Hospital in China
Hospital in China – Take 1
Unfortunately, I do not have fond memories of my long and exhausting trip back from Malaysia. I had been carrying my backpack all day long and when I finally arrived in Beijing, I could hardly walk. My right ankle was really badly swollen and hurt like hell. The strange thing is that I don’t even know when I actually hurt my foot. While I was in Malaysia, I cannot recall any incident in which I could have gotten my injury. May be it was the Langkawi curse that got me, when I tried to flee the island, who knows? Well, when it wasn’t much better the next day, I went to work and had to find me an English-speaking doctor in Beijing. I searched the Lonely Planet Thorne Tree Forum, found some good recommendations, and decided to go to United Family Hospital in Beijing. Their website looked quite nice and did not have any spelling mistakes, so I hoped for the best. Nevertheless, I was quite nervous, when I went there the next day! Even though the building did not look very appealing from the outside, when I went in, I was surprised to find a very modern and clean hospital and all the staff spoke perfect English. After filling out the necessary forms, I sat down in the waiting area and since I did not have an appointment, I didn’t really know when they could squeeze me in. After about 1 ½ hours, I got to see the doctor, a very nice woman from Canada. She looked at my ankle and told me that most likely, I had pulled my ligaments, but just to make sure, she wanted to take an X-ray. Luckily, it turned out that my bones were in pretty good shape and not injured. So I got my foot bandaged and some painkiller and off I went.
Hospital in China – Take 2
Well, I didn’t know how soon I would be back. Three days later, I woke up with a horrible toothache in the middle of the night. When I looked in the mirror, the one side of my face was completely swollen and I could barely open my mouth. I called in sick and went back to the hospital, which also includes a dental clinic. My dentist told me I have a very suppurating inflammation on my wisdom teeth and they have to be removed as soon as possible. So she prescribed me some antibiotics and made an appointment for the following Thursday, 4 days later…
I stayed home the rest of the week, because I really was feeling bad. The infection made me really tired and I slept about 15 hours a day and lived on painkillers the rest of the day.
Since they had screwed up the removal of my other two wisdom teeth in Germany, I chose to get sedated and get it done by a surgeon rather than a regular dentist. When I went in for the surgery on Thursday, everything went well, even though they were a little bit worried, because the Chinese nurses didn’t understand that I live on my own and there was nobody to pick me up and to take care of me the next days. Well, they were absolutely nice and even hailed me a cab to get home safely. Of course, it hurt, but after a couple of days of noodle soup and mashed bananas, I was feeling fine again.
Well, this was an exciting experience to go to a Hospital in China, but I was really satisfied with the treatment and the people there were so professional, helpful, and caring. I really can recommend United Family Hospital to anyone who needs medical attention in Beijing. Nevertheless, I really hope I won’t see them again anytime soon…
Want to read what happened next?
It’s no fun to have to be hospitalized in a foreign country but I’ll share my very positive story of an emergency dental procedure I needed to have in Havana, Cuba in 2018. I, too, had excruciating tooth pain- in the middle of the night- on a weekend. I was an independent traveler in Cuba at that time which was during a brief thaw in relations between the US and Cuba. (Thank you, Mr. Obama; too bad the next administration reversed all the diplomacy being done to create this opportunity) So we were not part of any tour group. This incident could have been a little scary but after I made the decision to go to the hospital, everything worked out just fine. It was an ancient-looking edifice, but it was thoroughly modern inside. The equipment was gleaming and state-of-the-art. The dentist diagnosed an abscess (infection) and drilled four tiny holes in my tooth in order to relieve the pressure. This technique worked instantly. She sent me home with antibiotics and the cost of the entire thing including the medicine was the equivalent of about $20. Back at home, my own dentist pronounced the Cuban dentist’s as “expert”.