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liuzhou

Hospital Time

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I'm in hospital. A mild discomfort which had been building broke into full unwellness on Wednesday evening, so I hauled myself off to the local quackery.

 

In a way, it's nothing too serious, but it does involve pain and requires professional care.  I'm  in a nice private room so quite comfortable room considering.

 

I have pipes and tubes emerging from both arms. Mainly, it is boring. Despite or because of the Chinese television provided. (I don't have television at home.)

 

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As ever, the hospital is run for the convenience of the staff, so breakfast and lunch arrive at what are, for me, odd times. I didn't eat until today. 

 

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Breakfast at dawn. Two large buns. Pork buns.

 

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I was offered warm milk or warm soy milk to wash them down. I'd rather die than drink that, so make do with water.

 

This is followed by a visit from a woman wanting to know my requirements for the next three meals. I politely ask to see the list she is holding, but it is evidently a state secret. Instead she suggests 丝瓜, or loofah. Nothing else. This economy in reducing a menu to one vegetable is admirable, so I go for the loofah. It arrives at 11:30 or, as I know it, breakfast time.

 

Loofah, pork and rice. 

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Of course, for a change, This arrives tepid then two doctors and a nurse arrive for a poke at my body and ask all sorts of impertinent questions as my lunch freezes.

 

When I get to eat it, I find the pork inedible (overcooked), but the veg is OK.

 

A similar selection process identifies 苦瓜, bitter melon as the only relevance in the evening meal, so that's what I'll be having.

 

I've also ordered breakfast for tomorrow. Rice noodles.

 

And I've found the microwave.

 

I'll  attempt to document my meals, medics permitting. Pictures might not be great- I only have my cell phone with me.

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Hi, sorry you're "laid up," as we say around these parts, and I hope you get home soon. In the meantime, thanks for posting this glimpse into Chinese hospital life. It's fascinating. The pork buns look great to me. Does every room have a microwave? Seems a bit odd. Maybe it's so visitors can warm up their food that they bring? Anyway, thanks for the photos and the write-up and get well soon! 

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Sorry to hear that you're indisposed, as it were. Hopefully, you'll manage to get enough food each day! If you could get them to serve the milk cold, that might not be a bad option, nutrition-wise. Has anyone brought you ice?

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Sorry you're laid up, but glad to know you are being helped.

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On 23/06/2017 at 1:11 PM, SusieQ said:

Does every room have a microwave? Seems a bit odd.

 

Sorry, that is my lack of clarity. There is one microwave shared by everyone on this floor.

 

On 23/06/2017 at 1:31 PM, Lisa Shock said:

If you could get them to serve the milk cold, that might not be a bad option, nutrition-wise. 

 

Just as bad. I don't do cow juice or its substitutes. Personal quirk.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Oh My, you do need to get home quickly and back to your own amazing food.  I actually knew a woman who was such a poor cook that eating hospital food was a five star meal for her.  If you want to know where old Jello goes to die, it is in our hospital.  Get well soon please.

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Been there, done that too many times. Hope you get home soon before you wither away to nothing!  

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5:15 Dinner arrives.

 

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Bitter melon, pork and greens.

 

The pork was better cooked than lunch but hopelessly under-seasoned. 

 

Seems like every dinner is going to look very similar to the last. 

 

Happily, patient visiting friends in China also bring fruit, so I have a collection of bananas, mangosteens, apples and, oddly, avocados. 

 


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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6 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

As ever, the hospital is run for the convenience of the staff

 


Interesting. I've only been in hospital once, that just for an unexpected and sudden removal of my appendix, and I found everything, except possibly meal times, to be remarkably accommodating to patient comfort and convenience. I didn't necessarily realize it while I was there but it was pretty clear once I was sent home that that was the case. Meal times didn't matter much to me because they had me on basically a liquid diet the entire time I was there (which was extended apparently longer that it should have been for reasons I never discovered, the Dr. kept there for  almost 5 days). Apparently, a key component of the liquid diet is jello, which I am not a fan of. The person from the kitchen kept asking why I didn't eat my jello, I kept telling her I did not care for jello, she kept telling me she'd replace it with something else... then the next tray would come with jello as it's centerpiece.

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UGH LIUZHOU!!!  I'm so sorry!!! Hurry up and get the hell out of there!!!  

 

The chairs next to the tv look far more comfortable than the hard plastic ones that I've had to sit in.  After a couple of hours my backside falls asleep and I walk like I'm 120 years old.

 

If you feel well enough, I'm sure you're bored silly.  Can someone bring you a few books?  Can you download ebooks on your phone?

 

Hospitals....I can barely make myself go visit someone...they scare the crap out of me for some reason.  But, when my father in law and mother in law were/are in there I have to.  For meal times they are given a menu of choices--one for people with diabetes and a regular menu.  I've seen decent meals --a surprisingly good looking chef salad--and horrible meals--a totally inedible plate of what they called beef stroganoff (I took a tour down the hall that day and all the stroganoff meals were being reloaded on to the carts to be dumped).  Your pork buns look very good, actually.  I'm surprised they don't offer some kind of juice to drink or tea?  And, yeah, like Lisa said, if I were there I'd bring you ice.

 

Big hugs from over here in Kansas and I'll be checking on here regularly for your updates.

