Thursday, September 26, 2013

Just Get Me to the Hospital

Before I arrived in Bangkok, I'd researched hotels and booked a room at a place that was highly rated on both and  I booked and paid for the room for my entire stay.

Then the hospital stay interfered.   Because I'd prepaid, I ended up paying both the hotel and hospital for two nights.  When I got out of the hospital I hoped to go back to Citypoint but they were full.  My first night out of the hospital I stayed at On8, which wasn't far from Citypoint and was very nice, although the room had no window and "mood" lighting which is great for romance but stinks for reading in bed.

After one night at On8, I moved back to Citypoint for a couple of nights.  Unfortunately, though, they were full again on the 27th so I had to find another place for the remainder of my stay in Bangkok.

I loved Citypoint so was surprised this morning when it was time to check out.  They insisted "No, you stay until tomorrow, the 28th!"  I reminded the clerk that I'd asked to stay until the 30th but had been told that they were fully booked on the 27th.  I'd even checked the day before when I got back from the hospital to see if they'd had any cancellations.  No, they hadn't and I'd have to check out.

The very sweet clerk showed me the check-in form that showed I was staying to the 28th.  Except it was originally marked the 27th, which had been crossed out and the 28th written in.  I felt bad- I would have preferred to stay another night - or 3.

Once we sorted that out, I was running late.  I'd allowed 1 1/2 hours to check out of the hotel, stop by the new hotel (which was directly on the way to the hospital) and then go on to the hospital.  Normally, it's a 10 minute drive.

A bellman went out to get a taxi for me and explain about the dropping off the luggage before going to the hospital.  But after 15 minutes there was no taxi so I grabbed my bags and headed to the street where I caught up with the bellman.  Several cabs stopped and refused to take me.  I don't know why.  The bellman said they didn't want to turn into the hotel and then have to go to the hospital.

At that point I was running late so gave up and figured I'd just take my luggage with me to the hospital.  After another 10 minutes, I got a cab.  I asked him to pop the trunk for my suitcase.  He said to put it in the back seat.  As I wrestled with the large suitcase, he watched.

Once at the hospital, I checked in, as usual.  Not as usual, they directed me to sit in a different area.  Ten minutes later a nurse came and asked me to follow her to the triage area, where my whole hospital experience began 9 days ago.

She weighed me (5 lbs down!) and measured my height.  Then we sat and she took my temp and blood pressure.  Then she asked why I was there.  She had my file in front of her, opened to a clean new "outpatient" page.  I pointed at the IV port in my hand and said I was there to get the IV antibiotics.  I also pointed to the appointment sheet in her hand, which documented when and why I was supposed to be there.  She smiled, nodded and copied the information onto the blank sheet.

Next she took me to wait in my usual spot, outside the injection room.  Five minutes later one of the nurses I knew came and got me to plug me in.  Yesterday it took almost two hours for the IV because the drip was so slow.  Today, 25 minutes.  I have no idea why one day they insisted it be so slow and today we were back to normal.

One of the nurses escorted me to pay (less than $30 for the entire treatment) and then took me outside where she explained to the staff there I needed a taxi and where I wanted to go.  After a short wait, the guys helped me and my luggage into the taxi and explained to the driver where to take me.

I got into the cab and asked the driver if he understood where I wanted to go.  Yes, he did.  And he knew how to get there?  No, he didn't.  But he had a general idea so off we went.

In broken English he chatted with me.  One of his first questions was how old I was.  He seemed disappointed when I told him 62.  He was only 54.  That's when I discovered that he is widowed and would like to be remarried.

Finding the hotel required a couple of stops to ask for help but we found it and he watched as I hauled my luggage out.  Then he waited to make sure this really was where I wanted to go, since it appeared to be just a restaurant.  Actually, The Dubliner is a B&B, with a restaurant/pub on the first floor and a hotel above.

Happily, I was quickly checked in and my room was ready.  It's not quite as fancy as Citypoint, but it's a great location, clean and has everything I need for my last few days (hopefully!) in Bangkok.

And tomorrow, I can just step outside for a 5 minute taxi ride to the hospital.  With no luggage and no hassle.

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