Hello Friends and Family,
This morning we got up early, not by choice, but because Parker was coughing and wheezing all night. In addtion to that, he was thrashing around and being new parents, we had to check on him every time. We met Mary in the lobby at 8:40 am and went back to the Civil Affairs Office for our interviews and then to the Notary for more interviews. Once we finished there, we headed over to the largest hospital in the Guangxi Province. When we got there, we found out that they weren't taking any other pediatric patients until the afternoon, so Mary said we could go to the Nanning Hospital instead. She said she liked this hospital better anyway because she'd been there as a child.
Let me just preface this story by saying, don't ever complain about what kind of medical care we get at home. Even if we have to pay higher premiums or copays, at least it's clean and safe and you don't feel like you need a hot shower once you get home.
We got to the hospital and Mary spoke with the ladies at the desk to tell them why we were there. It was 4 yuan or $.80 to see the doctor. We went upstairs to a hallway waiting area to wait to see the doctor. The walls were lined with colored plastic chairs and almost all of them were full of parents and children. There were rooms with doctors down the hallway. One side of the hall opened up to a larger room where lots and lots of children were watching cartoons on a black and white tv while waiting for their IV's to finish. It was so sad. They had bars across the top of the ceiling with hooks to hang the IV's and several rows of the same plastic chairs from the hallway. Vuong and I were trying not to stare, but it was hard. Most kids had the IV's in their hands with a cardboard box taped to it to keep it in place. The babies had the IV's in their foreheads. It was extremely noisey-- kids were crying and screaming when they got their IV's, some kids were running around, and the tv was really loud. A lady was holding a baby wearing some split crotch pants. The baby started to pee on the floor and nobody even noticed. They just moved the baby so that the pee wouldn't get on them. No one cleaned it up. Nothing. Which does explain why the hospital smelled like an animal shelter. The floors were very, very dirty with crud in the corners. I kept thinking I didn't want my baby to have to be treated here, but then I remembered, he's always been treated some place like this. It made me feel so sad for the people who only have that kind of place to recieve treatment.
We waited for the doctor for about half an hour. Then we were called into a little room with one doctor and lots of people standing around waiting for their turn. They had all the kids medical record books lined up on the doctors desk, so people that were next or pretty close to next just waited there. Vuong sat down with Parker on his lap and the doctor listened to his lungs and checked his throat. He said, through Mary, that Parker has severe bronchitis. He sent us to get some blood work done before he could decide what his treatment would be. We walked back downstairs to an area outside with windows to pay. We payed for his blood work, then took the receipt to the 'lab' which is also outside. Parker had to put his little hand underneath a half piece of plexi glass that made a window. The lab guy was behind the window. It was very odd and impersonal. He pricked Parker's finger and got a sample. Parker never even cried. Then we sat and waited for the results which was about 30 minutes. While waiting we saw a man who had some kind of head injury walking around with a huge piece of gauze taped to the back of his head (right on his hair) and a big blood stain on it. We also saw a lady who was carrying a little cup with a yellowy swab in it and trying to show or tell the nurse something. It was bizzare.
Finally his blood work was finished and we went back up to the doctors area. We showed him the blood work and he told Mary his treatment. Vuong and Mary went back downstairs to pay for the treatment while Parker and I waited upstairs. Once they came back, Mary showed the nurse who would be giving him his treatment. It was then that we realized that the medicine that Parker would be getting would be through what she called 'a transfusion'. That meant that he was going to have to be hooked up to an IV. We noticed that there was also another room behind the first with a TV and places to hang an IV. We waited in that room for awhile before they called his name. We went up to an old table covered in plastic with medical supplies lying all around. Parker kept pointing to all the trash on the floor under the table. He was saying something in Chinese, probably something not so nice, so I had to distract him from the trash. They finally called us up to the table and I sat down with him on my lap. There was another person next to me at this table which was maybe 3 1/2 to 4 feet long. There was also another table of the same size to my right with 2 children also getting their IV's. The nurse put an elastic band on Parker's lower arm to find a vein in his hand. To backtrack for a second, I've noticed that he had lots of little holes on his hand but couldn't figure out where they came from. I think it might be from IV's which makes me sad that he's already had so many! Anyway, as soon as she put the band on his arm, he started to cry, silently of course, some huge crocodile tears. I kept kissing him and telling him he would feel better soon. The nurse got his IV in and he really started to cry, outloud! She gruffly told him something and he stopped. :o(
We went to the chair to watch tv. I held him as he watched some cartoons. His personality is really starting to come out. He apparently likes to have his head and neck scratched. So he started telling me in Chinese very sassy like and pointing to his head. Of course, I did it! And then he wouldn't let me stop. Every time I had to take a break because my fingers felt like they were going to be stuck in the form of permanent claws, he would say it again and point. Funny guy! During this time, Mary and Vuong had gone down to the pharmacy to get his meds. I'm not sure what they are, but Mary wrote the directions in English. Once liquid that he's supposed to take 5 ounces of 3 times a day. And two different kinds of pills we're supposed to deslove in water. About 20 minutes later, his IV was empty so we were able to move to the next treatment. Mary kept talking about a spray for his throat. It ended up being a breathing treatment. By this time, he was wiped out. He fell asleep in Vuong's arms during the 10 minutes he was hooked up.
We finally got home at 2:30, which was about 3 1/2 hours after we got there. It was a long day! We came home and had some lunch and then all took a nap. Parker was coughing a lot when he got up, but I think it's because he'd been lying down. He didn't seem to cough as much this evening, although he still has a very loud wheeze and rumble when he breathes.
We have to go back to the hospital at 8am for the next 2 days for the same treatment. It probably won't take as long this time because we don't have to do all the blood work and running around. If he's not better by the time we get to Guangzhou, we'll have to continue his treatment there.
And that was my day! What did YOU do today?
I'll post more pictures tomorrow. I think I'm going to have to post one at a time because the internet is so slow that it times out before it can upload. Don't worry, I won't leave you hanging!
Love to all!