD television displays numbers 179-183 up next.
There’s windows 13, 14, 15 infront of me, and then 90-94 infront as well. Window 15 issues the numbers, and then windows 90-94 service those numbers. A fairly efficient system.
The hospital is kind of dirty. It’s not clean, white, and sparkly like North American hospitals. This is the provincial hospital for the Krabi area, and I’m the only foreign person here.
I got dropped off here by the Taxi that I split with Charlie on his way to the airport. The sign at the hospital entrance says “Helmet Zone”. No one wears helmets in this country. We hug and say goodbye, exchanging the “if you’re ever in…” line to each other. I’ve met a lot of cool people so far.
I go up to emergency and show them the paperwork I got earlier at the clinic in Koh Phi Phi. She sends me over to “the other building” to find “#1”.
The scene is like this: You have most walls made up of glass framed in aluminum, with a red marble countertop at elbow level. Entire walls of little service windows to talk to hospital staff. Each window is about a meter wide and has a red number with a white border affixed to the glass. The numbers are spanning out from 2-100 sequentially, wrapping around corners and such.
I can’t find window number one. Finally I locate it wrapped around some corner. Number one is for general admission to the hospital. I give them the medical documents I had from Koh Phi Phi and my passport. They give me a battered envelope with my new medical documents and medical record number and send me to number 20.
I find an office that says 20 OTO – LARYNGOLOGIST. I see a nurse sitting at a desk out infront of this office and I hand her my documents. I haven’t spoken at all. I’m just handing different people documents and it all seems to be working. This is easy enough. I sit waiting on a plastic chair out front of the office.
When I’m called in I see a Japanese looking guy who appears to be the doctor. He starts looking in my ear with that piece of equipment doctors always use to look in there, although he didn’t bother to put that hygienic plastic tip on. All of his tools look a little old. He doesn’t see any damage to my ear drum and sends me to get an audiogram at number 21 next door.
I’m sat in a little soundproof booth, and the technician puts some headphones on me. I click a little button every time I hear a noise. After I finish this test and return to the doctor, he tells me I have no hearing damage. He gives me a prescription for prednisone, citirizine, and more pseudoephedrine.
I ask the doctor what to do if it doesn’t recover in a week.
“It will” he says.
Glad to know the doctors in Thailand are psychic.
On the positive side of things, the whole thing only cost $10!