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When my late wife was in the hospital here, the meals all had the look of something prepared in a commissary 1000 miles away and shipped out frozen. The "turkey dinner," for example, consisted of watery mashed potatoes, pallid once-frozen mixed vegetables, some pale gravy substitute or other, and - I only wish I was kidding - two slices of inexpensive deli turkey roll, the kind you get in sandwiches from the gas station. 

 

Patients were, as Liuzhou says, patently there only to disrupt the smooth operation of the ward. One doctor would tell her, for example, that it was crucial she get enough rest to help her body recover and therefore he would order her a sedative for 10 PM. A nurse would then come around at 11, when she was just drifting off, to take a full set of vitals or a vial of blood. Then she'd be awakened at 6 AM for something else, and no sooner she'd manage to doze back off than breakfast (soggy toast, cold coffee, egg whites that had undoubtedly come from a carton) would arrive and wake her up again. 

 

She was there for 10 days in total, and it took her until the fourth day to cow the staff into submission (she was a woman with great force of will) and the food situation resolved itself when I pointed out that she did, in fact, have a personal chef who could bring things from home. 

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Much nicer than the hospital room I was in recently. Food looks a helluva lot better too.

 

Hope you're well soon.

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Bless you. Hope you recover quickly. Before you starve.

 

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Liuzhou, I feel for you.  Having been in the hospital a couple years ago for a silly pneumonia I can relate to the awfulness of it all.  Food was the least of my distaste.  Uncomfortable bed (which was more like a cot), noise, and nurses who didn't want to be bothered.

Had to stay two nights which was three days too long for my liking.

After those two days the doctor still didn't want me to go home, (I really believe it was just to rack up more charges) but I insisted and I won.


Edited by lindag (log)
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All best to you Liuzhou and an early release.  In the meantime I'll follow your adventures.  Hospitals are my least favorite place I can think of to be.  

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There is a menu. The silly @%¥₩ woman in charge of taking my order is one of those stupid racists who assume foreigners haven't the intellectual capacity to read Chinese (1) and that letting them do so is the first step to world war three.

 

I have books, but it's impossible to concentrate when they lay on different tests throughout the day and night.

 

The room I'm in is far from typical in a Chinese hospital. For various reasons  they have put me in the luxury wing. Mainly for propaganda. I usually resist this, but I'll forgive myself this time.

 

The nursing staff have been a delight and willing to help with anything. Today one young nurse who was about to take an arterial blood sample warned me that it could be painful. I didn't feel a thing. I felt years of gratitude owing. (I'm  a pain wimp.)

 

(1) I've had people say that to me more than once.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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So sorry to hear this, Liuhou!  Hope you are better and home soon!  I think that the under seasoned food you mentioned is endemic to hospital food the world over.  The whole "sick people need bland food" mindset seems to cover all cultures!  

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1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

Today one young nurse who was about to take an arterial blood sample warned me that it could be painful. I didn't feel a thing. I felt years of gratitude selling. (I'm  a pain wimp.)

Me too. I feel for you. I'm glad you have good nursing staff. They can make all the difference.

1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

 

 

 

 

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Well best wishes for your recovery.  I too am in the midst of recovery.  May 30 had a total right knee replacement and 4 days in the hospital.  It may be my good fortune because honestly I don't remember a thing about the food!  I was then transferred to a rehab facility for three weeks.  The move to rehab was precipitated by the fact I live alone, but I'd recommend it to anyone have knee replacement.  I got home yesterday, but the memories of the food are all too clear. The facility was 3-stories and about 100 patients. When they recently remodeled they tore down the kitchen, thinking it was a better idea to have a second gym.  So, our food was cooked across the street at a assisted living facility then put in warmers and pushed in large ovens across the street!  The food was awful, awful.  To give you an idea.  One morning the aides warned us about the scrambled eggs but didn't let on.  So they take off the covers and voila.  Green eggs!  Really it wasn't a Dr. Suess nursery rhyme.  The apparently use dehydrated eggs.  But when this batch was mixed with water, they let the eggs sit too long under the heat lamp.  They oxidized and turned green!  Yet the poor sap dishing up the plates, who saw the color of the eggs, continued to plate them.  They apparently thought we wouldn't notice and eat them.  And the eggs looked like they were poured into some sort of sponge mold. Because in addition to looking green they looked like little shards of brains. 

 

Well on the way home we stopped and I got a double bacon cheeseburger! And thankfully I had pre-stocked the freezer with real meals I made prior to surgery.

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I hope you feel better soon!!!!  That is most important...  we can all deal with crappy food for (hopefully) short durations (not that we always want to though)... while unpleasant, hopefully you're getting good care and will be back doing your own thing quickly.

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One can judge how sick a patient is by their critique of the food. When my Mom was in the hospital 2 years ago for a heart valve replacement, after a couple of days when she started complaining about the food, we knew she was getting better. The dumbest thing was the meal where they gave her soup...when she couldn't sit upright yet. My Dad had to carefully spoon feed her with a towel on her chest to catch any drips.

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My late Mother used to love to go into the hospital...they gave her hot tea in bed every morning.  She was not a foodie.  She hated cooking and it showed. 

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@liuzhou hope you're better soon and back to eating your normal fare.  Thanks for posting this story, it's interesting to see some aspects of health care in another part of the world.

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