Monday Montage: Medical Emergency in Phuket-Part 2

Last week, I began telling the story of my not-so-fun night away in a Phuket hospital due to a medical emergency. I had appendicitis and after a whirlwind day in the hospital, I had surgery and began my 2-night stay at Bangkok Hospital Phuket. This is the continuation and completion of my time in the hospital recuperating from my appendectomy in today’s Monday Montage. My regular Monday Montage will resume next week.

 

Untitled design-12Part Two

When I awoke in the morning after my surgery, I was in a some of pain. My abdomen, along with my lower back, were screaming. I am not normally a back sleeper and having to sleep on my back was not comfortable at all.

To add to my general discomfort, I had not eaten anything since 9 p.m. the night before I was sick. Luckily I had a bag of Saline Solution dripping into my arm keeping me from being dehydrated as well. All I could think of was food. What can I say, I love food. I love eating. And I suffer from “hanger” when I don’t eat. Well, usually I do, but I have a feeling that the pain medication was giving me a happy demeanor despite my hunger. Lucky really for everyone around me.

The surgeon came in and told me that everything went great and gave me pictures of my appendix inside and outside my body, in real size and color! So cool! (I was going to share them here, but I know that not everyone find removed innards to be pleasant to the eyes. Haha). He told me that I should start to get up and walk around and was allowed to eat!!!! Hallelujah! My breakfast was then delivered right away! Such wonderful service!

Breakfast! Yes, please!!!
Breakfast! Yes, please!!!

The care that I received from the nurses and nursing assistants that came in every two hours for vitals and medication injections was fabulous. And many of them spoke enough English to have small conversations with. I became very used to the routine of bi-hourly checks 24 hours a day. It was strangely soothing. And every time that the nurses asked me if I had “pee-peed” or “poo-pooed” I would try my best not to giggle. Apparently, deep down inside I am still 8 years old. The medical terms for going to the bathroom were not known I guess. I honestly was so impressed with the amount of English everyone knew, still this made me laugh a little, which hurt my belly, but who cares. Laughter causes quicker healing, right?!

Chad and Zoë came and visited as much as they could, even though the hospital was about an hour away from our house. Z made me some colored flowers and Chad bought me a new dress. It was nice having the company, and Z’s tenderness was just precious. I would ask for hugs and would ask for her to walk around with me and she would say, “Be careful of your tummy mommy, you just had surgery”. She has such a kind heart. I love her.

Coloring a picture for me in my room.
Coloring a picture for me in my room.

 

Chad had the forethought to bring my laptop for me, so while I lounged in my amazing room, I caught up on ‘The Walking Dead’. I thought a few times about getting some writing done but figured that the pain pills would most likely cause some crazy posts. So I just rested. It was a strange way for me to be, I am not good at it at all, but I tried to embrace it.

My selfie while recuperating in bed!
My selfie while recuperating in bed. Oh man!

Okay, so I want to make sure that I go into a little detail about my room. I didn’t have my camera but tried to take some pictures with my phone. My room was huge with my bed, a table with two chairs, a chaise lounge, an armchair with footrest and a coffee table. It also had a large bathroom with a marble bench in it…no sitting on silly plastic shower chairs for me, woo hoo! When I was finally able to take a shower on my last day in the hospital, I took my time enjoying the luxury of it.

My room early in the morning.
My room early in the morning before the sun had risen. It was so clean and decorated simply.
My view. I was on the 7th floor and was able to see much of that area of Phuket Town. The sky was very hazy from the fires in Indonesia, but the view was still amazing.
My view. I was on the 7th floor and was able to see much of that area of Phuket Town. The sky was very hazy from the fires in Indonesia, but the view was still marvelous.

I apologize for the quality of the pictures above, I took them the first night in my room, almost right after surgery. Apparently my perception was a bit askew. Haha!

The food was alright, I admit, my appetite was not its usual hearty self, so I ate little of my meals. It didn’t help that the surgeon had out me on a soft/bland diet, so I was given western food instead of the yummy and spicy Thai fare. But my kind and loving husband Chad did bring me some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and I enjoyed those heartily! Delicious!

Broccoli soup, salmon patty, veggies and potatoes. Yummy?
Broccoli soup, salmon patty, veggies, and potatoes. Yummy? Not really, but I ate it anyways.

Finally, it was my last day in the hospital and the doctor came to check my wounds before signing my discharge papers. The incisions were so tiny! My pain level was pretty low, the only time I felt uncomfortable was getting into and getting out of bed. That made my insides feel like they were falling out, not an altogether pleasant feeling to be sure. But still much better than the day before.

My tummy. The incisions are practically nonexistent.
My tummy. The incisions are practically nonexistent. Hooray!

The doctor said I could do whatever I wanted after being discharged from the hospital except swim, exercise, or lift anything. I could shower (Yay!), walk around, and go about my daily life. And I could eat or drink anything, except alcohol because of the antibiotics I had to take (boo hoo).

I took a nice long, hot shower and then ate my last lunch in my room while waiting for Chad to come and get me. I was so excited to come home. The nurses had said that I needed to wait for the insurance department to call before I would be officially discharged, but it would only be another hour or two. Chad came in the second hour, so I asked again how long it would be… another two hours! Oh no! But still I was thankful that I had insurance to pay for my stay, so Chad took me downstairs and I had a latte (oh Thank you, God for coffee), and walked around a bit.

When we returned to my room, I almost immediately got the call from the insurance department to come down and sign papers so that my insurance would pay the bill. I was a little nervous. When I was admitted, I had signed papers with an estimate of the costs for my stay and surgery that the hospital was sending to my insurance and it said the cost would be  about 288,000 baht (about $8000 USD). I had thought that when we signed up for our insurance, it had said that all inpatient services were covered at 100%, but having worked with medical insurance billing for many, many years back in California, I was preparing myself mentally for a fight with the insurance, or a large bill to pay.

What an amazing surprise when I signed the papers saying that I owed nothing and the insurance had already paid in full! Boy, I was so happy that we had insurance.

I went back up to my room, packed up my stuff and went to the nurses station to get my discharge orders and medications. I was given three days of Celebrex (an anti-inflammatory medication) and 5 days of antibiotics. That is one thing that I love about Thailand, most often the doctors are sparing with the medications, which is very different than the  States.

Chad went to get the car and I made my escape (ok, the hospital orderlies helped me into the car). I was on my way home! Hooray!

I have now been home for 4 1/2 days. I have little-to-no-pain and have actually been resting. I know, it’s surprising! I will be up and back to normal in no time! There are many people in my life that have made this experience much easier, I hope you guys know who you are, you are the best! And to all of my readers that left your well-wishes and said prayers for me, please know how much I appreciated them! Love you all! xoxox


Now it’s your turn! What would you rather have, the salmon cake or the peanut butter cups? And what about insurance, does the are that you live offer good coverage? Leave a comment and let’s chat!

 

 

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