Monday, 26 January 2009

Breaking News From Australia

Thai medicine: where would the world be without it? Not in the Stone Age, that's for sure. According to them, I'd broken Rib No 7. So why is it I get X-Rayed in Australia, and they tell me I have two breaks and three fractures in 5 out of 12 of my useful ribs (No's 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9)? If the Thais had said four ribs, and missed one, I could have understood it.

I reckon the X-Ray machine wasn't even switched on, and they just have a drawer full of previous patients' results to show you. Then, when you say "Actually, I broke the ribs on the other side of my chest" they just flip the sheet over on the lightbox and give a sheepish grin: how would you like to pay, sir?

So this explains why I have been walking around clicking and cracking for the last couple of months. The doctors here have said it takes 3-6 months from the injury for them to heal. Not that I'd be diving again within 6 weeks, as Samui International Hospital had told me. I'm not suggesting all Thai hospitals are like this, though. But I should have suspected something like this would happen when the orderlies left me on the stretcher as I arrived, to rifle through my belongings and and bark "VISA? Insurance?" over their shoulders before they gave me any painkillers, or even a bed.

The upshot is that I'm going to rest up at my sister's for a few more weeks before heading for the Philippines. Going home is an option I don't want to think about. So it's more beach, rest and books for the next few weeks. I can manage that. There's not a cloud in the sky, and it's 40 degrees. The home cooking is going down a treat, too. And the simple pleasures in life, denied to me in recent months by pain (belching, farting, laughing...usually in that order), are agony-free once again.

Now...where did I put that cold beer?

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