Saturday, April 17, 2010

Indiana Jones Has Nothing Over Us

Disclaimer, Please Read:
I want to make it clear that the following post could contain some sensitive info. and that I am in no way demeaning the people, or country here. They have been nothing but overly kind and helpful throughout our experience! Also, everyone involved is fine now.

In the middle of the night, Gerry experienced a nose bleed, not just your every day nose bleed, but a slowly flowing river that would not stop. This was the 3rd nose bleed this week. Now, it's not terribly unusual for him, as he has suffered from sinus problems his entire life and has had 3 sinus surgeries.
However, this nose bleed wasn't to the stage of needing a transfusion, but we became concerned and decided it was time to go to the hospital. After all, how was I supposed to move him if he passed out? So, we went to our hotel lobby and the employees of our hotel were so nice. We got a cab and thought we were headed to one hospital, the one our adoption agency recommended, but were taken to a closer hospital about 3 blocks away. When we arrived, they determined we needed to transfer to the hospital that we originally thought we were headed to, as they have an E.N.T. doctor and would be better able to serve Gerry.
Thus, begins our wild ride - literally. We had the Indiana Jones taxi driver of all times. The guy was seriously panicked. Thankfully it was the middle of the night and there wasn't many people driving. He ran at least 10 red lights. He would just honk as he sped through the light. He swerved between a scooter and a taxi driver narrowly missing them. Then the real fun began when he turned through a neighborhood with very narrow streets. He went full blast and just kept blaring his horn at every intersection, twisting and turning as we raced to the hospital. Gerry saw all of this with one eye, as he had his ice pack and towel over his other eye area. We screeched to a halt at the front door of the hospital.
Once inside, we had to pay $700NT which is roughly about $21 US. Then we were taken to the emergency room and he was placed on a bed and they started an IV. There were about 20 other patients in this room. Gerry was given a shot of something - not sure what to stop the bleeding. I asked if it was a vitamin K shot - and it was not, but that it does something similar. The attending Dr. was very kind.
After about 20 minutes his nose stopped bleeding. He was taken for a head x-ray and then transferred to the observation room. Now we had 30 people in beds, with no curtains, all suffering together. We were concerned we might become ill ourselves. I felt so bad for some of the people. The hospital was obviously understaffed and underfunded. There are not many regular Dr. offices here, so everyone comes to the hospital for everything - including us for nose bleeds!
Just a side note, this is most likely the hospital where our baby was born. We did hear a newborn cry in the next room, sounded like it was just born. Kind of a special and emotional moment for me.
The plan was for us to wait until the morning for the ENT Dr. to come in and they would examine him. This would be another 2-3 hours. After waiting another hour and observing conditions, we decided to leave the hospital and see if we would be fine.
We sort of checked ourselves out of the hospital. The Dr. told us he would prefer to us to wait to see the ENT, and I told him. "I respect you and you have been very kind. I believe he is fine, so therefore we would like to leave and we will come back again if he has problems." He told us by law he can't keep us there and he reluctantly let us go. We paid another $1300NT when we checked out for the x-ray and already filled prescriptions. All together the ER visit costs us $63 US.
The cab ride back to the hotel took about 5 minutes and was relatively calm, but he drove pretty fast. The ride to the hospital only took 2-3 minutes - just to put it all in perspective.
In the hotel room - 20 minutes later Gerry's nose started bleeding all over again. Now what do we do? We prayed and kept icing it, etc. as well as made a call to Gerry's mom to see if our Dr. at home could give us some advice. We also decided to call some missionaries from our church to come and pray with us. They arrived and offered a beautiful prayer in our behalf. We had an overwhelming feeling of God's love for us as well as for all of his children all over the world. One of the missionaries is from Florida and the other from Nevada. They are truly wise for their ages and I appreciate their 2 year sacrifice to serve the people here in Taiwan. We feel at peace that this problem will be o.k, until we can at least get back to Taipei tomorrow afternoon or possibly until we arrive home!
We cancelled our tour of this area that he had planned for today, which was a huge disappointment. We came down here a day early specifically to tour this area and take pictures as this is the area our baby's family is from. We are spending the rest of the day in the room taking it easy and Gerry is trying to not move his head very much. We wanted to get as much of the cultural aspects of this area as possible. In a very real way, we actually have. We got to observe the every day people in the hospitals and the staff here. We've seen some very tender moments that are priceless! The Taiwanese people are soft spoken, caring and overly helpful!
Here's our tour of Tainan from our hotel room window.
Tomorrow is the big day! Can't wait to get our baby! If you don't mind, say a little prayer for us that Gerry's nose will not continue to have problems and that the baby will adjust easily to us and bond with us quickly. Thank you.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Oh no! What an experience. And what a wild taxi ride- glad you all made it in one piece to the hospital. Hope Gerry recovers and has no more episodes.