I just read the last line of the previous post “Stand by for further adventures” Well here is one….
This is going to sound incredibly strange after reading the previous post but- my close friends already know that my life is a whirlwind. The one thing you need to know in life is that things do not go as planned.WE had planned to go back to Xiamen but apparently something or somebody had another plan for us.In retrospect it seems that it was destined to be (and I don’t believe in fate but you have to admit it’s a little odd).Here are the signs: First our visas took for ever to fix this time- we nearly gave up and stayed put.But we really WANTED to go back.Then after 8 months of trying to sell our apartment,we finally signed a contract TWO DAYS before our flight out.It was really weird timing.It would have been better to stay put and pack up and look for a new apartment.But hey, never mind,we thought.It will all sort out.But somehow it didn’t.
After the back injury finally started to improve I suddenly got the most horrendously strong pains in my stomach – think Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”. I was throwing up endlessly and generally feeling dreadful The hard furniture in the apartment made it impossible for me to relax,sit or lie anywhere.I was in constant agony. Ok no problem pop off to the Taiwanese Hospital and get checked out.(Bear in mind this is a week after we have done our mandatory medical check for the school and been given the all clear).Doc looks at me for 3 minutes and says”Gastroenteritis” and gives me some pills.WE trot back home. THe next day the pains are WAY worse- and I mean writhing on the bed unable to eat,or sleep and screaming with pain.Odd I think.I have had gastroenteritis numerous times and it never felt like this. And I am still throwing up.The next day Mr Piglet goes to take my class for me cos I can’t stand up, let alone go down 4 flights of stairs and up 4 flights of stairs to the classroom.
By the afternoon I am really scared.I call him while he is in the supermarket and he says ” Shall I just leave the shopping and come?” “Yes!” I groan. We phone the International Office again and ask to be taken back to the hospital. There we go to A and E (no appointment this time) and see various doctors. I do a CT and a blood test and have my BP checked. After some time they announce I have gall stones and they will operate. This is the point where I suddenly put my foot down. Mr P thinks we should stay put- he is afraid something really bad is going to happen.Me too- but for me the “something bad” means staying there. I happen to know that for gall bladder removal you do laproscopic surgery and here in China they want to cut me open with a BIG cut. Plus, here you need to know that Chinese hospitals don’t usually have the latest equipment, and the general conditions for patients leave something to be desired.For example,nurses don’t bring you food,or take you to the bathroom etc. So I just said “NO get me out of here NOW”. WE then called the head of the Foreign Affairs Office of our school who came over,despite it being 11pm and her husband’s birthday.I have to say she was wonderful and very kind. She looked at me and just said” I suggest you go to Hong Kong”.
SO that was what we did. OF course it was a bit complicated- mainly because our passports were still at the Immigration Office getting our visas done.We couldn’t buy a plane ticket to HK with no passport.Then I tried to buy tickets online and my credit card was rejected. Finally the Foreign Affairs lady called a ticket office and booked for us- the tickets were sent over by courier and we paid cash.So we got our passports back at 12.00 noon and flew out of Xiamen to HK at 4pm! Here I will introduce you to my guardian angel, N. N lives in HK and is a lawyer from the UK who has been a family friend since I was about 9.He used to tease me when I was a kid. I called N on Skype before we left Xiamen and explained what had happened and he said “Don’t worry” .He met us at the airport,took us home,gave us supper (which I couldn’t eat) and said tomorrow morning at 10.30 am you have an appointment with the top Laproscopic surgeon in the Hong Kong Sanatorjum, a
VERY upscale establishment. N had checked out online to find the best guy,and this was it.
So the next day we turned up there and the moment I saw the place and the doctor I knew it was going to be okay.Dr Michael Li was a graduate of Barts’ Hospital in London,spoke perfect English and told me exactly what he would do in the operations for Monday and Tuesday.He suggested I stay in right away so they could do various tests.The hospital offered me a semi -private room on the 30th floor with a view of Hong Kong, immediately.Here again.N was amazing.When our credit card didn’t go through on the machine he gave his own to guarantee payment of the hospital bill. We couldn’t thank him enough.He also gave me a HK phone with internet access.In short he was our angel. From here on it was plain sailing of course. The room had internet,television,movies , an amazingly comfortable bed which I never wanted to leave.With the push of a button 3 giggling nurses came running to attend to me,and bring me my meals off an a la carte menu. It was heaven.And they had lovely drugs like Pethedine to make the pain go away.
Me in my hospital bed
View of Hong Kong from the hospital window
The surgery went well and Dr Li released me to home rest after 5 days. I now have to observe a special diet of course ( no fats, no spices) but I just thank my lucky stars every day that I insisted on flying to HK and didn’t do the surgery in Xiamen.The insurance have paid for my hospitalization. This week I will see my GP and see what I need to do next.
So now I am back recuperating at home.It is great to be with family and friends,especially since we arrived just in time for Pessach….
As I said before, my life is a whirlwind!