Luck and the Hospital

Spent three nights at the generically named ‘Bangkok Hospital’ after seeing a doctor on two successive days at the confusingly named ‘Bangkok Hospital Hua Hin’. I’m back home, feeling fine with an excellent prognosis and a lighter bank account. Mostly I’m thinking about luck, happenstance, timing or, who knows, it could be fate.

The short version of what happened is I got hit by a virus at the same time I was recovering from a more intense than usual Thai massage. Appetite disappeared and I reverted to doing things like eating a bag of cookies for dinner because it was the easiest thing to do. That played havoc on my usually regular GI tract.

Woke up one night with stomach pains. Thought it was bad food and self medicated. Pain got worse, saw a local doc. He diagnosed impacted bowel, prescribed pills and procedure and said come back if it gets worse.

It got considerably worse over night. Cat scan and physical exam failed to identify cause, only that it was upstream of the bowel. The HH hospital wasn’t equipped for any of the three tests he wanted to do so I was shipped off to Bangkok. First test revealed all. Doc #2 found 4 tiny ulcers (.5 -.8 cm, or .2 – .3 inch) and the initial signs of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Couple days of big IV doses of GI tract soothing meds and I was discharged. I’ll be on meal time related meds for the next couple months. Doc expects full recovery.

So how does luck play in to this? I had zero symptoms from the ulcers and GERD until the right sequence of events produced my first ever impacted bowel. Catching the two early means the treatment is easy and effective. Both illness can get nasty if not caught until well developed.

There was also some bad luck involved. Earlier this month I got serious about shopping for health insurance. Narrowed it down to a few options. Next step was to request plan documents to see what the brochure was hiding. But I put that off because the virus turned my brain to guacamole.

Next post will be on the treatment costs.


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