Ellie, our foster home's American nurse, took me to the local hospital all by herself (i.e. no other translators), and I was so impressed by her skills! I was a little too sick and weak at the time to appreciate all that she did, but now that I'm feeling considerably better, I realize just how incredible her Chinese skills are!
So a Chinese hospital is very different from a western hospital. This one was clean and somewhat well-equipped, though not what you would be accustomed to seeing in a hospital if you live in the USA. But what makes it different is that instead of the patient staying in one place and the doctors coming to you... the doctors stay in one place and the patient does the running. It is probably a more efficient system, but not good if you are weak. So when you go in, you get an appointment with a doctor to see whatever part of your body ails you. In my case, this was a doctor with a specialty in respiratory issues. She listened to my lungs, asked Ellie a bunch of questions, and then ordered a chest xray and a blood test.
We had to go to 2 different parts of the hospital to first pay for and then get those things done. This is where my memory grows foggy. At some point, Ellie parked me in the hospital waiting room and ran and did a lot of stuff and then came back and picked me up after she had all the results. We went back up to the doctor, who after looking at the xray diagnosed pneumonia in both lungs. Even I could see the big white splotches... it was pretty serious, and she wanted to admit me. Thank goodness for Ellie! She saved me from the hospital! She told the doctor that she'd administer the IVs (antibiotic and expectorant) and monitor my condition at home. Since Ellie deals with pneumonia in our heart babies 3-4 times a month, the doctor agreed, with the condition that my first IV be done at the hospital to ensure there was no reaction.
So, we bought the medicine and then went to the IV ward. Think hospital waiting room where everyone is getting IVs together. It was very bizarre. Two hours of IVs later, I was on my way home for a much-needed nap. That was Friday... had more IVs yesterday and another round today. Tomorrow I go in to the hospital for another blood test. I know I'm improving... I can breathe deeply now. But, I'm still weak, so I know I still have some recuperating to do. I'll probably be on an antibiotic for the rest of the week, but I'm hoping I can take it orally and not by IV. I'm running out of veins, and the IVs in China don't stay in you like they do in the USA when you need them over multiple days.
Anyway, Ellie's been coming everyday to take my O2 levels, listen to my lungs, take my blood pressure, and give me the IV. She even cooked lunch and did the dishes today! Other friends have brought us food, and Jacob has been awesome as well. Pretty much I haven't lifted a finger in over a week, which is a good thing because I haven't had much energy. I'm feeling better now, but still not 100 percent. Thanks for all your prayers...
The funny thing about this is that even though I'm probably sicker than I've ever been, I have more peace now than I have in a long time. I'm thankful for that.