Daily Archives: February 25, 2014

TIC #? Minor medical attention in Jiaxing

Don’t be appalled but last night I suspected I had a urinary tract infection, something every woman knows is a minor but significantly uncomfortable infection.  I didn’t want to travel to Shanghai just to get the antibiotics I know are the cure, so I asked Daisy if she could go with me to No. 1 Hospital where I know they have English-speaking doctors.  She came back a little later and asked if the hospital near the new Hilton would do.  On a clear day, we can see the insignia from our apartment.  No problem for me, as long as they have a doc who can understand me.  Daisy escorts me all the way, which is just as well.

We arrive at the desk and are helped by an English-speaking attendant.  First, I have to be checked in but my medical card is no good in little Jiaxing, so Daisy uses her card.  For 1 yuan (16 cents) I am given a booklet to keep for my medical records.  Daisy’s name is on the front but my details inside.  Shouldn’t be a problem, should it?  Then, we are escorted upstairs a floor where almost immediately I am taken to a (very) young doctor who speaks no English.  After they chat for a while, the nurse asks me if I have any discomfort in my lower back.  Okay, maybe I haven’t made myself clear but before I can say anything, the doctor gets up and hammers my back in a few places, through my winter coat.  I don’t wince so he concludes all is well.  He and the nurse talk some more and then she asks where does it hurt?  Hmmm.  “You will need to have a urine test.”    Ah!

Eventually, I am taken to another department where I confirm I am to pee in a cup.  They give me one, plus a test tube and send me to “the washroom.”  This is a hospital, remember.  When I enter the washroom, what is notable is a large garbage bin on wheels, full to the brim with all kinds of garbage including food wrappers; no lid.  It is parked next to a maintenance sink with several grey-looking mops standing in it.  Into the stall I go — no lock, no toilet paper and two gaping spaces in the tile-work where pipes and raw cement edges are exposed, collecting all manner of dust, grime and disease.  Me without my camera!  Or paper towels for my hands after I wash them in the maintenance sink, that being the only option.

Out I come and deliver my test-tube to the nurse and am told to wait a moment.  After no more than 10 minutes, she arrives with my test results (showing high counts of white corpuscles) and we return to the doctor.  I am hoping for some antibiotics, but instead I get traditional Chinese medicine.  I have to take 12 pills of one kind and 4 of another a day for a week.  As long as it works, I am happy.  Total cost, including the 1 yuan:  153 yuan.  Sadly, my company health card is not usable here in the ‘small’ city (pop 3.5 milliion), but I think I can afford the $25.00.  No worries, I feel better already.