#16 – Rehabilitation

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The night prior to going to Halong Bay, my foot was radiating with waves of pain and the thought of it being infected lead me to worry about the impending 2 day boat trip with no medical care.  It was about midnight when I was like..eff it.. I should get it looked at if it hurt this much.  I asked the hostel to call a cab for me and bring me to a hospital.  I had about $30 CAD worth of DONG (he he) with me and my passport as I left for the hospital.  The cab took about 15 minutes to an English speaking hospital and when I arrived, I filled out forms and completed everything they asked of me.  THEN, they told me to pay $2.2 million VND, which is nearly equivalent to $105 CAD just for an initial consultation.  I was left speechless.  Neither the hostel staff, or the hospital reception staff felt that it was proper to kindly swing that past me as I spent nearly another 15 minutes filling out their forms and answering questions.  They said that if I wanted any kind of remote care (with a bad bad attitude), I had to be dying or I had to pay the fee.  The only option they suggested was to catch cab back to the hostel to pick up money and come back.  At this point I was so pissed, enough to not feel pain to my wounds.  I left the hospital to go back to the hostel with no intention of returning.  I decided to sleep on it and hopefully feel better when I woke up. Luckily, I felt good enough to go the next morning as I have already made the Halong Bay post!  BUT this story of privatized health care I will forever remember.  How I wished I had Canadian health care at this point!  AND little did I know that my foot had been fighting an infection already despite me keeping it very clean and in good condition.

I got back to BKK on March 8th, 2013 (yeah…it’s been a while) and I had a small discussion with my front desk reception and they recommended me to go to the clinic that was in the building.  I had just learned something new, didn’t know there was a doctors clinic on the side of my building.  My foot since coming back from Halong Bay had swelled up immensely and my meds were running low as they only gave me 1 weeks worth of pills.  I was worried about infection because it had been increasingly painful to walk on the foot.  That wasn’t right, haha.  I went to the clinic immediately…

So first, they took a look at my wrapping and bandages and right away told me to go to the hospital as they won’t look at it.  In my mind I was like WHAT?! GG.  I guess they thought it looked serious enough that a local clinic wouldn’t be able to handle something like that.  At least they were right.  I took a cab to the nearest private hospital and this one in Thailand had been so much more kind to me.  Consultation was 600 BT, and any additional care was extra.  The emergency room doctor looked at my wound and confirmed infection and felt like putting me on IV was a better option than just leaving it to slow working antibiotics.  I was on IV fluids + antibiotics for over an hour.  Oh.. and the nurse jabbed me 5 times before hitting a vein.  That’s right, took her 6 tries and 6 needle jabs.  She kept apologizing but it got annoying after the 3rd attempt. G.

Fast forward a bit.  For the entire process of my healing.  I made a total of 3 trips to the Thai hospital which took real good care of me, but cost me about 9000 BT.  After the IV, I had another week of stronger antibiotics than the Vietnamese hospital prescribed me.   Also, had to keep wound dry and clean it every other day to re-dress it.  The kicker, I finally got crutches 8 days after my accident only to be told I wasn’t supposed to be walking on my injury, SO GUD!  I spent 14 days pretty much chained to my bed and survived only on take-out, rarely stepping outside my room.  It was hell.  Luckily I have to thank several people for making my life less crappy.  Ryan for helping me here and there with food and being an awesome friend.  Ellie for pushing me to watch How I Met Your Mother and sticking around when I needed to chat.  8 seasons and nearly 200 episodes later, I’m a huge fan and I love the show.  And the guys back home keeping everyday chats interesting… but Tuesdays and Thursdays have mostly been the best days.

So my condition now has been good.  It took about 1 month and 1 week for the wounds to scab over.  The thought of having an open flesh wound for over a month is pretty excruciating even though my injury could have been much worse.  Right now the scabbing is all finished and just left with a pink-ish patch of healing skin/meat.  I could of course shower, walk, run and jump properly now but the skin is still a little sensitive.  I figured it took so long because rather than scraping off just skin from the fall/crash, it took quite a bit of meat from the foot but it wasn’t so apparent from the initial pictures due to the swelling.  Anyways, I’m back on my feet now and I intend to keep it that way.

**Enough with the stories.. here are some of the pictures and to warn you again, if you are not ok with looking at wounds, don’t bother scrolling down.**

**WARNING!**

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Finally got crutches after walking on a wounded foot for over a week.

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Keeping it elevated day and night for about 4 weeks before I was able to sleep properly.  AIYY.

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Really barely moved, even when I was on the computer.  Thanks Oli.

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Probably 2.5 weeks after the accident.

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It was a big pain in the ass how the location of the wound was right where the ankle part at the front bent when you walk.  That’s where the stitches had been and I had a Dr. House limp for a solid month because I couldn’t bend the ankle.  It felt like the scab/wound was being pulled at when I did bend it a little.  It sucked.

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The orange-ness and the drips was from the Iodine used to clean the wound.

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Scabbing but still parts of the wound still open.  This got so annoying how it didn’t heal at an even pace.

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No more swelling at least.

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The white-ness was from an antibiotic topical that I bought.  Made the wound look saucy doesn’t it. HAH. EW.

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Probably skipped a week here.  Once it scabbed over, it peeled quite fast.  The middle of this scab was still an open wound at this point.

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Almost all of the middle is scabbed here.  But the other parts that scabbed earlier has peeled already.

I forgot to upload a “now” picture but it’s close to the image above and instead of any scab, it’s just pink-ish healing skin.  Anyways, next post will be less of me and more of what the week of Thai New Year held.  SONGKRAN!

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Posted in Travel
3 comments on “#16 – Rehabilitation
  1. Roy says:

    LOL. it’s like watching the walking dead!!!! Glad u’re feeling better buddy! and i guess the bill isn’t so bad, for privatized hospital. If you’re in the States…that simple consultation could be like $500, and I’m not talking about DONGs 0_o
    get well…play hard!!! =)

  2. Robin says:

    Definitely walking dead gg buddy Glad to see the wound is wrapping up!!

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