Third Sunset in the Hospital

As I write this I can look out the window and watch my third sunset from room 1001 at Bangkok Hospital.  More than twenty-four hours have passed with no fever and this morning my doctor, who came in on her day off to see me, asked me to stay one more night to continue the IV antibiotics and to take another chest xray to see what’s changed since Wednesday.  She’ll come back Sunday morning, also her day off, to look at the results and we’ll see where to go from there.

The nurses seem optimistic that I’ll be discharged then.  But they were saying that during my temperature and blood pressure check at 10 pm yesterday, too.  Ten pm is a busy time.  One nurse is injecting my antibiotics and another is recording vitals.  To me, it was just a blur of activity.


Tawn’s toe is better.  It is now just a bit bruised and the plumish purple has largely receded.  He’s been here all afternoon and charms all the nurses.  That’s his nature.

A few more observations of hospital life:

After a day and a half of nonstop IV drip (saline) and 10 cc in-line injections of antibiotics, the veins in my left arm started to feel painful.  At first I couldn’t figure out what it was but after an hour or so, decided to trust my instinct that something was abnormal and spoke with a nurse.  Sure enough, the veins were irritated from the higher volume of liquid, bruised and abused.  By the time they pulled the IV out, there was a nice red splotch tracing its way from the point of entry to the crook of my arm.

When it came to putting in a new line, Tawn told the nurse about the problems finding a vein during admittance.  She assured him that she would send the most beautiful nurse on the floor, gesturing to one of her colleagues.  Then Tawn said to the other nurse, “You may be the most beautiful, but I need to make sure you can also handle this special case.”  With great self-confidence she looked at him, smiled, and cattily replied that she was the best in the ward on both accounts.


Sure enough, Annie Oakley was right.  She spent about thirty seconds tapping the back of my hand and examining it, then swabbed it and struck a suitable vein in one single, smooth and painless prick of the skin.  As you can see, I’ve not let being in the hospital keep me from working.  This is my version of Sion’s treadmill desk.


Food here continues to be quite decent.  This morning I was served boiled rice, not quite Chinese style jok which I received the morning before.  This is really just watery rice.  My friend Ken really doesn’t like it so I think of him and our trip to Lampang a few years back every time I eat it. 

What really tickled me, though, was the message on this packet of chilies in vinegar: “To keep chilli fresh longer, No preservatives added.”  Anyone care to explain to me what role the vinegar serves?  It isn’t a preservative?

This afternoon Tawn and I headed downstairs to Starbucks.  I wore cargo shorts and a polo shirt in an effort to blend in to the crowd.  I’m not wearing my hospital kung fu pj’s to Starbucks!  I thought it would be funny to shoot a little video about me “sneaking” out of the ward but decided it was a bit more effort than I wanted to invest.

Okay, that’s all for now.  The night sky is now black and the city lights spread out around me.  Thanks for reading.


0 thoughts on “Third Sunset in the Hospital

  1. Glad you are feeling better. Just after reading your blog, I came down with a fever. At least I have had minimal congestion, but still running 101. Has not been 2 days yet, so not concerned. Is it H1N1, don’t know, but I had the seasonal flu shot. so what else is there… Take care and hope you are discharged soon.

  2. You sound ready to go home -sneaking out to Starbucks in civies. Glad you got the A+ phlebotomist… but where are their gloves!?! (sorry – I’m the PPE sheriff)

  3. Don’t know how I missed the last few posts — I’m glad you’re feeling better and hope that good things like sunsets in the hospital come in 3’s like the not so good!  Take care, and feel better soon!

  4. hahaha – I like how Tawn “supervises” but also charms the nurses. Glad his toe is healing fine too.btw – “Sure enough, Annie Oakley was right.” is that a midwestern saying? I rarely come across this?

  5. Glad you are feeling better love. Make sure to ask the MD about the chest xray. I think its probably improved. And when you get out, don’t go around galavanting all over Bangkok in the rain or mist or dampness. Now say, ” ok mother!” LOL.

  6. You look good. I would never suspect you are even ill. Dick is still trying to figure out how a person gets pneumonia in the tropics. I tried to explain it has nothing to do with the weather. Nasty bugs are everywhere no matter what the climate. hee hee.

  7. @ElusiveWords – Matt, I suspected this reference might get lost on some readers.  Annie Oakley is a historical figure from the US “Wild West” era.  She was a sharpshooter who travelled with a circus-like show run by another popular figure, Buffalo Bill.  There is an enjoyable 1946 Imusical that starred Ethel Merman and contributed several Irving Berlin songs to the great American songbook including “There’s No Business Like Showbusiness,” “You Can’t Get a Man with Your Gun,” and “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better).”@Dezinerdreams – Thank you for being one of them!@beowulf222 – Would have been in something smaller were it available.  This one is definitely above both my budget and my insurance company’s daily maximums for room and board.  Hospital is charging for the smaller room, though, so it is a free upgrade.@yang1815 – No clear photo, though.  No direct correlation between beauty and pricking although the generally accepted theory is that the more beautiful you are, the more often you can prick… or be pricked, depending.  LOL@Roadlesstaken – Making the best of what would otherwise be a throwaway shot.@maxwebr – As we say in Thailand, “Nasongsaan.”  Rough translation, “Oh, you poor thing.”  Hope you get better soon.@murisopsis – @arenadi – I almost commented on that.  I’ve observed that while use of gloves is generally consistent, twice I had people putting lines into me without gloves including one who was wiping up a few drops of blood (mine) with gauze pads while not wearing gloves.  I’m thinking that is a pretty big risk to take as a healthcare worker.@stebow – Yeah, I feel fine so don’t look ill.  I don’t think pneumonia is any less of a disease in the tropics, is it?  People get colds and the flu here, too.  Plus, it is our winter season so it is relatively cooler.@ZSA_MD – Actually, it is cool season so there shouldn’t be much precipitation and humidity is the lowest point for the whole year.  Thanks!@lightnindan – @slmret – @rice_eric – Thanks, I’m doing everything I can to get healthy and get out of here.@Wangium – They tried to make me go to rehab and I won’t go, go, go.

  8. In response to the glove comments above, it’s not mandatory for nurses to use gloves (for a simple procedure such as taking blood), but it is mandatory for them to wash their hands/use sanitizer before and after.

  9. @Rm2046 –  Interesting to know, thanks. I wasn’t thinking of it so much in the mandatory way as in the way of being concerned for their relative safety. I guess if they haven’t any cuts, etc on their hands then risk of infection is fairly low.@rainbow7candi –  Nope, fevers are not so much fun.@giganticdark –  Thanks, so am I.

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