Sick again. Candy wanted me to come in for an 11:00am Demo, I told her to take me to the hospital instead. Lainey was supposed to take me after work. She called saying Yolanda would take me instead if I wanted to go earlier. “At 3:20 get in a cab. No at 3:30 get in a cab. Yolanda will meet you outside.” she instructed.
I looked at my phone. Ten to three, and it was raining out (meaning everyone would be taking cabs rather then walking or biking). I’d be lucky to “get in the cab” by 3:30. “Ok.” I said. I didn’t argue, I just started dragging myself towards my outdoor layers. I already had four shirts on and the heat was going full blast. I pulled on my rain coat and grabbed my bag. I’d already found my passport, my debit card, my credit card, and my health card, and a wad of Chinese cash. About an hour before Lainey called I had managed to drag myself from bed, turn on the stove and make myself a beef broth from the beef cubes Nate had bought me before work. Clutched in my hand was my laminated address card to show to the cab driver. I grabbed my keys, double checked the lights, and locked the door behind me. It was raining and the beginning of rush hour. There was no way I was going to get a cab. I thought of getting a bus but my body didn’t even respond. It was already set on it’s course to cross the road and wave at any and every cab that passed.
Somehow I made it through the chaotic traffic and I stood just down from the street corner, my hand stuck out into traffic. Cars zoomed past me voom, voom, voom, honking and piling up one behind the other. And then by some miracle one was pulling over for me! A cab for hire, how I’d lucked into finding one so early I don’t know. I guess the red hair elastic I had around my wrist was working to bring me luck.I climbed in and handed him the address. As we drove off I turned on the data on my phone ad looked up the words “please wait” for when we arrived at the school. Soon Yolanda was climbing in the cab.
We climbed up a wide set of stares to get through the hospital’s front door. We were given some sort of form on entering. Yolanda filled it out. There were many rows of windows with many lines. Don’t know if they were all the same thing or not. We went back and forth a lot. We were handed more papers to give the the doctor. I had to pay 8 RMB to be seen by a specialist. I had tried to contact my health insurance as I was supposed to before getting any medical care, but I couldn’t figure out the collect call. Didn’t cost me much to be seen anyways.
I was instructed to lie on a bed behind a curtain after I had explained my symptoms (with questionable translation on Yolanda’s part). The doctor pressed my abdomen asking me if it hurt, then sent me back to the window to pay for blood work. That happened in a different part of the hospital, and then back to the doctor’s for the results. The doctor said it was poisoning from “the BBQ” despite my protests that I had not had “the BBQ”. Back to the window to pay another 80 RMB for drugs. Back to the doctor to pick them up. Ended up taking the bus home while Yolanda stressed at least eight times the doctor’s orders to take “the medicine”, that beef is forbidden, and to eat rice pudding and rice soup. “You know the rice,” she told me.
“Yes I know the rice.”
“Put the rice in the hot water, but you know just put the little rice. You know maybe just a few.”
“Yes I know the rice pudding. They sell it by my house.”
“I think maybe you can buy it at the KFC.” she reiterated, “You know the that.” she pointed at my mug.
“The beef broth.”
“Yes that is very bad. You know because the beef is forbidden. Very bad when you are sick, and it is cold! So very bad.”
“Well it wasn’t cold when I was drinking it!” I tried to explain, I was a good girl though and stopped at the noodle factory to get “the rice pudding”.
I looked up the voodoo I had been given when I got home. It was not easy to find as the drug names were all in Chinese and I had to draw in each character to find the translation. One was a probiotic. Should be fairly harmless. Of the other two one was a minor opioid antagonist used for IBS, and the other was a beta blocked used for septic ulcers or extreme cases of chronic gastric reflux. I had argued while I was in the hospital that I’d needed something to get my severely depleted fluids back up, but this had been completely ignored. I had nothing to help stop either end from spewing out, so I stuck with my rice pudding and Imodium.